This morning I woke up, a little earlier than normal for me on a Monday morning, to the WHYY spring fund drive playing on my bedside radio. I quickly hit snooze and tried to reclaim the last moments of the dream I had been having before the alarm had interrupted. It was no good, the dream was gone. I reluctantly rolled over, made my bed and stumbled towards the shower, feeling a groggy and slightly sad, almost as if I’d misplaced something special or valuable. I stood under the shower head, rubbing my new grapefruit scented shampoo around my head, absently noting how long my hair has gotten, when I realized the source of this abstract disappointment.
It was a sort of mourning for the weekend that I had just had. Not because anything bad had happened, but instead because it had been so good. I had entered the weekend Friday night without many plans, and it had evolved, perfect and so completely friend and fun filled, that I could have never intentionally planned it to be so. Saturday Ingrid and I went to the zoo, wandered around looking at both animals and people. We ate hot dogs while sitting on a bench, and talked as we always talk, about the future and the past and the very moment we are in. The zoo always makes me a little sad (especially the monkeys, with their faces that look so human in their expressions and the elephants, with their eyes so dark and seemingly full of the understanding of pain), and yet, it was too beautiful to be sad for long on Saturday. That evening I met friends for dinner at the Jamaican Jerk Hut, and we ordered in shifts, slowly picking from the plates and bowls in the middle of the table. The evening ended up with beer and ice cream in Jen’s kitchen, such a comfortable and friendly kitchen that I could live there for the rest of my live and be totally content.
Ingrid spent the night on Saturday, and we woke up slowly on Sunday morning (it was the last time she’ll sleep over before she moves back to Texas). It was the day of the Broad Street Run, and I was deeply grateful I wasn’t running it this year. We met Cindy for bagels and coffee at Mugshots, and sat around for two hours, eating and talking. A stop at Whole Foods on the way home had us formulating a plan for dinner in Cindy’s backyard that included roasted veggies, goat cheese, bread and grilled chicken legs (Seth’s contribution).
It was unhurried and pleasant and comfortable. The entire weekend left me feeling wildly grateful for the friends I have and the life I lead. I recently spent some time playing the what if game. What if I had never moved to Philadelphia? What would my life be like? In other, sadder times, I’ve indulged the what if, but in this most recent round, I quickly muzzled it as soon at it started to nudge at my brain, so thoroughly do I appreciate the life I lead. Of course, it will all change soon. Friends are leaving, I’m trying to get my act together to go to grad school and I’m looking for a new roommate. But right now, I have this existence, and it is enough.
re: What If game.
Having made the choice to come to Philly is an integral pat of who you are – the choice IS you.
If you happened not to make that one, you would have made a parallel one that would have given you as many blessings because that’s who you are. Everything you’ve written is that you’ll take risky options that appeal to you, but still sensibly and not just for the sake of taking them. And when you take a risk that doesn’t pan out (which it sounds like the current job is), you learn from it but still do not hide from risks.
It sounds like for the choices you’ve made, there are few you’d unmake and you tend to find value even in the ones you might.