I literally have no idea what to say.
Are you kidding me right now?
Well I for one remember all the things you said. And I remember what happened. So.
Life is a strange gift that sits on the front of your stoop and waits for you to be able to stand. Love is a mother I was born to. Heart is a word that it seems only I can remember. Hope is a world within a world. Truth is a final wishless verse that repeats and repeats and repeats.
I’m ok, I promise. I’m a big strong girl with a big strong heart and three thousand stories to tell.
To my right there is a strange star whispering just out of view. And it sings of me and it sings of you and it sings of the view and it sings of all things bold and true. I am a little ball of wishes gone unwished and words gone unraveled and I almost know how to be a someone. Not yet, but almost.
Sometimes the strum of a chord sounds so honest that I have to clutch my chest for fear of falling out of my body. Sometimes the inflection in someone’s voice while singing is just so intimate my insides begin to dissolve. The quality of a sound sometimes breaks me apart. Music is intense for me. Extremely easy to slip into. Probably the easiest of anything.
Life moves in circles.
And I don’t understand how all the years passed so quickly.
I’m falling back in love with people. With being with people.
I get so attached to kids. I care so much about their sacred little worlds. The way the world looks through their eyes. Golden and elapsed. I love their wild evolution that swarms through them so quickly. Azariah pretends like he doesn’t know me at school. Which is sad and understandable and sort of sweet. He’s in third grade and I’m sure being around the nanny he had when he was 5 years old embarrasses him. I tucked him in at night and now I’m wandering the halls with him. Boys are boys. Boys are funny. Reuben is better, but he’s older. He’s in 5th grade and he gives me wry smiles when I see him walking across the green like the near-man he’s growing into.
I am learning so much, so much. And I am doing it. I am standing strong like a wall and I am commanding them and I am being asked to substitute and I am getting looks of approval from the experienced teachers and I am feeling more confident everyday. I crossed some line and now I am not afraid to command them. That doesn’t mean I always know what the right thing is to say, or the right way to handle a situation. But I am trying to absorb as much as I can. And it’s all piecing together, slowly. With practice. Lots of practice.
I can’t believe I was in a relationship for two and a half years where I wasn’t ever allowed to go out. What the fuck? How do I always do these things to myself? Where you get to the end and you look backwards and you’re like WHAT THE FUCK happened here? HOW did I let myself do that so long? I mean I think at the beginning during the honeymoon stage I didn’t really care or notice much and then I was pregnant and so it was ok that I didn’t go out because I felt awful every minute of the day for 9 months. And I was working until 9 every night and…I was pregnant. I mean, there’s not much you can do. And then I had a newborn and that was such a world fuck that for a long time I didn’t even contemplate anything else. And then after a period of time I was slowly like…what is happening here? I wasn’t even allowed to go out to visit my parents, or speak to my brother. This was by far the biggest thing we fought about. He just demanded that I be there waiting for him when he got home from work every single night. And then I would sit there in silence while he watched whatever he wanted to watch and he would quickly drink 4 or 5 beers and then pass out at 8pm and then I would clean up his mess. WHAT??? How did this happen? He literally would get so irate about me even going over to see my mom…during the day…while he was at work??? While I’m stuck at home with a baby who doesn’t talk. That can get so lonely so quickly. He literally just wanted me to sit in the house all day and keep his dog company. He was literally mad that I didn’t keep his dog company. Meanwhile my mom provided me the ability to shower (otherwise I could not with Jamie), the ability to do our laundry and another actual human being to speak to. I don’t even understand. And he didn’t even interact with Jamie. Controlling doesn’t really even cover it.
But anyway. It’s good to come out into the light of the world again. I feel like I’ve been hidden away in some hole. It’s good to reconnect with so many people again. It’s good to be alive. It’s sucky to think of lost time. It’s weird to be 25. But it’s better than being 35. And it’s good too. To have moved past a lot of the bullshit you think matters when you’re young.
Identity is incredibly thin.
And just when you think life couldn’t possibly get any weirder…it gets infinitely more weird.
Just trying to let the day soak into my skin.
Everything is malleable.
Oh me oh my. What am I doing?
Music helps. Music always helps.
