Oh, Aurélie

When I was about 11, I signed up to have a French pen pal… This girl from Limoges began writing me (in English), and we exchanged little gifts — postcards, stickers, pens. I can’t remember what we ever wrote about, but it must have been good. When I was 13, we moved to Colorado, and I stopped writing. I still remember her last letter, which was something to the effect of “Leslie, are you ill? Why do you not write?” I guess I grew out of it, but it wasn’t really fair of me to stop writing with no explanation. Sometimes I still fantasize about having a friend in France–we would visit each other and offer the “local” tours of our hometowns. Our children would write each other and be lifelong friends, too. But it didn’t happen that way, and that’s okay.

The point (if there is one) is that tonight I’m feeling a little obligated to write, and I don’t do so well with obligation. I have a small handful of readers (hooray!), and I don’t want to disappoint!! But I’m not sure I have much exciting content today. Let’s see:

* Friday brought more snow, a cancelled party, the discovery of potato vodka (oh, my god!), too much spent on too little

* Saturday was quiet — a couple hours at St. Mark’s reading a novel, drinking Pellegrino, catching up on podcasts… And then there was a phone call, a birthday party, a couple of heart-to-heart conversations shared in the midst of group gatherings (I felt like I was drawing both participants into a little bubble of aloneness), and a really hopeful feeling in the end.

* Sunday was hopeful (but not calming) dreams early in the morning, comfort food with my sister, excitement and reconsideration, excitement and reconsideration… Making plans, pulling back. Then a night in a warehouse-y print room.

* Today: waking thoughts were “will I have to wake up at 6:30 for the rest of my life?” followed by an acknowledgment that waking up at 6:30 was very much my decision. Feeling a little lost at work, and then a little guilty for feeling lost. Maybe I’m better when I’m told what to do? God, I hope not — it just takes time to settle into a position. Took the light rail in and out, and had a good class tonight.

Thoughts from reading: “…That’s the way bad choices are always set up — by convincing yourself that there’s no other choice to be made.” (from Yalom’s Lying on the Couch). I don’t think I’m making an only choice, nor do I think I’m making a bad choice, but this makes me step back for a moment and see (or try to see) all of the possibilities. And on the other hand, maybe I think about it too much. How does everyone else manage to make decisions? It’s something I’ve never mastered.


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