It was a particularly dark, Seattle winter morning, less than a year after Doug and I had left San Diego, when we made the decision to move back.
I’d just found out that yet another woman I knew was pregnant, and, crying hysterically, had called my sister to once again rehash all the injustices that constituted my life.
“Okay, Marie,” she said calmly after listening to me repeat myself for a few minutes. “I’ve been wanting to tell you this, and I think now it’s time. You wanted to go to Seattle and be young and broke and irresponsible and get some things out of your system, and we let you go. But if that life isn’t making you happy anymore – which it obviously isn’t – then you need to ask yourself what kind of life is going to make you happy. And you need to ask yourself what you need to get you there. And then you need to do everything you can to attain those things and become that person.”
Well, obviously, the life that was going to make me happy was a life in which I was pregnant. And to get there? Marriage. A house. A better-paying job, maybe, so I could get the house. A sense of permanence, in other words, and belonging.
After I hung up the phone, I called Doug into the room. I waited until he had sat down on the bed next to me, and then I wailed, “I want to go home!”
It took almost another year to get a job transfer, and we needed the generosity of both our dads to help us with the move. Now here, when people ask me what made me come back to San Diego from Seattle, I fervently refute all suggestions that it might have been the rain; I insist that I loved Seattle and instead explain, “My people are all here.”
These people will not only provide me with free babysitting after I eventually attain my dream of motherhood, but they are holding me in place in my life now; instead of leaving me to my own devices, to see myself as a non-wife and a non-mother, their presence forces me to see myself for what I actually am: daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend. Instead of the missing pieces, the present ones. Instead of the broken heart, the love in the heart around that crack.
Yesterday morning, after months of chewing on ideas, preparing, and just generally waiting for August 7th, I posted the first entry in this blog. Then I went to work, opened my locker, and found three brightly colored daisies stuck in the holster where I keep my box knife and permanent marker. “Happy first blog day,” Doug said when I saw him.
Yesterday afternoon, I got a card in the mail from my mom: “You are a very brave soul, putting yourself ‘out there’ in the blogosphere for all to read your innermost thoughts and feelings on a sensitive subject… I am excited and happy for you!” (My mom just learned to put spaces between words in her text messages last week, and I’m pretty sure she still hand-writes out rough drafts of her emails. I have no idea where she learned the word “blogosphere.”)
Then, last night, Doug, my two brothers, and I all met up at my sister’s house. My brother-in-law barbecued, and after dinner, we played board games while my two-year-old nephew and six-month-old niece screamed in the background.