Little Jamie is in the most wonderful phase. These are blissful days. Each day one foot in front of the other getting more and more confident with walking. With holding himself in his body. And he is loving it. He wants to walk everywhere, all of the time. I like the independence, and I like that he’s happy. Everyone said it would be worse, but I find it’s so much better. I love his little hand clasping on to my finger and walking down the street with me. It makes my heart melt. Today Victoria took him to the library while I was at school…so I went to go pick him up and little Jamie and I walked all around town. Just silent with the biggest smile all over his face. Just thrilled to be walking. To be exploring. My streets. To be showing him the world. To be walking with his little hand and all of his fierce determination. And the leaves are on fire and the sun and the wind are holding each other’s hands gracefully and everything was just so. And everything was just right. And it was meaningful. Walking through this place that means so much to me. It’s my town and they’re my streets and they hold my whole heart. Draped over them and tucked into each grate. I love Princeton. I hate the money, the snobbery, the ridiculous clothes, the corporate 20 somethings, the stupid overly-expensive salons. I hate the Lilly Pulitzer store and all of the expensive make up and jewelry stores. But I love it for sentimental reasons. And I love it for its beauty. For its history, its sense of community. I love it for the way it keeps telling me where I’ve been- how I sat in that corner or on that bench or danced in the rain on this sidewalk. I love it for the hundreds of people I’ve walked these streets with. I love it for its liberalism, its awareness, its intelligence, its growing greenness. I love it for all the times it made me feel like a child and all the times it taught me how to be a woman. I love it for sharing its streets with me, its sighs, its strange alleyways and hidden high school mysteries. I love it for the unbelievably bizarre mischief we all got ourselves into on these streets. When we were young and the world was so big yet. So now, fumbling through these first few steps with Jamie…skating through this town, these streets, the colors and the storefronts…it’s meaningful. It’s beautiful. And he will grow to know these streets too, in time. In his own time.
And it’s strange too, how it isn’t my home anymore. My home is Lawrenceville now which is utterly bizarre but utterly true. I have full on lived there for two and a half years. I only lived in Kingston full time for 9 months. I love this side of the tracks way more though. I love these roads, I feel less oppressed over here in Lawrenceville. It feels a bit more right, a bit more comfortable, less pretentious. More roads that slope and slide and get full of brambles and light and fields of waving grasses over here. I have loved the new discovery of the same place I’ve always been. I don’t quite know where to call home now, though. Now that my house is no longer a home. I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
The uniqueness of each person is sort of astonishing to me. It’s very easy to get into lumping people and categorizing people but the strangest and most endless mystery is that abyss of personhood which ultimately becomes entirely impossible to articulate. You can assign someone a list of adjectives or attributes, but it’s always never enough. Never enough to really encompass the full colors and hues of what it is to experience another. Another’s world, which is as infinite as yours. People are always more than a sum of parts. Which is why it sometimes becomes difficult to even express exactly why you love someone. Or even why you love being with someone. Because tying it down to simple words simply oversimplifies it. It’s such a mysterious thing- another person. An endless flux. The exact shade and hue of what it is to be you, is something that poetry, music and art are always trying to illuminate. But the real experience of what it is to experience another person – that is too many millions of shades to call one color. Too many scents to carry. Too many notes to play.
Let people be that real.
So what am I doing? I have no idea. I am trying by best to navigate this strange territory but I literally have no idea what the right thing is to do. Especially when I have no idea what’s going on. So. I am just. Trying my best.
One of those October days that swells over you like a swarm of burning leaves. Like a parade of children’s laughter and the stunning remembrance of what it is to wake up. I am always five steps away from myself and three feet in the moment. I am always burying myself in my own lust for air. For something worth breathing. I am always a recycled bunch of things I’ve always been feeling. I am never half of what I think I know. I am so much more, and so much less. It is so much more complicated, and so much more simple.
I wish I could articulate myself in person. But I think I have a habit of always saying the wrong thing. I have a feeling a lot of us do. Even our behavior. I think sometimes is a mystery to ourselves as well. It’s confusing, being a human. Being full of so many things. In a world that doesn’t give us much space to waddle around in articulation. In a world that can be pretty unforgiving. I understand how fear breeds like a disease. And how fear locks us into tiny two-toned colors. Sometimes I have to say it’s hard. It’s all hard. Sometimes it’s soft. Sometimes the days wander around me like theives. Plucking little pieces of me to give to others without my permission. Sometimes life is strange, golden and trembling. Sometimes I am walking my life and sometimes my life is walking me. Sometimes I am looking and sometimes I am seeing. All of time I have eyes, and all of the time I have heart. But sometimes they don’t know how to speak. What to say. How to say. Anything at all about this section of the universe called ours. About where to go from here. About how to walk with no map. About how to fumble around in the dark.
Well, we’re all doing alright so far, aren’t we? Fumbling around in the dark? That’s what we’re all always doing. With the little night-light of the sun casting light on our faces half of the time. Just letting us see a little sliver. Sometimes. When the earth spins us her direction.
