Remember the sound of dial-up modems? That familiar sound of a digital dial, loud staticky racket, pingy noises and mysterious clanging? That’s where I am tonight. Dialing up. Patiently waiting with my fingertips hovering above the mouse and keyboard…waiting to reconnect.
I have no plan, really. But do we ever?
As I walk back into this virtual world, I know I don’t want to be the same person I was. I don’t want to be defined easily…because I am not defined easily.
This evening, as I prepared a strata for the morning, I noticed a mole on my right hand. A tiny little brown spot, probably more aptly named a freckle than a mole. I’ve never noticed it before. Is this a new discovery or a new addition, I pondered.
I have a white birthmark on the inside of my left thigh. It’s oblong and a little smaller than my thumb. It used to be much more pronounced than it is now. Conversely, the small gathering of white splotchy birthmarks on my chest, is more pronounced in my adult years than it ever was in my youth. One of the larger white spots looks like a sea star with a pale caramel-colored freckle right in the middle of it.
My eyes are ambiguous. Some say they’re blue. Some say gray. A few have even called them green. My pupils are large and deep. The whites of my eyes are much less white than they used to be…these damn non-allergies have pinkened them up substantially over the past few years.
I’ve been told I look like Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields, Kelly Preston, my mother – despite the fact that she is blonde, and my grandmother on my father’s side. I don’t see the resemblances at all, except perhaps if I squint really hard. To me, I look like me.
I try hard and fail daily. I don’t know what my life will look like in twenty years, or ten, or five, or even a few months from now. I know today. I know the feel of these keys beneath my fingers and the stinging in my tired eyes. I know last night I drank red wine and sang Miley Cyrus into a hairbrush as I danced in the bathroom while my daughters bathed. I know I will sleep alone in my bed tonight, with two beloved doggies to keep me warm. I know tomorrow I will hit snooze more than I care to admit, bake a strata, change my clothes at least three times before making up my mind (and that’s an underestimate), rush out the door late again, and welcome my students into our room with a song or a cheerful “bonjour”. Throughout the day, I will crack my whip and sprinkle sugar as needed. I will look forward to kissing my BigGirl in the lobby and welcome the feel of my soft, cool sheets as I set my alarm with good intentions for an early rise, knowing quite well that odds are stacked against that. Tomorrow again, I will try hard and fail plenty.
It’s going to be OK, though. I’m going to be OK. I’m tweaking and growing and working and thinking and pushing and reflecting everyday. Every single day.
And I like who I’m becoming….
Ready or not, here I come.