I haven't been on this blog for nearly a week. I have thought of a few topics to write about and yet, I haven't been inspired. I've been thinking. The days have been grey, cold and rainy here in Oakland. Earlier this week as I was pushing Julian in the stroller on a misty morning, I felt such a wave of nostalgia. Twenty years ago I would spend cold days such as this one tucked in a tiny coffee shop on State Street. I would sit at a table in the back away from the drafty front door. There, I laid my books out in front of me and studied feverishly for hours while nursing a cup of black tea. I was intense about my studies, and it showed. In 1996 I left UW with a 3.98 grade point average. I earned every damn A I received and it felt amazing.
Not only was I a serious student, I was disciplined in other ways. I ran every single day, sometimes twice, and I had the muscular legs to show for it. (Which I did, frequently, I wasn't shy about "rocking" a mini-skirt.) I was smart about money. I kept my checkbook balanced, I waitressed several times a week at the local spaghetti house and I never spent beyond my means. I partied once a week, usually drinking enough vodka lemonades and cheap beer to give me a hangover, but I would still get up and study. I was determined.
I miss that girl. These days I find that my greatest accomplishment is often getting out of bed in the morning and making it through the day. Feeding, entertaining, washing and cleaning up after the boys seem to be all that I can manage. I have traded mini skirts and heals for my jeans and sensible shoes uniform.The ambitious, pretty, organized girl seems to have completely vanished. My home is chaos, no longer neat and orderly. I now run infrequently, and usually strive for "good enough", rather than perfection. Even my work on this blog illustrates a lack of concentration and effort. My posts are often hastily put together, and I pay little attention to grammar and tone. In some ways, I've lost the parts of myself that I liked the best.
I have spent the past week pouring through old pictures. I see the young woman I once was, surrounded by my friends, so many awesome friends. I miss my friends, and I miss that girl. I miss that girl. I know I can't get her back completely. Beauty fades. Without plastic surgery I'm never getting all of that back again. But there are other things that are fully in my control. As corny as it sounds, I need to get some of "me" back. I need to find my ambition and determination once again. Perhaps it won't be in the form of a career or studies, it may just be something as simple as a better blog, a refreshed wardrobe and new jogging routine. I'm thinking. Just thinking. I haven't figured it out yet.