Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Many Lives in One

What I don’t get is how I’m a single early 30s chick living in “the city” in my little yellow, purple, and green Williamsburg walk-through and going out with wacky gay friends to bars with names like Dicks and The Cock (as in rooster) and with cool-chick single gals to basement bars whose names escape me now, and yet I’m a middle-aged mother living in Middle America with mid-level income (maybe) and with two kids and a husband.

How did those two things happen in the same lifetime? A lifetime that also included waking up as a 20something to my hipster Minneapolis life of leisure in a rented room in somebody’s house on a frosted-over freeze-breath day that might include a walk around the lake with Mike, then over to Jen’s house to act out video dancing moves from a Sade video, including a fake rebirth (at our height of new-age jest because the country was then at its new-age height) and then a night at the Entry gladly inhaling secondhand cigarette stink and the sounds of local band number 52 and pointing out cute boys and worrying over my baby face and my small pig eyes and lack of eyebrows and eyelashes (perennial too-blond crisis and, yikes, perennial just autocorrected to peri-anal). And the joyousness of figuring out what to wear to such events. I once attended a Timberwolves game and then walked over to the Entry with Jen in a long turquois embroidered dress over a black slip with black tights and, likely (though I don’t remember this for sure) high-top Converse All-Stars. I wish I hadn’t thrifted back that dress. I think of it monthly. I recently tried to buy its replacement on eBay to niggling reward.

And not to mention the late-twenties, when I lived in an upper Duplex near Uptown (Minneapolis, again) with the three male comedians. And then I bought a house nearby and became a landlord to two of the comedians.

And the mid-twenties, when I had a quarter-life crisis about turning 25 (geez) and moved to Winona Minnesota to work two years as a cops and courts reporter on a small newspaper and listened nightly to the polka hour emanating from the basement of a Wisconsin-man’s home set-up. And was serenaded with the beer–barrel polka by a boy standing on top of a table at an over-the-border Wisconsin biker bar. And made a close group of misplaced from the city friends working for peanuts and trying to pad our resumes in hopes of a one-day glamorous job in an industry that no longer exists (newspaper journalism).

And then the early midlife crisis when I moved back here and then two months and one week later met Dan and then one year and a couple of months later found myself knocked up.

A landlord. A homeowner. A New Yorker. A mom.

How do we all fit all our lifetimes into one? It’s sad, really, remembering so many lives, as if I were Morris the cat muttering to myself about food. But I’m happy to have been all these things. And my hope is that even as I’m a member of a family and a mom and a friend and daughter and all those other roles I mostly always was, I’m still surrounded by characters and still always morphing.


  1. Oh, oh. This so beautifully illustrates some of the things I'm struggling with right now. Who the hell am I? How did this life happen? I like to think there are a million different Noras living a million different lives in parallel planes...

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  3. When I think about these things I feel happy. How great it is to have a full, rich life filled with so many different experiences. So while I might be sad that a past portion of my life had ended, I'm so excited about the great things ahead.

    Of course this doesn't mean there isn't head/heart conflict at the moment of change.

  4. LOVE THIS POST! Yes, life is multifarious! I still feel ALL ages! When I walk by a good climbing tree, I feel like I'm back in my childhood backyard, up in our apple tree on my reading perch, with my brother on his even-higher reading perch, and my mom comes out and says, "It's suppertime, you two." And we drop our books down, dangle from our branches, and drop to the ground. I miss my childhood,places,people,activities... so much! Things that were, and aren't now. But at least they WERE. Even though I can't do a lot of stuff I used to, I'm still the same ME as when I was born--- I still feel like a kid,a teen, a young adult... there's just more added on. So, you're still everything you ever were, just more. And yes, I think we all have thousands of alternate, parallel selves, that are playing out every possible variation. For instance, I have no kids in this life, but I bet I have 12 kids in another life, and this is the one where I'm RESTING and enjoying my SOLITUDE! It's the version of my life where I just relax and take it easy. My other lives are counting on it!