I really relinquished this virtual reality into the realm of Things I Used To Do and Things That No Longer Apply and Oh My Gawd Saturn Return Is Totally Real. Perhaps those things are all very true and this is something I used to do and it will no longer resinate. Still. I got an email. One email. From one person who doesn't know me in "real life" and wondered, quite frankly, where the hell I've been (written more nicely, of course, to solicit a response). With a smile in her subject line, she said she's been reading my blog for three years and I haven't posted for two. She wondered if I've "moved" somewhere else and forgot to supply a forwarding address. As it were. I guess I have. I've been so focused in this alternate reality of food-making and relationship-nurturing that I forgot to go inward and put it outward.
So here it is.
It seems like one of the biggest distinctions between the mid-twenties and early-thirties is that when you're younger, you're more willing to admit to your fuck-ups. Like they're allowed and even indulged because of your (relative) youth and, as a result, more easily forgivable. When we get a bit older, however, we seem to desire and display a more filtered version of everything, as if we should've already learned all pivotal lessons and now our lives are just one idyllic Instagram photo after another: perfect lightning and romantic setting, sipping pink wine and wearing pretty flower crowns. But c'mon. There are so many moments between those posed photos; the ones where the lighting isn't so good and your hair isn't as coifed, when your eyes are swollen from crying for no reason (yes, it still happens) and your day is long with unclaimed hours after weeks of rushing to just check off your checklist. But then clients go out of town and summer nights last really long and you find yourself looking for yourself, again, but now between the crowded space of Over Worked and The Next Indicated Thing. And then. Oh shit. There you are. Still the same person who you were, only maybe with a few more wrinkles or diplomas or an important ring-bling or an unrelenting belly roll from doing the most significant stretch of a woman's life. Then all that excitement subsides. You're no longer the bride or the ingenue or the PhD candidate or the pregnant woman. You're just you. And that's awesome. And terrifying. You realize, despite all the internal growth and external manifestations of success, that there's still more to unpack. Maybe even more so now. And that's just fine.