real life

November 24, 2019

I’ve developed a serious mole complex lately. I guess the year of hiding from the sun had caught up with me …I want sunshine again! Now that the winter chill has hit, in a rather abrupt manner, I find myself being drawn towards old habits. When I lived in Afghanistan, I thought of myself as a warmth-and-sunshine-needy soul, so the long months of bitter cold I knew to expect brought fear to my weather-wimpy soul. But, as so often happens, the reality of life turned out remarkably gentle compared to my amped up imaginings. The sun would be brilliant and strong on even the coldest and snowiest of days, so that I would sneak up to the semi-private rooftop of our house, bundle up a half of my body in winter gear so that I could bear leaving the other half exposed, and lay in the sun during my lunch breaks, alternating exposed limbs.
These days my life is far less outwardly exciting. I live in a southeastern countryside, own goats, and clean toilets and lunch tables as my day job.
For the past few weekends, the sun has peeked out beautifully for at least a portion of the precious little bit of daytime that Peter and I have together.
Yesterday we hoped for another nice day but instead we’re greeting with a cold and gray rain when we awoke. So we hid from the rain during the morning hours, resigning ourselves to a lack of a now once-a-week run (so maybe I’m the only one who actually wimped out …Peter boldly braved the treadmill). I intended to run but instead was drawn into a class that I had heard about but been too scared to try. It’s supposed to be a mix of yoga, pilates, and ballet. All three of these are things I want to be good at, and graceful in. But I am not. Turns out, the class was a wonderful experience. The conversation I had with a classmate lifted my spirits more than what I thought I needed could have. I thought I needed a day to be outside. I thought I needed to prove to myself that I could still run, though I fear I’ve just lost it. I thought I needed to be outside, soaking up the vitamin D that my body feels like it’s been craving.
As it turned out, a rainy morning exercise class with a dozen other women was, in fact, exactly what I really did need.
I spend my life clasping onto various ideals of who I am and who I think I should be. Why do I feel the need to do so? Good question. Because more often than not, reality is far better for me than illusions of the same.
I have always wrestled with the embarrassing awareness of my own self-centeredness. When I was a high schooler, I remember commenting to a friend that I didn’t know how to make myself act out of others-interest rather than self-interest. I knew that at the root of most of my actions was little to be proud of. That inner battle remains, a quarter of a century since then.
Many of my words have been a jumbled mess in my brain; this past week has been a frazzled one for me, in which the fear of the future prevents me from enjoying the present. I’ve wished for the ability to release it all from my head, and to put words to paper (or screen, as the case may be), but I’ve been held back by worries of randomness and nonsensical ramblings.
So be it. In the same way that reality is often better than my ideals of what life should be and how I should be, I guess the reality of my own randomness at the moment is better than waiting for some ideal of verbal perfection.
This is it.
This morning I attempted a 2-km sunrise jog. I interrupted myself, however, to take a series of photographs when I noticed the brilliance of the contrast as the sun half-hit the fall-colored treetops. I would stop to take a photo, jog a few steps, and then stop again because I thought I’d gotten to a better vantage point. I did this 10 times. The irony of it all was that the best view appeared when I got back to my own driveway.
This is it.

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