05 September 2005

A year and some days

"I think you're hiding out here... and I don't think you should."

My cheeks started to burn, suddenly and uncontrollably. She's going to pressure me to find somewhere else to live, I thought to myself apprehensively. The next few things she said put me at ease; she asked me a question somewhere in there as well, but I was unable to answer. To speak would break my concentration on the pork fried rice and let untempered emotion usurp my calm facade.

We'd been talking about generational expectations. In her time, women got education as a contingency plan, in case their husbands got injured and were unable to work. In my time, a great deal more is possible and we are expected to take advantage of it all. The broader notion "Success" has overtaken home life and family raising.

Yes, I do feel the weight of that notion even though I'm not much interested in achieving that sort of success. I expect more from myself because it seems possible. Many things are possible, I'm just unwilling to compromise or settle for most of it.

A year has gone by and nothing significant has changed for me except that I've spent a year somewhere else. Always somewhere else. The next place is where I'll figure things out.

In this place, I have at least learned to identify the following in recent months: vinca, osteospermum, Grandpa Ott (morning glory), Bela Lugosi (daylily), trillium, primrose, hosta, bee balm, coreopsis, violet, petunia, coxcomb, verbena, impatien, polka dot, and sweet potato vine. Of course, I might not recognize them all in other settings. That's the real trick.

And still, I hide out. From myself mostly. But it doesn't feel like hiding because there's not much I want.

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