Friday, January 20, 2006

Girl Friday

Today I got up at the first sound of the alarm. Normally I would burrow deep under the sheets and whimper in protest of an unjust world that expects me to get up at 7 every morning. But today I bounded up, turned off the alarm and ran into the bathroom. Once there I stayed for a few minutes staring at myself in the mirror. If I was still with my boyfriend he would come in around this time, see me standing there smiling at my reflection and start splashing me with cold water. I’d squeal, laugh and try to grab his hands away from the faucet. Not a bad way to start the day.

On the drive to work I reflect. I love my morning commute. A few months ago when my office decided to move to another building away from the city I was disappointed. My commute went up from 10 minutes to 35 minutes one way. That’s 50 lost minutes a day. But then after I had grumpily got into my car, looked over the directions one last time, started driving and suddenly seen the mountains appear in front of me I knew I was going to love it. It gives me time to think about all the things we don’t have time to think during our busy days.

These days I read “Bridget Jones Diary” and “The Devil Wears Prada.” I don’t read “The Keys of the Kingdom” or “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” anymore. Those books have some weird kind of power over me. They have the ability to make me sleepwalk through life for days afterwards. I smile on cue, laugh at jokes, eat, drink, sleep, go to movies and parties. But it all seems distant. Sharp, clear, in focus yet far away. There is another world, a vague, shadowy, elusive world that whispers to me. Intoxicating, enticing, confusing, alluring, magical. A world where passions endure and adventures nourish both the body and the mind.

Sometimes I just want to pack up and go. Feed the orphans in India, climb Mount Everest. Lie on the beaches of the Riviera and kiss on the streets of Paris. Ride an elephant in Thailand. Go scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef. Gamble away a fortune in Reno. Paint one great picture. Write a short story.

Some of these I have done and would like to do again. Some I haven’t.

I think, this can’t be my destiny. Work, home, watch a movie, dine out. Work, home, watch a movie, dine out. I know I am extremely fortunate. I have the life that a lot of people want. A nice car, a roof over my head, a salary that will hit six figures this year. People who love me. But I want more. A different kind of more. I feel like a butterfly trapped in a caterpillar’s existence.

Then I remember retirement, aging parents with no savings. A brother still in school. Dreams recede and pragmatism takes its place. Besides, I like my life. I like my work too. I have had my ups and downs, good years and bad, but that’s par for the course. Life isn’t meant to be devoid of misery or adversity. It is those experiences that make us stronger. I have been more fortunate than most so what am I complaining about?

The caterpillar chews on a blade of grass.


Blogger beefdrop said...

Wow, its all too familiar. Wanting more, but then accepting reality.
To some extent, I believe thats what makes religion so alluring, looking for and maybe finding that bit of the unknown.
I enjoy your internal reflections. Thank you.

1/20/2006 12:30 PM  

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