i’m realizing, as i contemplate my 30th birthday tomorrow, that i’ve been working more diligently at improving and changing my life recently. almost as if, though i’m not making any active “now that i’m 30″ changes, these changes are folding gracefully into my life as a part of this new stage of life. cooking more, enjoying my household pursuits with less begrudging of those who create them, reading more again, writing more again, focusing on my goals and thinking about what i really want to do…i hope this wave of positive change continues throughout and beyond this 30th year, but i’m excited that this one is bringing gentle change rather than unnecessary angst
today i got a text from a college friend. it said “it’s such a beautiful day. makes me miss going to the swings at drew!” we texted back and forth in this vein, about the things we would do on a day like this – skip class, swing, drink, nap, be barefoot and happy…and about how we miss each other.
i wonder sometimes if i will always be nostalgic for drew. even as i write this i’m tearing up. because even though i have wonderful things in my life, things that make now so much better than then, i feel like that haunted old, daffodil covered campus, full of people i loved and who made me feel like it was okay to be me, will always be a little bit of what heaven looks like in my mind. and i don’t like missing people. but i can’t avoid it…so many people who i love are far away.
and yet, it is such a beautiful day. and there are so many things that i can do on a beautiful day that i couldn’t do when i was taking classes and working on 5 plays at a time. i can make paneer to go in my korma and with my spinach. i can plant the tomatoes i bought at shaw’s. i can do laundry and hang it on the newly functional clothesline. and the domestic goddess in me loves that. but there’s a part of my soul that’s longing for a patch of weedy grass in new jersey where i can spread out my blanket, drink my “lime slushy” and fall asleep in the sunshine.
tonight i went to an audition. the first audition in about 6 years or so… i had to do non-speaking improv, and a cold reading of a monologue, and it was…strange. i know that ideally when i get back on stage it will be musicals, but i had to start somewhere, and a church basement audition for one acts seemed like the easiest way to get started…we’ll see how it goes…but i do miss being on stage…i think my new goal is one audition a month…we’ll see if i can make that work…and once i actually get cast in something, i can always reassess the frequency…now i just have to hold myself to this plan…
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it’s strange…i’ve spent a large chunk of my past decade nurturing and struggling with long distance friends. since college ended i’ve never had many nearby friends. living in troy, there were 2, and acquaintances from shows. during grad school, there were a lot of classmates, but only 3 or 4 i’d call friends, most of whom have either moved or moved on since…the people i considered closest to me, other than jen, were all miles away. and while some of those people are still the most important to me, i’ve started to develop local friends. not just former roommate friends, who i love to bits, but rarely see…but friends i actually plan for social engagements with and stay awake to hang out with, and talk to on the phone when they’re sad. it’s nice to be entering a new friendship phase in my life, even as i’m anticipating celebrating the weddings of a long distance college friend and a local, former roommate, co-activist friend. it makes me realize the importance of all different types and styles of friendship.
So, there’s this thing that happens to me every so often. I will be on the train or the bus, and a nice looking young man or woman will sit beside me with a nametag. If it is a young man, he will be wearing dark pants, a white shirt, and perhaps a jacket. The young women wear long dark skirts, and button down tops. And no matter how many empty seats there are on the bus, no matter how many other people they could engage with, they sit down and introduce themselves to me. And they tell me about how they are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I’ve started to call this “getting Mormoned” because it happens to me so often.
And it isn’t just Mormons. Jehovah’s Witnesses give me their magazine, like they do everyone else, but then they keep talking. Random middle-aged African-American women at bus stops invite me to their churches. The Mormons are more frequent – the cute one with the Scottish accent on the T to Davis Square who asked about my book (it was about Jesus, so I’ll give him that one for free), and gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon with his phone number in it; the young woman with the Spanish nametag on the 86 bus, and others on various trains and buses…but today was a first. Today, I was Mormoned on foot. I was walking to Alewife (because buses are stupid and clearly half a mile on healing sprained feet is a great idea) and as I neared the station, I saw them…a gaggle of clean cut young men in dark pants, white shirts, and dark jackets. They were talking amongst themselves, discussing the restaurants they could see as they left the station, so I thought it was all clear, and then one of them turned back, and introduced himself, and asked if he could give me a card to call and get their video…I hadn’t even gotten on the train, and still, Mormoned again.
But it did give me an idea…as I thought about writing this blog, I thought how well it might fit into a book about my search for God…and God’s search for me. I often say, when these invitations happen, that I have a flashing sign on my forehead that says “seeking God”…and maybe there’s a book to be written here, about the mutual searching and where it leads…who knows…
But first, I have a play to finish!