Sometimes, I wonder how I got to this place. This job, this city, this moment. This family. This house. These clothes, these friends, these neighbors and these beliefs.
When did I start becoming offended by certain words? Was I not always offended by them?
When did I grow up?
Am I grown up now?
It’s not like the life I live is much different from the life I’d imagined.
But, it’s not the life I’d imagined, either.
When I was six, I wanted to be a lawyer, and told my dad. He thought that was great. After all, his father knew what he wanted to do at a young age as well.
I wasn’t planning on being any lawyer though. No, I was planning on being the next Clarence Darrow, Attorney for the Damned, defending the wrongfully accused! I’d be bringing justice to the people! Fairness matters, you know.
Of course, I’d bring in modern things that we didn’t understand back in the 70’s and 80’s.
I told my dad all about how I wasn’t going to get married until I was older and had an established career. God forbid I become too much of a mom. We all know how that part went. I was re-born (not in that way) and quit my job four minutes after my son was born.
“You need to start thinking about college,” my parents said. “If you want to go to Boulder…” I interrupted them. I had to do so twice, because I had the same conversation with each of them in different houses and in different moments. By then, they didn’t share the bedroom at the end of the hallway.
They had different partners and different days with me and my brothers.
17-year-olds have a lot to be angsty and pissy about and I’d been riding on the separate houses thing for four years.
“I. Am. Not. Going. To. Boulder.” I said. “I’m going to California. Away from you people.” Arms crossed, ½ shirt flaring, teenage dickiness bouncing and flashing around the room finally landing safely back in my pocket where it once was cool to keep a comb.
“Fine. But if you want to go to a state school…”
“I KNOW!” I said. “I know that Boulder is as good as all the state schools in California, and your rule is stupid.”
Months went by. Friends were being accepted into programs while I buried my head in the Colorado dirt. Or tried to. Colorado dirt is hard, man.
I ended up taking a trip to visit a private women’s college (“A women’s college without boys, not a girl’s school without men” or something like it was their motto). All I cared about was getting out of the house and out of the state and away from them.
I went there. Had amazing experiences including inviting vampires in New Orleans to drink my blood. For real.
It’s embarrassing now to remember the weekend I turned 30, and how we hid out in our apartment. “I don’t want a party. I should have been somebody more important or worthwhile or something better than me by now,” I said. “Let’s just stay here. You can bring me take-out when we get hungry.” My ex agreed, and that’s what we did. The shades were drawn from the world, take-out containers, beer bottles and cigarette butts littered the trashcan.
I didn’t come here easily, although in hindsight, I’m easily here. In this life. Or, maybe, I’m here more easily than I used to be.
At times, it feels as if my son were born a month ago. And yet, his tall six-soon-to-be-seven-year-old-body is almost shoulder-height today. When he was born, I was worried about splatting his baby watermelon head. Today, I worry about him breaking his neck because he’s obsessed with flips and parkour, neither of which he does well.
Just now, I told my son goodnight, and he told me that he needs a dreamcatcher. I raced upstairs, thinking I had one in a box under my bed (with other hidden treasures from youth) and didn’t find it. Instead, I found a glass bottle from when I was six and in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
The bottle is full of gold flakes. He knows the power of gold (Minecraft). We went to his room, and set it in front of a photo of the two of us when he was three days old. “This is better than a dreamcatcher,” I said.
He looked at it. “Why?” he asked
“Because this holds the six-year-olds of both of us,” I said.
He gave me his silly little grin, and said goodnight. I’ve got no illusions that I won’t be in his room in 20 minutes once I publish this for Finish the Sentence Friday, but I felt good about walking back downstairs tonight.
The voices in the bathroom wall are quiet as well.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “How I grew up to be the one I am now…”
Hosts: Me (Kristi of Finding Ninee)
and sentence-thinker-upper Upasna Sethi of Life Through My Bioscope