Lately I've been thinking about just what it is I'm supposed to be doing. You know--with myself. The interesting thing is that I'm perfectly content with things as they are: I like the things I do every day, the people I know, the place I live. But the other day I was jumping on a friend's trampoline and I realized, "Huh. I'm not 12 years old. That's weird."
When I was a little kid, we had this trampoline that my dad made out of some iron pipes and a bouncy mat he got some lady to sew to fit it. It was such a great trampoline, and Allison and I spent years of our lives jumping on it. We could do flips--frontward and backward--and we made up a game called Crack the Egg, wherein you make yourself a little tiny ball and the other person tries to bounce you so hard you come out of your ball, thus cracking the egg. I spent a lot of time on that trampoline, and I never broke any bones (or even my neck). Which is, of course, incredible.
So, the other day I was bouncing, and it dawned on me that I didn't land on my feet after I did a flip like I did when I was a kid. Now, I don't think there's anything wrong or particularly surprising about this--it just made me start thinking. This is what I thought:
First, I need to remember to get Odessa a trampoline for her 5th birthday. I honestly think this is a good idea.
Secondly, I spent about 27 years of my life convinced that It (aka, my REAL life) was all going to start just as soon as I had a baby. Now, I realize this might sound completely insane to you, but that's just what I believed. Some people think that a Job or a Romance or an Accomplishment is going to make them...well, Them. I just happened to believe it was going to be a baby that was going to turn me into Me. As a result, I have literally made note of every single baby that has ever been in a room with me since I was four years old. My mom thought I'd be a teenaged mother and sent me to Planned Parenthood the day she first discovered I had a boyfriend. And many years later, imagine my surprise when I actually gave birth to the baby I always wanted. And while she is soft and cuddly and charming and teaches me one true thing about life every single day, she doesn't actually replace anything or give anything meaning it didn't have before. This, though mildly surprising, is sort of a relief. I'm meant to do something else with my time here in the world apart from giving birth to and raising someone? Awesome!
Which brings me to the third thing the trampoline made me think:
I have an entire life ahead of me--maybe tens, hundreds, thousands of days to fill with things. But what things? I'll snuggle my little girl, certainly. I'll eat popsicles and try to make my husband laugh and learn not to be so scared of riding a bike, and maybe I'll travel someplace beautiful, and maybe I'll write a book. But what else?
I guess I could get really good at backflips on the trampoline again. Any other suggestions?