I’m sitting in a chic cocktail bar… the hipster kind with reclaimed wood and reclaimed beverages. Hundred year old recipes, some with a modern twist, are being created, like liquid alchemy, by a handsome english fellow. Many of them are being consumed by myself and my friend.
Shortly into our evening I admit my age… 38… and my friend protests the fact most vehemently. It’s not possible, it’s unimaginable. It simply cannot be true. It is, and I’m flattered at her disbelief.
Some time after, I admit to an ongoing liason with a man ten years my junior…
“You are my inspiration!” my friend exclaims. “You don’t look or act or feel anywhere near 38, you have a lover a decade younger. You have a joy and a feeling of youth about you.”
And for a few minutes I feel… it’s the truth.
None of this is by way of braggadocio. As a matter of fact, as the holidays and and the new year will do to you, I’ve been feeling fairly down. It was, as always, a mixed year for work. Some great steps and some heavy setbacks. Romantically I’ve taken a few hits, but cleared a few old haunts. Family… well, family will always be family, but I’m learning to cope.
But what was shocking… comforting… was that while I was hating myself most, feeling the dark creeping in again… someone was looking to me as an inspiration
It reminded me that I chose this life, this reality. That I’m mostly happy with my existence and sometimes blissfully ecstatic. It reminds me that there are two sides to every comparison. When I’m comparing myself to others and feeling somehow I come up short, others compare themselves to me and see me as a paragon. I’ve been called a mentor, a rebel, a trailblazer. Mostly I just feel like I’m winging it. But when I think of the things I really enjoy; a good cocktail, netflix marathons, wandering where I want when I want… there is an air of independence and freedom that surrounds my life. As with all good things I occasionally think that there is too much… A person can get lost in their own lack of structure. The very absence of limits can be… limiting.
I sometimes shop online for dogs. I wonder what it would be like to have a partner with whom I need to match schedules before making plans with friends. I’ve got an idea what it’s like to have kids, their activities and routines and mercurial personalities to consider. (I have two nieces I love… and love to give back when I need a break.)
Maybe I’m more suited to a fish.
But I will admit sometimes wondering which fork will change my pattern, when or if a moments whim will alter what I know as my life. I view this imaginary glitch in my trajectory with a mix of anticipation and dread. It could be glorious or it could be a disaster.
But then, the grass IS always geener on the other side… Until you realize you like the grass you’ve had all along.