Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We Shouldn't, But We Shall

I am going to do that horrible, horrible thing of making myself write a blog today. I have run out of every idea for killing time at work, my boss is gone for the day. What's a gal (with a fake job) to do?!

I'm bored at work, not challenged, not stimulated, and so I often sit myself down and ask myself: self, what do you really want to do? Where do you really want to be? Until very recently, I had my answer down pat. I want to start out entry level at a book publishing firm and work my way up in the editorial team. It's general, but yet specific. I know I want to be FORCED to read with my red pen all day. I want to be inundated with 500-page novels that carry on and on, without a likable character. While I know that that's still what I want to do, I'm left to wonder if that will ever happen (unless I'm willing to pick up and move to NYC). Reality plays a big role in all of this. Dream all you want, dream beautiful, magical dreams and work to make them a reality. But these dreams must fit into the scheme of your life, the capacity of your career, your mind. (Unless of course you're someone annoying who wins the lottery, or gets picked up to be Ronnie's new love interest on Season 2 of The Jersey Shore... I could go on, but I won't.)

You need passion to make it, they say. Along with hard-work, dedication. But aside from all of that, I still ask, what do you really want to do, self? Is it books? I can dive into the books that I WANT to everyday after work, everyday on the weekends. I can print out manuscripts and comb through them on my lunch break. What really matters to me? People.

My love for writing is undeniable, but I can't help but wonder, is it the people I get to (and have gotten to) write about what I love about it? Do I love writing oh-so-much when I'm writing a review of an Outdoor Shooting game for work, or a short piece on the 5 Best Purses for Your iPhone? I don't love it then. I run from it then. I avoid emails from my editor then. I love it when I'm learning who Maggie is as I create her. As I learn she is a recently-deceased but eternally beloved mother of two little girls, an amazingly captivating and passionate wife to a man who is struggling with her death, with the concept of moving on to raise his two little girls without her. That's when I'm enamored with the craft, with the placement of the words, the movement of the language, the image of a daughter's small fingers tracing the veins on her father's wrists. I love the people, the characters, and I don't even need to create them. They're all around: quirky and awkward and loveable yet disgusting and intriguing: John, the director of the Indoor Tanning Association of America; Henrietta Lacks whose "immortal cell line" has served as the foundation of most medical research done over the last 50 years; Hugo, the man arrested in Dupont Circle for jogging naked one Spring morning.

So whether I get where I "want" to be or not, I will make it with people around me to learn about and laugh with. There's no limit to what I can be and where I can go if my biggest expectation is that they'll be people there with interesting stories who need someone to listen and to love them.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More of Life Lately

February 19, 2010...she closed her eyes, gathered herself and floated up into heaven. Here my mom, aunts, sisters and I wore some of her many colorful rings in celebration of a life well-lived, her breathtakingly beautiful life. I find myself missing her everywhere, standing in a crowded bar, someone pushes by me abruptly, coldly, and my mind tricks me. She's still here, it says to me. Just there, down 495 a ways...go see for yourself. But I don't, knowing the voice is wrong. Knowing she's gone for good. And anyway, it's too late, I'm already standing in sun blinding, tears streaming into my watered-down drink.

The weekend of her funeral, all of my sisters (except Eliza) slept under the same if we were once again little girls, crowding into one over-sized bed in her house for some holiday, or some weekend when my mother needed to get away. Herkimer stories and the smell of her books, and nightgowns and fresh flowers lulling us to sleep.

We've been having fun. Relaxing, sleeping a lot. Making mixed drinks for the fun of it. Watching the Oscars and catching up on all the movies we've missed. We are planning for the future. Planning our wedding. Looking for houses. Wanting adventure--a new city?! I feel so confident and happy when we're together...nothing can touch us, hinder us, knock us down. Together we are tough to beat. So proud of how far we've come!

So proud of my bebe girl for getting into grad school at Texas State outside of Austin, Texas. I just wish it wasn't so far away. I am proud beyond words, happy for her beyond words. I know one day I will be begging to be her book tour manager or something, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. Loss has taken on new meaning for me lately. I don't want to lose anything. Not a receipt. Not an old photograph. Especially not my best friend. I'm afraid to. Afraid of the disappearing act. But it's not just fear, it's regret. Guilt. Of time wasted. Of not taking the time to appreciate what you had when it lived right across the living room. I will never get that time back and I have to live with that. As I grown up, I will learn to be content with a friendship held together by trust from years of friendship, hard laughter (even when we wanted to cry) and good old Skype. :)

Me...lately. Stretched thin and anxious, but facing forward, sun on my face, a smile. Looking to the future, trying not to miss everything that whizzes by me: Rye's soccer games, "Fishing trips" with 'Liza, sitting in the sun with my Mom, talking to my sisters, hugging my Dad, holding David's face between my hands, snuggling with my puppy, listening to Cullan play the piano, visiting my grandfathers, writing poetry, hearing about a friend's day, the politics, the tears, the moments, the fights, the jokes, the movies, the sunshine, the sunshine... In, then out. I take deep breaths and say a prayer for the people I love, for the days, the life ahead of me. For the wisdom to take the best path and to stay on it. For the joy to make the best of every situation. For the faith to walk--with purpose--into what is unknown and figure it all out as I go along.