Monthly Archives: September 2012

missed goodbyes

Sometimes it feels like the only innocence we ever talk about losing is the childish type. But I think if we’re lucky, there’s innocence to be lost all the way into adulthood. And then some.
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Summer of ’95: The Boo Radleys released Wake Up and I was twenty-one and had just graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in linguistics. I didn’t really know what one did with a degree in linguistics, so I moved back home to the San Francisco Bay Area to live with my parents. Then adultish things happened; I moved out, met a boy and got a job in the city answering phones for Pottery Barn. Life trundled forward, and somewhere along the way, as I adjusted to a 9-to-5 routine and learned to navigate the dating world outside of a school setting, it hit me: I had no idea what the future might hold, but certain doors were already closed.
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In other words, I was never going to be an astronaut.
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Now, I never actually wanted to be an astronaut. Not in any serious way, or I might have taken a science class or two while I was in college. But for whatever reason, this career choice had always been my symbol of possibility, of potential. And the sudden realization that choices I’d already made meant this possibility really wasn’t an option anymore, well, it kind of rocked of my twenty-something world.
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That same sad sort of acceptance was how I felt this past weekend when my mother wrote to tell me that the giant birch tree my parents had planted in their front yard the year they adopted me had been cut down. It wasn’t a total surprise. I knew the tree was going to be removed. My parents are in the process of renovating their home to accommodate my father’s wheelchair. But I guess I thought I’d have a chance to say goodbye. Take a picture. Something. 
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But like I wasn’t able to wave goodbye to the space shuttle Endeavour, that beautiful symbol of potential realized, as it took its final victory lap through the skies last Friday, I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my birch tree, either. It’s simply gone.
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Still, with the sad there’s the good. Seventeen years later, I finally know what I want to do with my linguistics degree. And that boy? He hasn’t gone anywhere. We’re celebrating our thirteenth wedding anniversary today.
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So perhaps on the other side of innocence isn’t bitterness. Maybe there’s just…life.
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all about space

IMG_0581I love seeing other people’s writing spaces.

I love to see them, I think, because inevitably I envy those spaces. There’s something magical about the rustic backyard retreat with the pellet stove and garden views. The unfinished attic with its dormers and dust and bare wood charm. The private office lined floor to ceiling with books and clutter and other evidence of serious work.

My writing, however, doesn’t occur anywhere even close to magical. Or serious. With three kids and a small house, my writing happens in the morning, standing at the kitchen counter with a bowl of Cheerios in hand. Or curled on a couch with children puppy-piled around me watching Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars. This isn’t so unusual. People write where they need to: whether in dorm rooms or Starbucks or while daydreaming in class.

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the offending blue pillow.

This weekend, however, my sweet husband helped forge this tiny writing space for me in our bedroom. The chair is my favorite part, although he loathes the blue pillow for reasons known only to him.

No, there’s not a lot to it–the space, that is–but hey, it’s mine.

And that makes me happy.