In many ways, my life resembles the little girl dreams I had for myself. I am married to a man I adore (though trust me,sometimes I fucking hate him) and we have a gaggle of healthy kids with big personalities. There's drama, excitement, love, laughter and passion. And that's before breakfast. We have enough money that anything somewhat reasonable is within our reach (the occasional Prada bag; no ponies) and even some unreasonable things (the occasional Prada bag, unlimited pony rides).
We live in my childhood fantasy place-- New York City. And I know how to do things like pick out a fine Brie or give directions to tourists.
But don't misunderstand. Even though I always wanted these things for myself, none do I take for granted. And in fact, none feel altogether natural. That is, there is always a part of myself sitting on my shoulder saying, how 'bout that? You know how to pick out cheese. Way to go girlfriend. You did it.
But there is one character trait I never imagined I'd master. In fact, it wasn't even in my realm of aspiration, and frankly, I am somewhat stunned that it seems to be sticking around a while. You see at first, I thought it was fleeting. Like when I was a teenager and borrowed a friend's stonewashed jeans. I looked cool for the sixteen hours I wore them that weekend, but alas, I had to give them back and go home and attempt geometry homework.
But this. This has become me, and I doubt anyone from my whole life would've ever thunk it.
And it is this: I can spend many hours completely self contained and alone. And not even New York City kind of alone where you're surrounded by people and constant stimulation. I mean alone-alone. The kind where you're in a house, in (what feels like to me)the middle of no activity. The TV stays off and except for every third hour or so, so does the music. As described in yesterday's post, there is some talking to myself, but that's as much for entertainment as anything else.
What I do do during all this alone time and silence is-- create. Starting several years ago (four? five?) I began to paint in earnest. And a bit after that ... write. This drive to make art (easy now naysayer bitches who trashed my work in the Times comment section)has changed me. I am completely immersed. Entirely self sufficient. To borrow a cliche', the experience feeds my soul.
And finding this part of myself and having the privilege and ability to pursue it ... for this I am grateful.
And more than a little surprised.