at the old cafe

Friday, August 14, 2015

Today I drove out south of the city for a meeting about a potential wedding venue. I drove back a different way, avoiding the clogged highways. I ended up on Barbur Blvd, a street I used to catch the bus on when I lived on Grover St.

Now I'm sitting at this tiny little cafe, Ross Island Grocery, which was the first coffee place that ever felt like mine, back when I could walk here in the mornings from my first apartment.

As I was driving today behind a bus, I remembered this bus driver who drove the 20 up Burnside, the 7:20 am bus that I always took to be early to class. He was the nicest bus driver in the entire world, seriously, he was so nice that even when I felt like sleeping in and catching the 7:45 bus, I drug myself out of bed because I knew it would cheer up my whole day to get on his bus. One time I wrote him a note saying as much, and he told me that it almost made him want to stay on that route but he had to leave to spend more time with his family.

I hadn't thought about that in a long time, and it made me realize how many tiny stories I'm not ever going to remember. There are so many little moments like that that make up who I am, but they're all buried so deep that it's hard to dig them out. Eventually they'll just be buried there and I won't be trying to dig them out, and I'll just be building my identity on the hard earth of forgotten stories.

life will be full, now

Monday, August 3, 2015

I guess I thought that when I got older I would stop feeling like I was growing out of my own skin. That I would feel like I was just growing into myself. But here I am again, 24, and I'm sitting in the wreckage of my apartment and shedding my shell, and trying to process all the changes.

They are big changes, big events, good things, and hard things. It's all real here, there's no more make believe, I'll never be carrying that briefcase at 24 like I thought I would when I was a teenager. I don't have it all together.

I actually feel like my life is growing too fast for me to even come to terms with. Things are good. I'm getting married, and we're moving (hence the wreck of an apartment) and we put on a very successful show, and I am totally surrounded by people who are so so good to me. I have a space to make work, I have a job I enjoy (though I come home with dirt under my fingernails and sans briefcase.) I go to sleep every night with Steele wrapped around me. But still I hover, suspended in time, and try to comprehend all of these things. I still hesitate with my fingers above the keys trying to find the words for them—how do I put such joy into words? But even more than that—how do I let myself fully take hold of this life.

Let me explain—I am so used to laying in bed and dreaming and looking into mirrors and trying to tell myself what to see, and writing and writing, and photographing myself again and again, all just to believe I'm a part of my own life. All to write my own story. And now I'm here, and the past few months have been so full and chaotic and just so much like a river running toward the sea. I began to feel like I was just along for the ride in my own life.

I don't know if I want to feel like that. But more so—I don't know how not to. We keep our heads above water and we steal all of the quiet moments we can, but I just don't have those days to lay around aimlessly, and I never will again. Life will be full, now.

It's funny, during that period of aimlessness and so much contemplation, I was trying to build a full life. That's what I wanted. Now I have it. And I'm so lucky, so very lucky that it also feels weak to admit that I'm still adjusting, still figuring out what the endless expanse of my life stretched out in front of me will be like. And always grieving the past, because I'm a creature rooted in past. But there are no things to be sorrowful now, and I only have to learn to hold my life in my hand and be happy for the weight.