today is my twenty seventh birthday. i fancied doing a nice little list of things i have learned, but thinking up 27, that feels forced. here’s something i wrote last week, about something, just one thing, i am learning right now.
i’m sitting here and i’m struck by the thought that this is good.
right now, the dishwasher is buzzing, there is a pie in the oven, i’ve cleaned (most of) the flour off of me and off of my pathetic eighteen inches of counterspace. the sheets are off the bed, waiting for fresh ones, the dog is plopped in the bedroom doorway. he is playing games. i’ve got things to do but i’m not feeling the lead bib of overwhelm and anxiety that usually comes with my all of the time to do list.
i spoke recently of how i’m excited for fall, the greenmarket, hot chai, boots. and i have this terrible habit of creating these twee precious little moments in my head, moments that i am dead convinced everyone else is having all of the time (because i can tell these things, of course, by looking at you. i am the magic wonder that has a laser beam insight directly into your brain). and i get to the place that i’ve created, the circumstances i’ve orchestrated so that just now, for this one second or thirty or sixty if i am lucky, i will feel perfect and everything will be wonderful. i will finally be like everybody else, with my moments.
and it never happens. ever. i get to my moments and i’m inevitably let down because the dog is whining or the bouncer is grumpy or what i’m eating is not the mouthgasm i expected it to be or i have cramps or something. it’s always something. and you’re going to say, dominique, you are being negative and you just need to have some perspective. surely you’re having a good time. surely you can’t be so consumed by these small things that go awry.
and i say, firstly, that perspective is valuable but i think it’s become a kind of panacea to assist us in the pursuit of never feeling anything and never being real actual humans made of flesh. we are meant to feel an entire spectrum, and using perspective as a reason to be happy in every moment is stupid. but i then say that you’ve got a point. because perhaps if i were not so stricken with the idea of creating these sparkling moments of joy, if i did not build up that expectation in my head, i would just enjoy what’s around me, and i would be so very happy when i stumbled upon one of these moments. because that is all, really, you can ever expect.
nothing is ever perfect. nothing, anywhere, in the world, is ever what i would term perfect. we are complex miracles and the world we’ve been given and the world we’ve built are intertwined systems of wonder, but nothing, nowhere, is perfect. we are shadow and light working in harmony, always.
so this is good, right now, and later might be not so good, or it might be better, or it might absolutely suck. but regardless of that, this, right here, is good. it’s not a moment i’ve built or created – it just happened.
i have a couple of birthday plans this weekend, mostly small things with the bouncer, but things we will enjoy. and i am very purposefully not creating any moments in my head. they will happen as they will, and they will be so lovely when they do.