One year ago I was pouting and complaining and whining that I couldn't be in Europe. Every day I thought back to what we were doing exactly one year ago. "Oneyears ago on this date we were here. We did this. We saw this." Over and over again. It was exhausting and I made myself miserable with my strict schedule of vacation remembrance.
Today I've thought a little about Europe and missed our time there, but mostly I've been too busy and happy even think about that. I don't need Europe to be happy. I feel so content and at peace with my life and the decisions that we have made lately. It is an incredible thing to be completely happy with your life in its simplicity. No beautiful home, no fancy cars, no lavish vacations. But so happy.
This is partly thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer. I read the post below about the little moments in life and felt so overwhelmed with gratitude. Jenn admitted to me in an email that she thought her writing might be "too gritty" for my audience, but I disagree. She might have a bit of an edge and a bit of sass, but at the bottom of it all, Jennifer is a fantastic writer who expresses her thoughts beautifully. This post that she wrote had me beside myself with gratitude and peace, and I am so excited to share it with you.
The more I read these comments, these wishes, the more I thought of how we sometimes long to go back and fix something in our past. I've been guilty of this myself. My head's not always right. It likes to twist things around. And when that happens, all I can think is that I should've done so many things differently.
But really, what I'd rather do is go back and relive a moment that was good, just so I could reinforce the memory.
Like the time I went to California last fall and took the impossibly long bus ride from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica and stood on the beach to wonder at the glory of the light glinting on the water.
Or two days later, when I'd come out of a pitch slam, pleased that I'd managed to convince a couple of agents to read a few pages. So certain of failure, I'd been met instead with consideration and curiosity, with a small measure of kindness. I'd stepped outside, eager for a burger and beer, to look out at the mall courtyard beneath an overcast sky and felt privileged for being able to say, I did that. It's rare that I like walking in my shoes. I was glad to be wearing them that day.
Like the last Lone Star showdown between Texas A&M University and t.u. The Aggies lost, by the way, which was a huge disappointment, but I was there. The game against Nebraska, which the Ags won nine to six. And the game against eighth-ranked Oklahoma that the unranked Aggies won thirty-three to nineteen. I was there for those, too. That Nebraska game? I've never yelled so loud in my life. The Oklahoma game? I almost didn't go because I wasn't feeling well. And two hours before the kickoff, I was sitting on my couch, ninety miles away, debating whether I should just watch it on television when it occurred to me if the Aggies won and I wasn't there, I'd be mad, so I went. I felt a lot better by the end of the night.
The summer I toured Europe with my cousins and their friends.
The sound of my older brother's laughter. Of his voice. The sight of him with his crooked grin and his mischievous gleam. The way he'd stand there with his finger inches from my face and say in this incredibly annoying voice, "I'm not touching you." The way he'd piss me off. Every damned day.
Friday, April nineteenth. Eleven years ago. The first time I learned the power of physical chemistry. The only time I've experienced it at such a magnitude. The boy stood right behind me, a mere inches from me. All I had to do was lean back a fraction. Those little shivers you get? It was like a flood. My whole body was affected. We weren't touching. We weren't looking at each other. We weren't speaking. It was stunning and scary and wonderful all at once. And yes, I remember the date and the day because something like that sticks with you.
I'd rather know these things again than go back and change a day or a choice. If I'd gone to College Station, Texas instead of Nevada, Missouri for my first two years of college, I would've missed out on meeting some spectacular women; if I'd stayed on as a bookseller in Houston rather than moving to San Antonio for a supervisor's spot, I wouldn't have met the boy and learned that the chemistry I'd read about in books or seen in on the screen was, in fact, possible; I wouldn't have learned to love Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare in a way that other professors hadn't been able to teach me.
I wouldn't have learned to love.
Read more of Jenn's writings here.