This is your life (Not.)
Have you ever walked to your car in a parking lot and then realized it’s not your car? At first it looks like your car but then you see stuff in the backseat that is not yours? Maybe you have a car seat and this one has golf clubs – or something just seems wrong and you realize, “This is not my car.” Post-divorce/Post-forty I have become more aware of this phenomenon – with my life. This weekend I [tried to] put on my skinny jeans and could not button them without overspill. “This is not my body. I’m a runner and a yoga instructor and I work out all the time!” Oh right. My 6 days a week have turned into 2. It’s not easy finding time for yoga or soul cycle with a job, a commute, basketball games and friends that like wine. When I am getting ready each morning in my rental house, I look down at the linoleum floor. Yes linoleum, the visual nails on a chalkboard to me. I think to myself, “This is not my house. This not my life.” It has happened with marble floors too – something just feels unfamiliar. It has also occurred in my career. After 9/11 I decided to be a better person and try running a non-profit. In Long Island. Next to Butafuoco Auto Body. As in Joey. When I would walk by the receptionist with the big hair and the long nails into my office with the donated computer, I could hear the whisper. “This is not my office. This is not my life.” It was an amazing job for someone – just not for me. When my last relationship ended, while prickly, it wasn’t unexpected. When he played music (smooth Jazz), I thought “This is not my music.” I am sure he heard it when I played Eminem. When he talked about travel (fishing in Florida), I knew “This is not my vacation.” When I spent time at his house, there it was again. This is not my life…
Or is it?
Parts of our story are in our control, and parts are not. “I.e. unfortunately, these are in fact my grey hairs and wrinkles.” Some can be changed (like grey hair) and some cannot. Some are just a matter of accepting reality over fantasy. I.e. I may never call a Porsche “my car” but I can find something that says, “This is me.” And much of it comes down to choice. I may never get my dream house back, but I know I will find another place that feels like home – and hopefully someone to share it. In the meantime, I will spend as much time as possible enjoying the things in my life that I got right: My kid, my friends, my writing, my cooking, and my smartassness, among other things. When I find the rest, I’ll let you know.