the thing is, of course, those of you who know me know that my epiphanies and reinventions of myself come, shall we say, more than once in a blue moon. i probably have one of these stunning (at least to me) realizations a couple of times a year. did this one feel different? of course it did. does each new one feel different? of course it does. so i don't blame you for not believing this.
thing is, it's been a month and a half, and it's sticking. i've done some amazingly adult things. i did my taxes before valentine's day. i hosted a party. my car broke, and i handled that whole situation with a surprising amount of aplomb. i've been going to sleep earlier. are these things most people do? yeah, they are -- but they're simple decent-at-life things that i have historically failed at, in no year more strikingly than 2008, which was a very, very rough mental year.
2009 so far has been excellent. it's amazing -- all of a sudden, i feel like i'm locked in. i haven't seen the specter of depression anywhere, not really. i'm going to work every day (again, a totally normal adult thing to do), i'm responsible (more or less), i'm making good decisions. i feel very emotionally safe.
it's an interesting way to feel. there's certainly a tradeoff. the other day i was hanging out with my friend abby, and we were done with dinner and trying to figure out what to do next. i remarked that the past me was always bursting with impractical ideas -- that it probably would have suggested we go to sacramento for no good reason. and that she probably would have called me crazy. and she more or less agreed -- and abby is not someone who you would say doesn't know how to have fun.
thing is, some of those impractical ideas have led to the most awesome relationships and friendships of my life. meghan and i became friends several years ago when we just kind of went to the beach at 4 pm and stayed up talking until 10 in the morning (this is not an exaggeration.) in fact, previously, when i was in sacramento, i whisked a girl off to the state capitol for no good reason; we walked around and talked and i found two months of love before it flamed out spectacularly (thanks in no small part to my then-childishness.)
so the question becomes how to manage spontaneity into the adult life. mostly the question, i guess, is how to find love. i've always thought of love as a sparky thing, the sort of thing that you can't schedule or blueprint or timetable. that if it's going to work out a wing and a prayer and a state capitol or a rainy brooklyn bridge or a pitch-dark high energy physics lab which someone happens to have a key to is how it's going to work out.
as amazing as it seems, for me the hopeless romantic, love has been on the backburner even dating to before the adult thing. it's a rare situation in my life; i guess you could argue that the first adult decision i made was that i wasn't ready to start dating again, that a) i wanted to work on myself first, and b) i needed some consolidation time, drama-free. i know that i choose people who are firebrands; i know that this is probably not my optimal type (judging by, let's say, people similar to me who have found happiness), and i guess i've been trying to hit the override button that some higher-level homunculus has access to.
and, i mean, it's been working -- as strange as it may seem to talk about not dating as "working." i've studiously avoided almost all situations where i might fall for someone. and yet tonight, i was surfing through imdb and wikipedia, trying to figure out which movies are coming out that i might want to see, and i clicked on a link. the link was for nick and norah's infinite playlist, a movie i saw a few months ago -- an excellent movie.
and it brought back memories. because the evening depicted in the movie -- a semi-directed jaunt around new york city -- is an only slightly more implausible version of my life. or rather, of the best moments of my life. and that's when i realized that in some sense, there is no hope for me. i like being in love. i miss being in love.
now, don't get me wrong. i still think i'm an adult now -- if i weren't, this realization would have started a few weeks of depression instead of a couple of hours of pensiveness, the way it did when i rediscovered my true self after trying to play the adult several years ago. and i think swinging the pendulum too far to the adult side isn't an awful thing; this is the side that i need to work on. but the spontaneity, the possibilities of newness, i have to admit that i miss them. i hope i remember how to do this.
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