And when I get down on myself like…who’s going to want to date a single mom? I realize that really, it really wouldn’t change anything dramatically for anyone. Both parties would typically be busy during the day at work and such, right? And then he’s asleep by 7 or so…sometimes even earlier…so…it only really matters if someone wanted to do something during the day on a day off or a weekend or something…in which case, either Jamie could come with or Jeff could take him for the day like he’s so rabid to. And Will and Victoria are just jumping at the chance to babysit, they absolutely love it. So. It’s really not that overwhelming. People don’t need to spend every minute with each other anyway. People shouldn’t. People need space. I guess the only thing it would effect would be if things got really serious with someone and they wanted to live together and even still, it would effect it…but not as much perhaps, as it seems. And that is all far down the road. It’s really not that bad. He goes to sleep early, he takes multiple 2 hour naps during the day, he can have play dates, he’s got a thousand willing and loving babysitters, he’s got his father, one day he’ll have school, and his own homework, and his own things to do. He’s sweet, he’s little, he’s loving. Mia’s doing it. Millions of people do it. No one’s perfect. Everyone’s got their stuff. No one wants to spend every waking minute with another person anyway. It’s a good buffer actually. And actually, he’s ridiculously fun. A joy.
I’m not sure how, and I’m not sure when, but at some point along the line…patience came to sit in my cupped hands like some old friend I’ve never met. And I can hold this soft glow in my hands and I can feel.
Everything I know is wrong.
Let it be.
And for the record, I’m a grown ass woman and I can handle the truth. I actually can handle the truth. Whatever it may be.
I think a lot of my intentions have been misunderstood.
The only thing I know for certain is that everything is changing.
I think wrinkles are beautiful. I’m embracing this strange experience called ageing. I’m starting to love these tiny little proofs of all my smiles and laughter. These little nuances appearing on all of our faces, all together. We’re all doing it all together. Like everything else we’ve done. Let’s all carry them like badges of honor, shall we? I love watching them grow on people I’ve known for a long time, especially. Like little bits of ourselves are getting tattoed into each other. All of the smiles and worries. All of our stories, etching onto our faces. To prove we’re real. To make us real. We’ve really been doing it, this living thing. We’ve been surviving. We’ve been loving. And we’ve been letting our stories grow out all over our skin.
I feel awesome actually. I’m just giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Trusting the best intentions from people. Seeing the light in all people. Living with no expectations. None. Not needing anything. I don’t need promises. I don’t need relationships. I just need to fly along on love. And that’s enough. That has always been enough.
The fields were entirely covered in frost this morning. Dripping icicle white with something coming.
I’ve fallen madly in love with all my first grade kids. Their beautiful little faces, their ferocity, their vivacity, their swimming little voices, the way they push and pull and dance and stare with wide eyes. They hurt each other, they hold each other’s hands, they apologize, they compliment one another. The little boys they all race across the field with a mission in their mind and a very important fort to be built. They all look so beautiful, all of them.
They gathered up all the frost on the balance beam into a pile and called it snow.
Yue-Chen grabbed Nathan in the middle of Circle Time and started kissing him over and over again on the face. Then at recess the boys were gathered in a big huddle all discussing this and what it means. “She’s in love with you” “You guys are going to get married”. It was all very serious business. The boys talk very seriously about these things. It’s all unbelievably amusing to watch.
The two male alpha dogs of the class used to be best friends, and now one of them has taken to pushing the other one down to become king. And he’s king. Talking wildly with his Russian accent and making sweet, blonde Reaves cry all the time now. It’s wild. How 6 year olds find their footing into these strange paths that humanity walks. Even now, even so young, even so blindly, without even knowing what they’re doing.
And I still miss you. And I still love you. I recognize you. I get you. I hear you. That’s the best you can say, I think.
I know nothing.
I am just a clear ball of wonder just staring at this world.
I don’t really understand what spending money has to do with a relationship. I’ve never understood what going out to dinner, or jewelry, or gifts, or flowers have to do with loving someone. That’s just money. I understand the thought that is involved. But I just can’t stand the idea of people wasting money on me. I don’t know, I’m just the cheapest person ever. It just doesn’t really mean anything.
There is just so much happening right now I can’t really process.
It’s pretty easy to laugh at my 14 year old self. All the things you’re supposed to think and all the things that girls get fed. Girls confuse me, mostly. Being a girl is a confused thing right now. Being a guy is a confused thing right now, too, for that matter. Being humans is sort of bizarre right now.
Being single is pretty bizarre. Nothing feels different at all about being a single mom because I’ve basically been a single mom this entire time. But I don’t really know how to be single in the real world and I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of it. I feel like I never learned the rules and half of the time I don’t even think about the way that my behavior comes off.
I don’t know if my entire life has ever been so up in the air. It’s all pretty bizarre.