Me and my niece Kalaya (left); FB babies (right)
Many of my friends now have children.
This realization hit me recently while scrolling through Facebook avoiding whatever was my present situation. Reality arrived anyway. There were too many cooing, crawling, picture-drawing, costume-wearing small people for this dateless, broke gal to comfortably appreciate.
What’s more, many of these posts appeared to be captured inside real-life houses. You know, with multiple floors, an eat-in kitchen and a garage.
This week I returned from 30 days of volunteering at a meditation retreat in the Rockies.
At times it felt that my heart was replaced by an insatiable hole.
I imagined packing my bags and leaving not long after I arrived.
This was not the blissful, om shanti, cucumber water, chenille-robe getaway that people seem to imagine with the words, “meditation retreat.” It was a kick-your-ass, look-at-your-shit, wanna-be-anywhere-else marathon.
I’ve found myself swirling my pen into hearts and curlicues, lately. Lingering a little longer at the end of gatherings when a certain someone is there. The mural must have worked some unexpected magic, its heart’s rays more potent than I imagined for one has pierced me in a cobwebbed place—a place I have not visited since perhaps when I twirled out in a green cheerleader skirt to kiss Terry Glover, the star basketball player, amid hoots from the 9th grade student body. This was a time when Kelsey Glover was written on the rubber soles of my floral Chuck Taylors to be secretly enjoyed until worn away with time. But I am not 14 anymore.
A mural taped to my kitchen floor is distracting me today.
It’s unfinished and will remain so until the eve of my birthday celebration when party attendees will add the finishing touches: messages of love, peace, prosperity and gratitude.
At dusk, we’ll parade through our neighborhood—the streets where Oakland and Berkeley tangle together—and tape our artwork to some to-be-determined neglected façade. There it will hang radiant and glorious until its more than likely rapid demise.
One section will be left blank for passersby to add their own messages of good will and inspiration.
I will be 34 on Oct. 1st.
My life is not what I thought it would be at the age of 34.
I do not have a thriving career,
home, garden or dog.
I do not come home in the evenings to a husband,
boyfriend or promising fling with whom I weigh weekend plans.
My space is shared with Twentysometings,
quarters are needed to do laundry.
Whimsical tissue-paper flowers in 20 different shades decorate our hall.
Walking to the bathroom feels like a celebration.
I’m a Nissan Datsun 280Z—silly showy, sturdy, fun and entirely impractical. My age shows in rust and archaic dials but this does not slow my zeal to go, try and do. I’m 34 going on 22.