May 5, 2008
I was out early this morning running, or more accurately flailing my limbs and gasping for air. For about 20 seconds I got what it is that people like about running. The sun was shining, may hair was flying behind me in the breeze. In the shadows you couldn’t see that my grey roots are showing and I looked to be about 6ft tall with spindly long legs.
I had borrowed my 7 yr old son’s ipod, because I don’t have one of my own. And as I was making my way back home the R.E.M. song Driver 8 came on. For a moment I was 19 again running along the Charles River.
Only back then I was was carrying a walkman and I would have to stop and flip the cassette over at some point. I would be running home to a crowded apartment where I would likely be handed a cigarette and a beer before I even reached the couch. We were in that weird place of our lives. Not still children, not yet grown -ups, though we often felt we were. We had little real world responsibilities. Our lives were a completely blank canvas and most of my friends had no idea what they wanted to do next week, never mind for the rest of our lives. College majors had not yet even been declared for the first time.
I remember one afternoon my friend Katie and I were talking about what we imagined our lives to be twenty years in the future. You know, when we were old. We reasoned we would both be married and have a kid or two (Turns out I was always an overachiever.) We wondered who our spouses would be. Where would we live, other than next door to each other, of course. What we would be when we grew up– all the way up. Somehow it didn’t seem incongruous to have deep life discussions in between rounds of bouncing a quarter into a glass of warm beer.
I’m not sure what I imagined my life would be like all those twenty years ago. But I don’t think it was this. I couldn’t have imagined the juggling of conference calls, baseball games, or the very idea of email. I had no idea what a crockpot was or that I should buy stock in granola bars and string cheese.
Today I ran up the driveway, the music of my freshman college year playing in my head. I grabbed the baseballs that were laying in the front yard. I paused before I came in the back door to pick up the garbage that the bear had once again strewn all over the yard. I could hear loud laughter inside, punctuated by squealing. I closed the open door on the minivan, saying a small prayer that the battery wouldn’t be dead. I entered the kitchen and was promptly shot by a Nerf gun. A little boy skates by me in the kitchen on his roller blades, his t-shirt proclaiming “I’m Mom’s Favorite,” which at the moment he definitely was not.
This is thirty-nine. This is what I am going to be when I grow up. Nothing like what I imagined.
And yet, it is pretty fucking amazing.
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