Lucky (twenty)Seven

I made 27 years-old last week.

That’s 3 more years until I turn thirty. That’s 3 more years I have left of this blog.

I think it’s safe to say I lead a pretty good life these days. Holden is happy and healthy. So am I. And so are the people who weigh a hefty importance in our lives.

What’s even more than my basic needs being met, my thriving needs have exploded. I really and truly have both what I need and what I want… for now. In this moment. But this time around I’m going places. I’m doing things with all that I’ve been given. That’s the biggest difference from the last time I was close to feeling this way some years ago.

All in all I consider myself pretty lucky. Yeah, I’m looking forward to 27.

Still, I try to not get myself wrapped up in a fairytale. I had done that once before and we all know how that turned out. Separating real life from the idea of my life is essential to not let that happen again. However, never have the two been more closely related until now. Seems pretty darn authentic. However, there are days where I want to pinch myself and ask is this really real life? Because I just have it so good.

“Good things happen to good people, Sam,” people told me.

“This was all in the plan for you, Sam,” a handful said.

“You deserve this, Sam,” over and over again.

Do I believe in it all? It sounds nice, but I’m not so sure. Again, hesitant to believe in the fairytale but recognizing the realness.

Just before I get too wrapped up in all that’s going right in my life, Holden is there to remind me of just how real it all is. Or, just to remind me that not everything smells like roses when you’re elbows deep in two-year-old vomit and a sink full of dirty dishes. Knowing that I have hours of reading to do for graduate school and clients expecting some emails. While the laundry hamper is overflowing and I can practically see the bacteria growing in the bathtub.

But I’m happy to know theres vomit and dirty dishes to clean up. That probably means we had enough food for Holden to (over) eat. I’m happy to do the reading for school as that means I’m supported enough to further my education. Likewise with the clients, I’m happy to have a job. The hamper? Look at all of our clothes. And that bathtub… well, I have a bath tub. That sure sounds more like a fairtytale to me now than it ever would have before.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s not the real-life experiences that shape our outlook on life, but because our outlook shapes those experiences. I’m not happy because I have to clean. Likewise, I’m not happy because I’m divorced. I’m happy to do these things or have done those things because my outlook has become so positive. And that’s all given what I know now. In the heat of the moment, surely I’m not smiling from ear to ear scrubbing away at pots and pans. But I go to bed at night knowing how privileged I am to get to do what I do every day. At 27.

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HB

My eyes couldn’t have opened wider. I asked myself if I was hearing him correctly. What I knew I had right was the confidence in his proclamation. He knew exactly what he was saying in response to, “What’s your name?”

Self-identity goes just far enough in the mind of a two-and-a-half-year old. Lately, Holden has been on a tell-everybody-your-name kick. He’s so proud of his name, Holden Brooks– who he is. He also recognizes his name, points out the letters and yells “me!”

The hold-up here is that his speech isn’t all there just yet, as I’ve alluded to in past posts. See Crocs. We are working on it.

Mom says his language parallels the sounds of the minions from Despicable Me. I, however, argue it’s a mix of a Boston accent and a lisp. Given his pronunciation of Ernie, “UHH-NIE” or Tigers, “TI-GAATH!”

I will not post the numerous videos of this recent development. I’d imagine it would cross that fine line of child exploitation, never my intention. But what I will do is show him these videos years from now. Years and years and years from now, when he can understand what he was saying.

Replace the E with an H in his pronunciation of Ernie. And you get my son, “HUHH-NIE BROOKS,” or… Horney Brooks.

Sometimes the D finds it’s way in there somehow, but sometimes not. If you didn’t know his name was Holden, it is definitely Horney. If you did know his name was Holden, it sort of sounds like it, but not really.

So that’s why we’re not gonna be sharing his new trick with any strangers. However, we are enjoying his pride in proclaiming his name for now.

When Papa asks him his name, “Horney Brooks!”

When he goes to put his name badge in the cup at school to check in, “Horney Brooks!”

When he sees a picture of himself, “Horney Brooks!”

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Meant to be

You were meant to be here. You are enough.

I didn’t see it coming. I had no time to prepare. For someone who prides herself on resiliency, every now and then when something catches me off guard it happens. The lump in my throat. The shake of my knees. There was no stopping the water from welling in my lower lids. Boy did I make a silly first impression on my new classmate sitting next to me as the words came out like vomit. “I’m so embarrassed!” The more I tried to resist, the faster the tears fell. And, the most objective thing about me is that I’m an ugly crier. Boogers and all. (Having a toddler boy sort of makes me feel less vulgar in saying “boogers” out loud.)

Great. Exactly what I didn’t mean to happen. I guess though, the earlier I became vulnerable the better. Just didn’t think it would happen this soon.

She hit the nail on the head, my new professor. With a few short comments at the end of that class, I was sold. She said the words of something I fully believed in myself, but to hear it come from someone else overwhelmed me. To know that someone who barely knew me (or knew me more than I thought she did) fully believed in what I was doing there. Someone completely out of my support system, the team that had been built up around me during my major life transition. Confidence in that I was there to start what I was meant to do. Sounds like a fairytale, but I’m a hopeless romantic at heart.

I’m two weeks into graduate school, hence the hiatus in my blog. While there is much ambiguity right now as I am still in the early phases of trying to figure out how to manage the workload while balancing the rest of my life with the biggest part, parenting Holden, I’ve never been more certain of my life at the same time.

Certain of the string of decisions that has led me to this spot: believing I was meant to be here. Right now, right where I am and what I am doing, learning. Certainty is a great feeling, I have to admit. And anything leftover that is uncertain in my environment now holds a key of excitement, thrill. I don’t need to have every answer like I used to. I can let the cards fall as they may.

Because what I do know now is that I was meant to be here. And I’m hoping for Holden to one day have that same degree of certainty in everything he does as well.

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