Always With Love

For my birthday in August, I bought myself pens and a new notebook, which I wrote in for a week before setting it down, until now, more than three months later. Today I read the first entry and found it worth sharing, if only with myself and any other lost, post-transition writers who find themselves wondering if they ever were a writer, and if they’ll ever be again.

Happy 44th birthday to me — new pens and a notebook — and so long I have been away. Even standing in front of the pens at Office Depot made my torso tighten, as though I could select the wrong instrument, when the whole point is that any pen, any paper, will do as long as they are moving together in this way beneath my right hand.

In my left arm, a baby girl nurses. Last night I thought she would suck the life out of me, that each additional 10 minutes of sleep I lost to her restlessness was 10 minutes off of my very life. She was awake much of the night. At some point, I became at peace with her wakefulness, put a loving hand on her belly, snuggled her to me, and we slept. Now, it is well near 9:15 at night again, and it is late for a baby to be up, and she has napped little today, and it seems like I’ll never get my life back.

But I know from experience — from the 13-year-old girl in the next room — that it will fly, the time, and that one day this sweet one will mouth to me silently as I enter the school she is exiting with friends, “What are you doing here?” and not in a happy-surprised sort of way but in an are-you-insane-coming-near-me-in-my-public-realm sort of way, followed by such time in the car, in our private realm, when she will complain of needing new jeans today, and would I take her to Chick-Fil-a before her piano lesson. Oh, time, you are the trickster.

As I write this, I am surrounded by piles of dirty clothes, boxes and boxes, and disgruntled animals — cat rolling on my bed, dog sighing beside me on the floor — and more boxes, full of the clutter we’ve accumulated in the American fashion. It is overwhelming.

But in the back of this new-to-us house, near the hot kitchen, lies an office-y room in which I shall set a table and a chair and some books. I will go there each day and work. I will ask, and pray, and hope, and write, and revise. And I will know that it is what it is, this life, so hilly and uneven with its high highs and low lows, but always with love. Love. Well, most of the time at least.