The wind had no mercy against my face last Sunday. The weather snapped back on the short-lived warm spring joy as we walked above the dunes to the Fire Island light house. We made our way through a snow globe of sand and gray wind punctuated with warning signs to not feed the deer.
Willow danced her carefree self along the board walk. She stopped and karate chopped strong gusts of sea wind that brought me to a standstill. I'd worn the oversized peacoat that allowed cold air to shoot up inside and free it open unless I clutched the one button firmly. Why am I always so unprepared for the weather? Jed kept asking if I was OK. I wasn’t and I was.
Together, Jed and Willow climbed the 182 steps to the top of the light house. Because I’m 6 months pregnant, I stayed in the empty first floor museum scrolling twitter for #Beychella recaps and crying because I was so moved by her exuberance and commitment to authentic expression. Also, hormones.
The light house employee asked if I wanted to see the exhibit on the second floor. I looked up from the marching band rendition of Formation and politely shook my head. I was alone, indoors by the sea, happy to do nothing but zone out while my family ascended the tower.
Lately, my life resists routine which allows plenty of time to zone out. Imagining is a very rich practice for me and I try to find opportunities to do it whenever possible. I used to punish myself for daydreaming at work or when speaking with people whom I didn’t want to speak to. But, I’m happy to report the good girl complex is loosening its hold! Daydreaming saved my life. It’s how I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be. It’s how I’ve created anything I’ve ever wanted. I find solutions in a landscape of my making.
And actually, this world is of our making anyway. That is the essence of personal responsibility. I think Will Smith talked about it on Instagram. My former therapist talked about it too. When two trusted sources say the same thing, we’ll just call it truth. So, I would wager that I am a wholly more responsible person now that I am less obligated. It’s been almost a year after leaving the law firm world and dropping deep into my dream world.
Daydreaming affords this: recognition of the inauthentic self. It must be recognized and denied. I’d say Beyonce’s early pop songs catering to white audiences were more megastar-Beyonce. Last Saturday, she could have given the mostly white affluent crowds of Coachella the version they fell in love with in 2000, but she didn’t. She broke out step crew moves and horns that brought me back to my high school drill team days in Houston. And everyone went crazy.
The winter was really hard. While I told all who asked that I was living my best life starting a business and writing, I was actually reeling. I underestimated how hard it would be to have time to face myself and the choices that had landed me in a career that didn’t fit. Behind that I saw a scared girl and I took time to meet her, listen to her.
You can’t just quit. You must wander in the desert for a while with very little sustenance. All the while, you do this while being a present parent and an attentive partner. You answer emails. You cook dinner. You become a mom for a second time. You face grief at unexpected intervals. You descend into your murky self while staying tethered to the practical world because the mundane is (thankfully) a life preserver.