I strive to live as normal a life as possible. Normal's not the right word, but it's my idea of normal that I'm aiming for, so it's the word I use in lieu of arguing semantics.
There's something in me that is deeply disturbed by my life prior to May 2003. In that life I had no idea what was going on. It could probably be argued I wasn't even a real person. I ached for happiness, I inwardly died for adventure and mischievous chaos. Every minute spent awake past 2AM doing something besides reading a book was monumental. Ice cream for dinner was an act of daring that I flaunted like it was a competition in the X Games. I remember fake-smoking Swisher Sweets, my hands shaking at how bad I was. I was pretending to smoke a wannabe cigar, how devious.
I look back at her, clueless me, and I wish I could stab myself in the face. Give myself a few scars, get my bar fight signoff for my life JQR. That girl who avoided any and all pain, but who would lose weeks of sleep over anyone in the hopes that there was a possibility that they cared about her. The girl who took pictures of her bruised knees because she couldn't remember the last time she had been so physically injured. How fantastically lame she was. No wonder the only people I've found who went to college with me lost touch with me the second I walked out the door. I wish I could have lost my number and address, too.
I'm a little proud of some seriously bizarre things. I have no gall bladder. I have titanium plates connecting my upper jaw to my skull. I've broken a finger. I have stories about me in other countries. The past me would have died, absolutely keeled over at the prospect of a needle. The past me would have moped about how her parents always said they were going to a place and then never followed through, instead of being proactive and booking a whole trip for herself. Past me would faint to know that I married a man who's been in a bar fight.
I'm also a little proud that our furniture matches, as do our plates and utensils. I don't want my home decorating theme to be 20th Century Garage Sale Find. I have some jewelry from Tiffany's, I have a purse that's so insanely expensive that the thought of something happening to it makes me physically ill. On Saturday mornings we get up and go out for Breakfast Bagels, do the crossword puzzle, plan our day. My socks match. Each other.
Essentially, I'm proud because I'm living my life the way I want and then some. I don't know why I am so currently sad about losing touch with certain people. The fact that people have fallen out of my life does not make me special or unique. Not the way heterochromia, a super-ethnic last name, and a story about finding a Chinese man late one night in Athens do. Possibly because I want to apologize to those people for putting up with the past me, who had so little about her that was special that she swooned at the idea of going to a movie with friends because it was all just so normal.
For James Vance, and his family
2 months ago