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.
My best friend Kristie is an Isuzu Sidekick—jaunty, prepared and hungry to get dirty. She also likes to go, but up, up, up, preferably on an untrodden trail. The path of least resistance is not in her guidebook.
The Sidekick came from Utah to visit me this week.
My map of must-do activities included: make friendship bracelets, dance, read poetry, share heart longings, eat delicious things, lie down after eating delicious things.
Kristie added to this list: hike among Redwoods, visit Melissa Joy Manning Boutique to look for a wedding ring.
On top of King’s Peak, the highest peak in Utah which she climbed last month, my friend with whom I’ve more or less walked in step with since we were 17 became engaged. Her betrothed I’m told does a shockingly accurate tarot reading when inebriated which naturally gives him my stamp of approval.
I was looking forward to the occasion of this ring hunt as it’s something I’ve never had the occasion of doing.
In the Boutique while I promptly fell in love with and tried on (unbeknownst to me) the most expensive things there, Kristie approached choosing her forever accessory with much thoughtfulness. Pictures were taken from many angles. Rings were slipped on once, twice, thrice and once more in front of a full-length mirror—which, you should know, changes EVERYTHING.
I tried on an engagement ring but immediately took it off as a wild animal might shake from a collar. It’s weight on my normally free ring finger represented a finality I’ve yet to comes to terms with.
Between the trying on, photos, oohing and ahhing, before I had a chance to recognize, came the slow creeping unmistakably green-ooze that so often trails the shared giggles of best friends—jealousy.
It was not for want of a ring or beaux, stable income or backyard tomato plants but something else entirely—to be seen in my youthful, fun-loving, impractical existence and still determined a good “forever” option. Who would make that bet? And, would I accept such a foolhardy human?
I don’t know. But I do know that I too am ready to be engaged, not “to,” but “with,” my impractical, anachronistic existence.
Right here, right now, you are my witness.
I engage myself to the:
Periwinkle trimmed house on Oregon street.
Drooping, hanging, spikey living things that greet me on my morning walks along with imagined images of Brontosauri and Pterodactyl.
Evenings with my books, chocolate and not waiting or wanting for anything more.
Popcorn binges sprinkled with reality TV.
Wednesday dance classes where jumping, gyrating, sweating and yipping are encouraged.
Hugging the curves of life with full awareness that the unknown is right around the corner.