Archive for September, 2010

To live.
September 18, 2010

Hello late twenties.

Tuesday ushered you in, along with an inside panic alarm.

Today I received yet another wonderful present in the mail from another wonderful best friend, a book that I cracked open as soon as I pulled the FedEx envelope apart.

The rumblings and innermumblings of this third-of-the-way-through crisis jumped up a notch and shouted “ME TOO!” when I read these words today…

“I have always, essentially, been waiting.  Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have.  In my head, I was always one step away.”

Dearest readers…swing some chicken wire between us and don a collar, because I’ve got a confession to make.
I am twenty-seven and…well…sweat on my brow…tug at my sleeve…shift my gaze…gulp
I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Many times I’ve bemoaned to friends that I wish my childhood daydreams had danced around being a dentist.
Because you go to college…dental school…open a practice.  Boom.  You’re  a dentist.

But what do you do when the trajectory isn’t so clear?

What do you do when you want to do it all?

I want to swallow all of life in one gulp.
I want to find the job that tightly squeezes all of my talents and dreams and hopes into forty or so hours a week… I want my passions to come with a paycheck…and health insurance…and vacation days…(not that I’d need them.)

And I have no idea where to start.

Sending another baby brother off to school in the city of angels has broken my heart in more ways than one.
I ache cause he’s out of hugging distance, but also because the swirl of words that come through the phone or the laptop lens let me know that I made the wrong choice.

The $100,000 to crack books open in Ohio wasn’t right.  But it is what happened.  I was so lost, and really hurting… and crossing the state line sometimes was all it took to lunge me into a kind of inexplicable darkness.

I wish I would’ve studied design or photography at Parsons,  or creative writing at NYU, or dance performance or music somethingorother or well…a million other things at a million other places.

But I didn’t.

And now, while I’m living and working and maybe sometimes sort of writing if I have a few moments of energy… it’s not enough, and I’m dying on the vine.

I need a life that wakes me up in the morning.  I need a life that’s more than involuntary lung inflation, and worrying about every penny, and trying not to get sick because I couldn’t afford to get better, and falling asleep in a flat second because I’m worn out… or trying to fall asleep in a flat second so that I don’t spend the night thinking about what the next day won’t hold… and who won’t hold me.

One of my mentors told me that he didn’t ‘get it’ till he was 25.  I held on to those words every one of the 365 days of 2 years ago…and last year…hoping my 25 would echo his 25…or maybe my 26 would…and now fingers are crossed that it’ll be my 27.

But here’s what I can tell you.
There are good things about this life… I just.want.more.
And either that’s called greed and it’ll ruin my life with grandiose unmet expectations or that’s called hoping and it will run me into another two-thirds that build a life that finally makes sense…that finally will take the hills of these daydreamy puzzle pieces and marry them to the dips of the pieces that are my gifts and abilites.

I can tell you one thing… I have to start somewhere.

And maybe that’s just putting out into the universe in black & white some of the aches from my insides.  Maybe it’s jotting down the most ridiculous and the silliest and the scariest, hoping that the push to make those words reality will make it all less ridiculous, less silly, and less scary.

I want to dance on stage again. In sequins. And sky-high Louboutins.

I want to style for the J.Crew catalogue and have a photo filled office next to Jenna Lyons.

I want to live in a Manhattan brownstone in the village.

I want to see Paris and Capri and Scotland and Greece from behind my Clubmasters.

I want to own and run a creative think tank with my brothers that provides the answers and solutions to any creative need.  SNL sketch need rewritten? Band’s new album cover need restyled? Lyrics need rerhymed? Hotel suites need redesigned? Greeting cards need redone? We got this.  I want us to have hammocks in our offices and take tri-annual “inspiration trips”… I want to have a ten-minute mid-day dance party with the phones off, and welcome guests with a candy buffet & a huge hug.

I want to sway to Ray LaMontagne in a dress that sweeps past my feet, and awkwardly cry in the back of a darkened bar while Patty Griffin blows the roof off.

I want to sit in a Nashville diner close to sunrise singing and writing and penning words that will turn hearts.

I want to walk in a room and be the pretty girl.

I want to be able to gift those in need lavishly.

I want to choose the soundtrack. To match the emotion of the moment of a television show or movie to the music.

I want to design bouquets that steal the photo.

I want to design weddings and events that steal your breath away.

I want to have the copper pots and pans and the built in shelves and the watercolored cherry and grassblade mural adorned kitchen that wraps around me as I cook for my loves.

I want to have a recurring column in Relevant magazine.

I want to write books… I want to publish what I’m working on, the children’s series “Francie Frenchbraid & Popover Pigtail”… the fiction-esque novel, “Tricked.  An almost-memoir.  1/3 true. 1/3 hope. 1/3 fear.” … and the non-fiction book “An Unwilling Gypsy.”

I want to offer a screenwriter the ideas that are taking up shelf after shelf of my brain.

I want to take pilates and yoga.

I want to fall madly, deeply, amazingly in love with the one God’s designed for me since I was a thought.

I want to be a wife.

I want to bring my mis-matched kids home.

I want to own the “Edge” stemware from Crate & Barrel.

I want to perform… stand-up…improv…live…on screen…wherever…however… I just want to crack open.

I want to feel the rush of a strong New York city autumn breeze stretch out my long red curls.

I want to work with a ministry focused on purity and it’s purpose… and to travel and speak to those that need a fresh perspective on why it’s worth fighting for.

I want to have coffee, and maybe more, with Donald Miller.

I want coffee to not make me sick, and I want to start ordering cinnamon cappuccinos by the venti.

I want to talk photo with Angelica Glass.

I want to talk lyrics with Sara Groves.

I want to be the kind of person that doesn’t adore the snooze button.

I want to enjoy running.

I want to work alongside of international adoption agencies, and help bring other mismatched kids home to their families.

I want to get to know the God that commandeers my soul.  But not as a grandpa in the sky or a genie in a lamp, but as the Love…Comforter…Physician…Answerer…Warrior…Creator…Refuge that He really is.  I want to have the faith I envy in others…like Bob…and Emily…and Jeff & Inge Cook.

I want to change the world.


…and I doubt I’m the only one.

What if we could swallow life whole? In one big gulp?

What if we really could do it all?
What if we didn’t wait?


Mehopes as I blow out 27 candles, the wisps of smoke hold the crack of a starting pistol.
It’s time to live.