Saturday, July 18, 2009

As much as I like to pride myself in being unique and strong-willed, the truth is I'm really malleable. A piece of silly putty in a cheap plastic egg. I know this because of vacations I've taken.

When I leave New York, I decide I hate it. Wherever I am, Silver Lake or Vermont, I decide I've stumbled upon the life I should be living, the life I'm too afraid to reach out and grab. God, I think, what have I been doing with the last years of my youth?

But how can that be true? How can I be meant to live in a bungalow in the Los Angeles hills and hike in the desert and be part of a freer, lighter existence, light as the bright dry air there, and also be meant to birth babies in the Vermont mountains and take up yoga and own a canoe? The contradictions don't diminish my conviction when I'm there, however.

When I come home, back to New York, I feel glum. It's so dirty, and frenetic, and old, and stuffy, and stressful, and tiring, how long can I hump groceries home on swollen feet that ache from walking up and down, up and down stairs in heels, all over the city, all day? How long can I go without smelling grass and leaves?

And then I stay put for a few weeks. Back to work and my emails and my bed that's too small for both Billy and me, and my cats who greet me at the door when I come home, and all my little objects that I've carefully collected and to which I'm so attached, and I forget.

I don't really want kids, I think, and LA is so far away... There are other things to do and worry about, and I forget. Will I never leave? Will I stay until life ('Life') intervenes and I'm forced to change course? Is that unevolved, lazy, cowardly? Is it fine?

I should admit right here that when I worked at a small telecommunications firm briefly, two years ago, I started to think I wanted breast implants because so many of the women there had them.

I mean, seriously.