Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wanderlust and Pixie Dust

When I see a girl with two full arms of tattoos, I occasionally get a feeling not unlike wanderlust. The pull of being somewhere, something, and someone else. 

Often I think about the path my life is on, and how I ended up here. Please don't misunderstand, I really like where I am. Looking back at all the stupid, irresponsible and dangerous things I've done seeking a thrill, it's a small miracle I've ended up in such a stable place. 

Last night as I was leaving the grocery store at 9, my glamourous Friday evening coming to a close, the clouds overhead were low and fluffy-puffy swollen. The sky was edging towards darkness, glimmers of pink and orange and blue fading in the west.  I nearly stopped as I pushed my loaded cart across the steaming parking lot and asked aloud, "Is this all a dream? Is this really my life?" Always I figured this is where I'd end up, but actually arriving at this point in my life is a bit more surreal than I'd thought it would be.

Lately I've been a bit of a voyeur, clicking through vacation and jet-setting pictures on the FB. I have one friend who seemingly lives a life of leisure, partying and traveling with zero cares. It stuns me every time. Really? And how did this become your life?

Just as much as I look around me and wonder how this is mine. Mother of two beautiful boys and one beautiful dead girl. Me? This is my reality? Grocery shopping on Friday night, playground playdates and zoo trips sprinkled throughout the week, peanut butter and jelly lunches and two-man baths each night. It's mine. 

I'll sometimes wish for a little magic, a chance to pop out of my life, briefly. To travel without a thought for who's at home, for dinner at midnight, for tattoos on both arms, for an ashram, for something other than ordinary. 

We all know how that math goes, though: if I'd chosen that path so long ago, I wouldn't be here. And I so very much like it here. 


  1. Beautiful words. I feel that way often. Is this really my life right now? Pushing my live daughter down the street on her bike while simultaneously thinking about my dead daughter scattered in a lonely river in the woods. Even still, I like it here too. And I think I'll grow to like it even more as the months and years tick on.


  2. I really like where I am too. Although, at times, it is hard to believe that it is mine. It seems as though I blinked, my life changed and I'm still trying to catch up.
    I loved your description of reflecting whilst pushing the loaded grocery cart along, that seems to be a time for reflection for me too!

  3. I can so relate. I remember feeling this as early as the day of Hope's funeral. Sitting there, front row, crying and clutching the pink quilt she was wrapped in at the hospital, the funeral director said something about "the parents" and I thought, she's talking about our parents. Then I realised, she was talking about us. Hope's parents. I thought to myself "how did I get here and how is this my life?" Just two years earlier, we were off on the trip of a lifetime all around Europe and the UK, eating and drinking ourselves silly.
    And like your moment with the trolley, I often still have those sort of moments myself.
    How did we all get here? I love it here, but some days I still can't believe it.

  4. I don't know if it's the arrival on the downward slope towards 40 or just the better understanding of fate and possibility after R but, I mull this stuff over constantly.

    Thank you for this post. You've captured this feeling perfectly.

  5. God, yes, exactly this. I often have moments where I look around, say at my son's urn on the dresser or his memory book on the shelf, and think to myself the same thing. Really? This is my life now? But then I look around again and see my amazing husband and feel my daughter move inside of me and think. This is my life, I am so, so fortunate.

    Thank you for this. Beautiful.

  6. so bautifully written as always mary...perhaps a trip to paris?

  7. Your words perfectly capture how I'm feeling today.