I am home, alone, slightly under the weather, sitting between two twitching dog dreamers, self-satisfied with myself and this solitary Sunday’s slightly melancholy pull. I don’t know when I crossed the line from youthful-ish to the August of middle age (the necessity of reading glasses, the shock at realizing my birth year is almost as long ago as the Summer of Love, and that the Summer of Love happened 51 years ago). The ride across the age meridian was turbulent, but I made it. Yes, I made it through the disbelief and discontent of the early and mid-forties and, with the support of my family, created a different professional persona.
I keep that persona and whoever it is I am in this space separate, for a variety of reasons, preferring to be a woman of mystery to the people in my professional life. There I am also someone of little to no past. I am an unlined page, a screen to be projected upon. And, to be honest, lately I have been feeling like my past has been well-digested and incorporated somehow into this person currently typing on the couch in this sunlit room, a dog to the left, a dog the right, three cats within eyeshot, and a husband and son currently slipping their paddles into the saline waters of Tomales Bay.
My job? I love it. My current setup, which allows for independence as well as research and writing (perhaps eventually of the paid variety) fits me well. I am, at the moment, a lucky person. After posting this I will return to reading the book about how to treat adolescents who self harm. I will fold the next load of laundry, water the plants in the backyard, start thinking about dinner. Most of it is mundane and kind of beautiful in its simplicity. I hope that recognizing it, making it solid in public words, doesn’t somehow cause the blocks to come tumbling around me. If that should happen, well, it would give me something else to write about, though I would probably write about it differently than I would have five years ago.
It’s still a bit unfamiliar, this sort of contentment, this emotional calm. Perhaps the persona and the person are joining forces, teaming up to be used as a space to be filled and refilled with the feelings and thoughts of other people, keeping my own thoughts and feelings quietly under the radar.