Do you keep a journal? I am a journaling extremist, typically picking it up only when times are exceptionally good or bad. In the end, I treasure each and every time I’ve written a part of our lives down, no matter how awful or embarrassing it might have seemed at the moment. Time really does heal wounds, doesn’t it?
I have kept a journal since I was nine years old, back when posts began with “Dear Diary” and included such intense moments in my life as when a friend stole a piece of gum from my drawer or when that boy told me I walked like a horse (p.s. I do, only less gracefully). I picked up the writing habit from my dad, only I didn’t know it at the time. I used to be angry with myself when I went “too long” without writing and made resolutions to write more often. I’ve somehow learned over the years to put aside the guilt I’ve felt over not picking up my journal or feeling like I don’t have enough time. Sometimes I write 20 times in a month, and other times I go a year without writing at all. Some posts are five pages long and others are only a few sentences.
Regardless of frequency in journaling, for the majority of my life, a pad has been my constant bedside table companion and weathers all life storms with me. My hope chest is full of these mismatched chronicles, be they pink, suede, water-ringed, or the old 10-cent composition notebooks. I just sat down to begin a new planner notebook and came across the post I wrote at the beginning of my last book, which has become something of a tradition to do. Written almost exactly two years ago, it is a bird’s eye view of my life at that moment in time: a pregnant, DC power mom. I chuckled to see how I’ve somehow managed to step backwards into the life I wanted all along. Who knew?
Here’s a snippet of that journal entry, dated June 17, 2010:
I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a building on my way to a meeting on Capitol Hill today and suddenly realized why a family of tourists must have been staring at me: 6.5 months pregnant, dressed head to toe in all black (dress, tights, ballet flats, and giant Jackie-O glasses), hair pulled into a bun, headphones in and iPod on. I’m a local!
Somehow this thought simultaneously both pleases and frightens me. To think that I’ve become a Washingtonian is a comfort finally after living here for five years (minus my six-month journey to the UK), but I am also worried about becoming ‘too’ local. Will I turn into one of those harsh business women who scream “Walk on the left!” at unsuspecting happy tourists on Metro escalators? Is DC like NYC, such that the old adage of “Live in NYC once but leave before it makes you hard” is true?
Nate is interviewing for a job that he considers his dream job, and on the one hand I’m happy for him and proud of him that he’s found what he wants to do, but the job is in Boston so I’m conflicted. I always thought that when/if we left DC, it would be to move to a place with a slower pace of life, preferably also closer to home.
While I’ve heard wonderful things about Boston, both as a place to visit and live, I’m not sure about the timing. I’m going to have our second baby in August, and I work at a company I love for the first time ever. It will be tough for me to leave my job, plus the comfort of a place I can finally call home–where we have a nice little house and plenty of good friends.
Still, I suppose it’s nice to have choices–some people feel stuck where they are and wouldn’t begin to know how to move to a new place. If there’s anything Nate and I are experts in, it’s moving!! And the good thing about the career path I’ve chosen is that public health is done everywhere in the world. I’ve also been considering nursing school for some time, and a move might give me the impetus I need to take some time out of my career.
Ain’t life grand?