Sunday, July 10, 2011

In Transition

I've started first sentences on a blog a dozen times in the last month or so. But I always think it sounds trite, or shallow, or too deep, or blah blah. So I delete it, shake my head, and vow to do better tomorrow.  And well, I'm finally bored enough to do it =)

I'm sitting in the train station, with my red suitcase that I got for ten dollars at Goodwill, and ol' Red and I are going to be spending a lot of time together this summer. I'm country-hopping, doing a round of regional meetings for work. Last year, I was more of a fly on the wall, observing. This year, this is all me baby. A day and a half of SJ for these lucky, lucky participants! I'll be performing my tap dance from the northeast all the way to Los Angeles and 3 other places in between. The only thing I'm disappointed about is that none of them are in proximity to Allegra and Angie in the pacific northwest. Bummer. Unless you want to fly the kids to LA, Ang? Field trip!!

I didn't think I'd be making this country-hop again this summer. I thought I'd be in a new job, maybe even a new town, by now.

But here I am, in sweaty sticky Washington in the height of summer and it's my most hated time of year here. Tourists are EVERYWHERE...I live in a very popular tourist destination neighborhood, and I work right by the Capitol, so they're on my commute everyday. I don't mind them, it's simply the crowds. It takes me about another ten minutes at each stop to stand in line behind a group of same-tshirt-wearing clumps of people figure out how to operate the ticket machines. But mostly I just hate it because it's as hot as holy hell, and I hate being hot. I also hate feet, and I hate seeing so many people's feet. I'm such a strange person.

Summertime is also the time of year when everything shitty that can possibly happen to me, does. So...stay tuned I suppose? Everything's okay so far. But you never know.

I met a traveling baseball player for the Cubs in the airport a couple weeks ago. We spent a very fun and memorable few days (read: nights) together, and now he's gone. I don't miss him. It was fun to have a fling, and I really needed the esteem boost of being "picked up" and flirted with and especially by such a cutie. I'm sure he's romancing someone else right now, as we speak, in San Diego or Cleveland, and that's okay. Dating is not a priority for me right now. I'm sitting tight, so to speak, and waiting to see what's next. Keeping my heart here with me for awhile. Keeping it whole just in case something happens this summer to break it.

I spent the 4th of July lounging at my sister's house with the little girls who are quickly becoming kids rather than toddlers. I didn't have to split my time with another family, I made no plans (deliberately) and I spent two fantastic days just lounging in the pool and catching kids as they jumped in the pool. I was again, and almost always am when I have such a good block of time with my family, amazed at how my family dynamics have changed in the last five or so years.

To put it in perspective, this same sister (stepsister, technically) and I are the same age. We were 7 when our parents got married (4 when we met) but had drifted apart after we hit puberty and I quit spending alot of time at my dad's. Through high school and college, she was basically a stranger with whom I shared a sink with every other weekend. We both went to Panama City with our respective friends during our sophomore years of college. We were so distant by that point that I didn't even know she was there. We were in a dark club, music beating through our bodies, and we rounded a corner and came face to face. Stopped and stared for a minute, said hi, and walked away from each other.

If you told me that in ten years, I'd be in the bed with my head on her belly listening for my newest nephew to kick me, I'd think you were crazy. She'd think you were crazy too, if she thought I'd be teaching her daughters to swim in the backyard of her farmhouse where she lives with her high-school sweetheart. She wanted to move to New York City and be a lawyer. She now lives on a farm in Kentucky and is about to have her third kid and is a third-grade teacher. I wanted to be at stay-at-home mother, maybe a librarian, and that was about the extent of my ambitions. I now live in Washington and have an extremely successful career with no children. Our lives/ourselves have completely reversed.

We flipped around, traded futures, and found each other again in the process. Her blond daughters--one of whom bears my middle name--are my practice babies. My teachers in the ways of eventual motherhood, and there are times when I'm riding the four-wheeler around her farm that.....maybe, perhaps, we are living our dreams out...but in each other. Together, with our younger sister, we have the careers, the kids, the urban life, the country life, the married life, the flings, the travel.

Together, I guess you could say we have it all.


Ms. Moon said...

P.C.? You never know what will happen in PC.
What a beautiful post. You are a beautiful, smart, talented woman and it will all be okay. I promise you.

Angie Muresan said...

Darn! I was so hoping to see you, SJ!
I'm happy to hear about your fling, and happy that you're okay that it was just a fling.
We never know what life brings, do we? I wish your life only brings you the best.

TheAbsolutPINK said...

love this post. i, too, am amazed at how your family dynamic has changed as we've grown up - and SUPER happy that it has. That always made me upset.

Hoping Rj and I will make it to DC - but we, too, are thinking of waiting until its not so holy as hell hot to visit! :)

Mel said...

How did I miss commenting on this post? First, I hope your summer of many travels is treating you kindly. I'm sure almost wherever you've been has been too hot.
Second, there's nothing wrong with a fling, especially when it's your idea. A girl needs her fun.
Third, it is ironic, how we end up sometimes. I think that cliche about life is what happens while you're making other plans applies to the switched futures. And I always say never say never, because I was never having kids, and yet, here they are. I am the antithesis of what I thought I would be - I truly expected to be living in the woods in a National Forest somewhere, being a hippie, not masquerading as the suburban mom demographic. Makes me feel pretty misfit sometimes, but this is the path I traveled. Somedays it just gobsmacks me though, with both its unlikeliness and its surprise lovely moments.
Hope you have a great summer. Stay cool. And you made me laugh about the feet, I'll think of that every time I'm in a line now. :)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for all the comments on my blog! I know you're in LA this week and was hoping that we might meet. Feel free to email me: elsophie at gmail dot com.

Mel said...

ps if your travels bring you to the Chicago area, I'd love to meet you too. email on my profile page.

SJ said...

MM - thank you. I just love you.

Angie - we'll meet again!! No way I am not coming back to Portland. I loved it.

Dre--you better :)

Mel--isn't it funny how everything turns out? BTW, I was in Chicago! But it was after I realized you were there. I will be back though, work takes me there too much, so I'll keep you posted.