You Brightened the Day

by

“I just wanted to mention that, Carmen,” he said as he dropped me off at my house tonight, “I almost forgot, but that flower in your hair really brought something tropical with it, you really brightened up the day.”

Here to be of service.

Wearing my flowers in my hair.

I had actually done it on purpose.

It was a deluge this morning, down pour, raining cats and dogs, sloughing out of the sky like it was never going to stop.

I am wearing pink.

I am thinking spring.

I am going to glitter a little bit.

Well, I always glitter a little bit, can’t be helped.

And I brought out my heart-shaped umbrella and was a cheerful girl today.

A happy girl today.

I was told more than once to have fun and while I don’t know that sitting a reading a book for two hours while drinking tea is anyone else’s idea of fun, it is a rich indulgence that I rarely get.

Rare too, that I allow myself the treat.

Today the rain excused it.

I didn’t run out and go grocery shopping–until a bit later this evening when I made my way up to Noe Valley–I did not go on a bike ride down by the sea.  I did go to my weekly meet up in the Inner Sunset at 7th and Irving and get some perspective.

I need perspective.

Often.

And I mean a change of perspective, hearing someone else frame for me what is happening in my life is a valuable thing.

Sometimes I wonder how I ever managed to do anything before.

Life was hard and complicated and it didn’t make sense and I could never figure it out.

Not that I can figure it out now, I make no claim to that, but that I don’t suffer those wild bouts of anxiety about being able to figure it out.  I am so much more serene and getting to share that with others, whether it’s brightening up the day with a pink rose drenched in glitter, or with a smile, it’s nice to know I can.

Now I am at that point in my life where I need to also see what kind of wants I have.

Much of my life I have just done the getting by thing, the struggling thing, which I have often confused with living an honorable life.

That there is something off-color about making money or pursuing goals and desires.

I had been given a suggestion to write down ten things that I want to do and I did not hear it that way, I heard, write down ten things I like to do.

That was easy:

1. Swimming

2. Playing pinball

3. Dancing

4. Reading magazines in cafes

5. Taking photographs

6. Going to museums

7. Going to art supply stores

8. Watching movies

9. Going to bookstores

10. Beach bonfires

This suggestion had been given to me when I had made a panicked outreach phone call when I suddenly had some spare time on my hands and did not know what to do.

Or so I thought.

What I did not hear, what I had to re-hear today, changing the perspective, is make a list of ten things you want to do.

Oh.

Well.

Shit.

And shoot the moon.

Ack.

Ok.

I have sort of done this before, but here goes:

1. Go to Hawaii.

I mean Christ, I am part Polynesian, it’s about time I went, having never gone it would be awesome to see some part of my family history

2. Go camping at Yosemite

Never been, time to go.

3. See the Grand Canyon.

Ditto.

4.Own a Jeep Wrangler.

Preferably a Sport 4.0 Lifted

5. Drive said Jeep to Alaska during the height of the Northern Lights

6. Take the train all the way across the United States

7. Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

8. This one got me, I just about yelped when I wrote it down, travel with my boyfriend.

I mean, I did not say where or how or when or what, just that I wanted to travel with a boyfriend.  I have never travelled with another person, I have done the vast majority with a few exceptions, on my own.

I want to share the experience with another person.

9. Go on safari in Africa.

Something about seeing the grasslands and the wild animals, the coffee plantations, I have just always wanted that.  I blame Isaac Dinesen and Out of Africa completely.

10. Got to Australia and New Zealand

I have no idea why, but this has kept popping up in my head a lot lately.  Australia and more Australia.  Something wild and exotic about it has been calling my name.

That’s a lot of travel in the ten things I want to do.

I like experiences.

I like things too, don’t get me wrong, but experience is where it’s at for me.

I did not write I want to own a house, though I do.

I did not write I want to get married, although sometimes I do.

I did not write I want to have children, although I sometimes do.

I did not write I want to get my MFA in Creative Writing at the Iowa’s Writers Workshop or at Columbia or Berkeley or get the Stegner Fellowship at Stanford.

Although I have often thought about those things as well.

I frequently think about doing more travel.

That seems a constant.

I feel my life expanding, exploding, blossoming, like the giant pink rose I wore in my hair tonight, bright and glittery and eye-catching and full.

I am feeling a kind of sweet joy and happiness for the follow through of doing things and taking actions that though I still need prompting to do, I am finding easier and easier to walk towards.

And through.

“You just have to go through to get through,” I told her tonight as she wiped the tears off her face.  “It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, it’s going to be long and slow,” I continued, “that’s just how it is with us.”

Or at least with me.

But this slow, long winding path, this journey I choose to brighten even when it rains and squalls and it is grey, I know I can walk through, get through, and do it wearing flowers in my hair only makes the journey that much lovelier.

Richer.

Brighter.

And yes.

Glittery.

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