Adventures In… ch.37
September 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
Being Where I Am Supposed To Be.
I am a couple years away from thirty. And somehow that makes me feel like I should spend most of my time cooking, as if turning thirty will make me not want to be social or experience new things. I hear people say stuff like, “Well, you can do that because you’re still young,” or “When I was your age I could…” I have been told that metabolisms stop, the ability to stay up past 9pm is gone, and my body will randomly ache once I turn thirty.
I refuse to assume that such negative things will happen(however significant the scientific evidence may be), but in heeding the warning of those “old” people, I might as well enjoy the next couple of years like they are my last (as pessimistic elders have implied).
Recently I spent some time in a quaint little town where life flowed rather differently than I was accustomed. I was not in a foreign land but rather in my hometown. There I found myself in a small church with yellow glass windows surrounded by people a few years younger than me. They sat with their spouses and ran after their children, and despite what people may have assumed I was not at all jealous or longing for that sort of life. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful and I felt honored to get to sit and watch such glorious community filled with young couples, young families, and young life. However, it reminded me of how far away I live.
I sit here on the other side of the U.S. feeling like I am on the opposite side of the world from that small town. While being a young mom was always on my list, the opportunity seemed to have passed when I found myself celebrating my 25th birthday alone as my estranged spouse loaded up our big screen T.V. into a white van and headed south. Maybe it was hard at first, but by the time I reached the dance floor of that Chicago west-side club some weeks later, I knew that life wasn’t going to get boring in the absence of my imagined little family.
Last night while I sat in the midst of friends, friends that are the complete opposite of that small town community I observed, I knew that at nearly 27 my little life still felt anything but boring or lonely. The music played loudly balancing between classic movie soundtracks and the-best-of-2010 dance club hits. People laughed and talked and a pencil periodically flew from one side of the room to the other. No one was married, or with babies, and I am almost certain that apart from the recent pairing of two very beautiful individuals, that everyone was single.
I like to have balance, to experience community in all its different types and forms and places. In both settings I was the same person, the same laugh, the same affection, and the same sense of humor. But in one setting I felt out of place and unprepared. In one group I felt like an observer, in the other group I felt understood.
In that second community experience we could barely sit still, some of us well overdue haircuts, most of us barefoot, and all of us amused by a certain song. And that certain song took me back to a certain club in Chicago where I realized life was about to get interesting. It wasn’t long after that song and that moment with friends that I said my goodbyes and drove home. It wasn’t long after walking in my front door that I turned that song on and closed my eyes. There in that 2 minutes and 52 seconds came together a lot of different pieces from the last couple of years, and I felt my age, I felt like me.
At nearly 27, it feels quite perfect to be cooking dinner for my sister. It feels just right to be living in California, not knowing what will happen come August. I anticipate the people I will meet, the community I will get to take part in, and all of the places I will debate moving to next.
That song is still playing on repeat; the greatness of my journey, the complexity of who I am and all I want to do rising with each beat. I am not over-thinking or rushing, I am simply listening. And with all certainty can say this is just the way it’s supposed to be.