I start typing, and then go back and delete my sentence, trying to figure out where to begin. I haven't written in almost a year and I'm a little rusty. But I have so much to say in my heart and it's been building up, so I try and try again to get it out. I don't want to overflow.
I've been deep in my head lately. Thinking about big life stuff, and trying to look for a theme or a thread to make sense of it all. I think that's why people are drawn to God or spirituality or whatever it is that floats your particular boat- we want all of this to make sense. To have purpose and meaning. To matter. It's easy to feel lost. That's why I write, to help it all make sense.
I'm scared that the best of times have already passed me by. I'm scared when I see under my eyes are getting tissue paper crinkly, and my actual eyeballs themselves don't work as well when reading things close up. When did the text on directions and instructions get so small?! What the heck- aging is so weird. I mean- technically, if we are alive we are always aging- but this is next level. It kind of feels like you are slowly disintegrating. (All the 60 and 70 year olds are laughing at me saying, "Just wait!") Is it vanity that bothers me, or my mortality? I don't know. Probably both, I think, but I'm not always the most reliable narrator. I tend to feel things so deeply that sometimes they magnify.
We just returned from a weekend trip to Hermosa Beach,California: Population 20,000 packed into1.43 miles of space. Somehow it still feels so open and roomy. Big enough to stretch my arms out to breathe. Nostalgia is a constant companion when I travel to places I used to live.
We packed up our condo, and moved when Grey was just a bitty thing figuring out the world, while I desperately figured out how to mom (still working on that, I'll let you know if I figure it out). Parker didn't even exist.
And now, Greyson just turned 13, and Parker is 11. I stare at them, astounded by limbs that lengthen overnight. Hands that lost their familiar dimples years ago. Tiny chicklet teeth replaced by humongous big people ones. Still madly in love with them, what a ride. Are the very best years of my life gone? I wonder. That question I don't have an answer to.
In Hermosa, I spent time with a dear old friend, precious quality time with a pal that left my life and has been replaced with 100 different versions of me. I am the friend. A friend I speak much too harshly to at times: a friend I love dearly. A friend I forget to love dearly over and over again. I would wake up early and walk down to the beach alone, grabbing a Starbucks before 7am. Ocean and people watching in awe. I love morning Hermosa. The only people awake are old people, dog people, and athletic people. Check, check, check. The energy is healing and intimate. I stare hard trying to soak it all in.
It feels like home. I immerse myself in memories and feelings and air that feels like a comfortable hug. I stare at the Ocean in awe, its sounds and vibrations clearing the stacked up clutter from my brain.
"This is my happy place", captions everyone at the beach and it always makes me laugh. Uh, DUH. I'd say that's true for 98% of people. Just once I want to see someone take a picture with a bunch of dumpsters, amongst the funk and smell and taste of garbage and claim it to be their happy place. In the hospital awaiting test results saying,"This is my happy place". Because it’s just too easy to be happy at the beach but the true test of mastery, is how well you can seek happiness amongst the chaos and pain that real life often holds. I'm trying to love the in between times, the unexpected hard places, and even my wrinkled skin and faltering eye balls.
|My happy place, stinky dumpsters by Hermosa Pier
Some scenes from the weekend...
|Grey's happy ice cream dance
|Grey preferred getting in ankle deep, and drawing in the sand
Sometimes all of life just feels so boring and complicated and hard. But sometimes I have moments where I think, "Aren't we so damn lucky to be alive?"
Today I sit with a homesickness in my heart for Hermosa, and gratitude for where we live now. Easing back into real life. I learn more every year. And every year I also learn just how much I really don’t know. There's still a lot of living to do, for every single one of us.