Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reservations for (the) One

"You ARE??" My mother said to me on the phone last night. I could imagine the expression on her face; mouth loose, eyes widened by surprise. I cracked a smile as I gazed into the mirror at my own reflection.

"Yes." I confirmed, pleased with my own certainty.

I had just told my mother, quite casually that I had figured out in a mere two and a half months exactly what I wanted to do with my life. "I really just want to teach kids, and have some babies. I know for sure that I'm ready to settle down." Was what I told her that sent her into a state of disbelief.

"I noticed it about myself a while ago," I continued. "When I was looking for a job, I was usually in such a good mood. I liked being able to have dinner ready for D when he got home." A grin spread across my face as I recalled the sound of D's keys at the door, him entering with a bottle of wine in his arms and trekking across the living room to give me a kiss. It made me content to be there in a state of domestic bliss.

My mother was probably faking most of her shock. I had a habit of making drastic changes and announcements to my family. I was that girl. The one who couldn't decide what she wanted to do or be, but was very determined to make it something incredible. Deciding to be a teacher and a mother wasn't grandiose. It won't make me famous, or important out side of my own walls. But I had realized that it was all I really wanted to do, and nothing in life (I've learned) is more important than being pleased with what your doing with your time.

Sure I was still fairly young. 24 isn't "right out of high school" and it's not "damn near 30" either. But my years on this earth have been long and tiring. I'm not naive and I've lived through my share of drama. I knew all along all I needed was a few minutes in time-out. A little bit of a shock to wake me up. When I used to run sprints my strategy was always the same. Start out strong and slow, and then let my speed shoot out like a bullet before I hit the finish line. When the pressure is right there in my face and it's do or die. Now with no one to really lean on, or turn to I'm leaning on myself. Like I used to. It feels good to know that I'm ok because I made me ok, not because someone else did. True, there is a hole in my heart that can't be filled by me. But I like to think of it more as a table that's reserved, not empty.