I would apologize for being gone so long again except we all sort of knew it would happen. It’s time we came to an understanding: I’m not the sort of person who can reliably shit out a clever blog post every single week. I’m much more the sort of person who writes when inspiration hits me, and it just hasn’t hit me in awhile, because not unlike like jury summons, I seem to be getting more than my fair share lately. So here’s the quick version of the past five months:
- Corinne graduated from high school and went to college (using my tuition remission benefit -damn her and her practical ways!). Those of you with kids in high school, do not for a minute underestimate the amount of effort (or expense) that goes into the time between the first day of senior year and when you are blubbering incoherently on college move-in day. It’s difficult and weird and sort of wonderful in a way I can’t really entirely convey. I’m proud of her, though -she’s launched, and she’s doing wonderfully. I laugh every single week about something she’s experiencing at school, and I love that she still comes to me when she’s not sure about things. I also love that 40% of my brain is no longer consumed with thoughts like where is she? When is she coming home? Will she remember to give me any kind of notice when she’s on her way? What do I have the energy to cook tonight that includes vegetables? How come ever time I walk in the door at Whole Foods she texts me that she’s on her way home? Oh, two more for dinner? Empty nesting: I miss her, but it’s actually pretty nice sometimes.
- Corinne and I went to Mexico for a graduation adventure. It was one hell of an adventure. I might try to write about it, but I’m not sure I could. It was amazing and beautiful and exciting and delicious and terrifying and I will NEVER FUCKING EVER drive a car in a foreign country again. If you take nothing else from this post, take that driving in Mexico is an absolutely horrible idea. Don’t do it. The coach bus system there is awesome. Use it.
- Cancer. Jesus Fucking Christ, cancer. You turn 40 and suddenly it’s everywhere. A couple of my friends have it. My therapist’s wife is dying from it. One of my oldest friends went from “something hurts” at the beginning of July to dead at the beginning of August. I was honored to be there when he passed, but I’m still recovering. There are people in the world that you don’t need to see often, but their very existence somehow keeps things spinning rightly along, and when they’re gone, there’s a wobble that knocks you off your feet sometimes. But I have his toaster now, which is weirdly comforting. And he left me a blank book, because clearly I don’t have enough of those…. But I know him, and I know what that book means. It means, “stop making excuses and fucking write already!” And so I am. He was the first person to make me believe that I might have something to say in a way that is uniquely mine and might somehow be needed in the world. If I write for a public audience, it’s because of Keith.
- I re-enrolled for a second bachelors degree, because it’s nearly free as part of my benefits in bureaucratic hell. We don’t have the major I want, though, which is okay because I wouldn’t be ready to graduate in four years taking 2 classes per semester anyway (and you better believe that the ink will barely dry on Corinne’s diploma before I’m packing up and leaving NJ for good). I’m taking all the math & general science prerequisites and then transferring out to finish up a BS in Geology. But I had to pick a major, so…I went with Physics. Which is admittedly weird, if you know me, because I sort of don’t math. But I also don’t really want to spend the rest of my life as a secretary with a history degree who writes for free in her spare time (because frankly that’s a shitty retirement plan for both me AND Jim). If there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that you can do pretty much whatever you decide to put in the effort to do. If I want to get good at upper level mathematics, I just have to practice. And I will, because I need to get my ass OUT of the office world. Why Geology. Well honestly it was the only thing I could find at the center of the Venn diagram:
So yeah. Math is my new frenemy. Also I’m really sorry I just resurrected that word. I take it back. I will learn love math, but it’s an arranged marriage and it’s going to take some time.
- Also I may have joined a belly dance troupe and committed to actual dancing in actual public.
Anyway, mostly the urge to write hasn’t been as strong as the urge to hide. There have been some good moments, mostly in the comments of Facebook posts, where for some reason I’m at my cleverest. Probably because it takes two seconds to blurt out whatever crossed my mind and then everyone forgets about it. But it’s harder to write about months of sad and trying and changes, and how incredibly hard your brain has to work to accommodate so much change in a short time. But I’m doing it anyway. Because really, a lot of delightfully absurd things have happened over the past few months, and I should remember to share them.