Wish me luck
I am going to do what I always wanted to do (give me ideas)
Decembe 16, 2005
It’s almost 1 am. I’m wide awake, hacking up a storm and wondering why my prescription glasses have changed so much in two weeks that I can’t see anything. As with most mysteries, it has a very simple solution -- they are covered with my grimy little fingerprints.
It’s the end of the year, and all kinds of things are happening. My mom will be in the States on Sunday. End of year stuff, holidays (I haven’t started shopping yet, nor do I have Xmas cards) and we may be the proud adopters of a very cute little Pomeranian. In my world, this is exciting -- and a little stressful.
For some time now -- since my 32nd birthday -- I’ve been thinking of this theory I’ve had for as long as I can remember. So, I’ve always thought I wouldn’t live past 32. You can understand why I didn’t exactly jump for joy when my birthday rolled around this year. Actually, I initially forgot it was my 32 birthday. I was commiserating with a friend, whose birthday is close to mine and was turning 30 this year. She was saying how she couldn’t believe that she’s putting her 20s behind her and she wanted to do something really big. I responded that I couldn’t believe I was turning 30 either, how it seems like just yesterday that I was 25, how scary it seemed to me, how I was running out of time and I had to do something.
She listened to me, God bless her, for good 20 minutes as I rambled before she asked, “Aren’t you turning 32 this year?” Ah yes, the bitter taste of harsh reality. Then the panic really started to set in. I had just lost two years to do something and was left with a year of worrying when and how I am going to die. Happy Birthday to me! So during March, and most of April, I was thinking about some of my more endearing personality traits. I know I have lots of them -- otherwise, I’d just be a short, chubby nut.
One of the things that was really bothering me is my habit of saving things. Allow me to demonstrate: For my 10th birthday, I got a lovely Crayola Caddy. It was a multi-tiered tray, with slots for crayons, markers, water paints and little oil paints. I was beautiful, organized and full of potential. For almost two years, I carefully took it out of its box, arranged things just so, watched longingly and packed it all up again -- making sure to never use any of the parts, no matter how tempting. And when the time came for us to move to Iran, I was allowed to pick three toys to take with me. My Caddy was the first thing I chose. And for two years in Iran, I used it as my sole bedroom decoration, all its pretty colors, sitting on top of my book case, out of my brothers’ destructive reach.
One night, my parents had a business dinner planned and we went to spend the night at my grandparents’ home. When I came home the next day, my beautiful, beautiful Caddy was destroyed. The crayons were peeled and broken -- all 48 of them; the markers had been left open and their tips smashed in from obvious abuse; and the lovely paints were all over the carpet -- having left little bloody trails back to the safety of the Caddy...
I couldn’t cry if I wanted to - -there was no air, there was blackness. If I were the fainting type at that age, I would have fainted. When my mom saw me in my bizarre state, she said, “I’m sorry. They brought their kids and they were so bored I thought they could draw a little to keep quiet. They were hellions. Plus, since you never played with the crayons, I figured you wouldn’t care.” For the record, my mom never mistook my hands-off admiration for things as apathy again, so much so that there is currently a shrine of everything I left behind in my former bedroom.
All this babbling though, it’s not about my crayons -- well kind of. It’s about how I wait for that magical moment to experience things, without actually doing anything. That passivity is dangerous. Last spring, I realized I had done with my life as an adult almost the same thing that I had done with my crayons as a child. I watched carefully, and full of joy, waiting for something to happen. I waited for the time to come for me to have adventures; I waited for the time to come for me to travel; I waited for life. And what if this is the end? What if some careless hellion comes and takes it all away, before I’ve had a chance to do, be and live? What if I haven’t learned anything in the past 20 years since the night of the crayon massacre? (Ok, don’t answer that because we both know that I have learned plenty).
So my plan this year has been to start living. I obviously can’t let go of my lifelong habits quickly. But I’m trying. I’m trying to experience life more, do things that I have wanted to, but have put off for ‘some day’. Well some day is here. I’m hoping that I’ve been wrong about other things in my life (even though I’ll never admit to wanting to be wrong). I hope I’m wrong about not living past 32 -- otherwise I’ll have A LOT of catching up to do. And I can’t do it without sleep. So, good night -- or morning. Wish me luck. Give me ideas, I’m open to life these days.