Oops, I Did it Again. Or How Life Circles.

merry-go-round-nahant

Yesterday, I realized that I used to be smarter. You see, I found a letter I’d written to myself last October. It was tucked in a stack of papers on my desk, a pile of things that I want to keep handy, but don’t have a good place for. The letter felt like it had been written by a different person.

In October, less than three months into a new job, I’d had a realization. I had been feeling upset about my role, frustrated with my day-to-day tasks, and sometimes frustrated by structural issues in the organization. But I realized that much of these feelings were coming from things that I’d known about the job (especially the boring day-to-day tasks) before I had accepted it, but I had forgotten that and the reasons that I’d taken the job in the first place. (read more…)

On Money: What’$ It Worth?

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When I was growing up, my family had a tradition of challenging the kids generation to not smoke until they turned 21. If the kid won, she would receive $1,000, and if she lost, she’d receive nothing. When my older cousin turned 21 and collected, she described all of the things she bought to me: a new bed, a weekend trip, a ring, maybe something else too. I would have been eleven at the time, and I marveled at how much fit into a thousand dollars.

I remember describing the family bet to a high school classmate. She was a big pothead and I had assumed that she would tell me that it wasn’t worth it. Better to have fun now. She surprised me by saying, “$1,000?! I would totally not smoke in order to collect a thousand dollars. That’s a good deal.” Apparently this didn’t have much impact on me. At nineteen, I abandoned my cash payout for a joint in Amsterdam after diligently not smoking through all of high school. (read more…)

Meet the Crazies

I’d like to think that I come off as a pretty normal, with-it, together type of person. This is something that’s important to me; it’s how I think of myself.

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In short, I hope that I seem like a warm, likable and very normal person from the outside. Those who know me well, of course, know the truth. (read more…)

Sorry, Baby, I Missed the Memo!

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One by one, my friends are becoming parents. There is a certain logic to this: we are in our early/mid 30’s, and it follows a few years of annually attending more weddings than I can count on one hand. But there is also something quite shocking to me about how universal it seems, like they are all reacting to cues given from off-stage that I cannot hear.

How are they all so coordinated, did I miss the memo? Maybe there was a letter that I should have received on my 30th birthday telling me that I should be preparing for parenthood with a sequence of events: wedding, home, stopping birth control, followed by labor and then 2am feedings. I imagine this memo must have hit a practical tone, with enough inspiration that everyone reading it saw a realistic, but exciting possibility and was eager to start down this prescribed path.

(read more…)

I’m an Adult Child

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My mom has a tendency to do things for me, even though I’ve told her not to, that often drive me crazy.  Every time I visit her, my trip starts out in the same way. I call her, and before I discuss plans,  she asks what I eat for breakfast.

  • Me: Don’t worry about it, Mom. I’ll pick something up when I get there. I probably won’t eat at home much.
  • Mom: Well, I’ll just make sure we have some bagels. No, I forgot. Gluten-free bread!
  • Me: Really Mom, you don’t need to get anything.
  • Mom:  Yogurt?

I agree to yogurt. When I arrive, she insists on leaving me money for anything else I need. I know that providing for me while I’m home again (she still lives in the apartment I grew up in) is her way of expressing her love and affection. And she knows that I won’t use the household money and find the idea infantilizing. But I no longer point this out. I just say, “Thanks Mom,” and kiss her on the cheek. (read more…)