Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Girlfriends and Balloons

Today I did absolutely nothing. I mean, really. I thought I was doing nothing before, after the job ended, but that nothing was nothing compared to this nothing.

You know when you finally getting around to watching The Omen and then take an inadvertently long nap that your Christmas Break has really started.

But this blog is not about that. No, it's not about the presents, the cookies, the late nights, the eggnog, the carols, the endless giftwrapping, the Christmas trees, or even the fancy holiday meals. It's not about making sure you see your mom, your dad, your in-laws, your sister, your brothers-in-law, your brother-in-law's girlfriend, your sister's in-laws, your husband's high school gang, or your old horse trainer.

This blog is about my very own girlfriends.

So I have this group of girlfriends from college. You've already heard about two of them. They got married this year and I had a cold for both weddings. Well, there's a third (who is already married and for whose wedding I did not have a cold). And then there's me, so altogether we make four. Which is a perfect number for trips to the beach in Beatle convertibles, which we do often. When we were in college we (mostly) lived together and threw the most fabulous parties. We once threw a combination dance party/luau, which was the talk of the town for the next year. Later we talked with a girl who was a couple of classes younger than us who actually said "I knew I had made it when I got invited to a Jones Ave party."

Truly. We were epic.

These girls are GOOD FRIENDS. I know this because I have not always been one. I am not prompt with the phone calls or emails. I sometimes forget birthdays. I up and move away to far-off places, much to their chagrin. I haven't sent one of them a wedding present yet (sshhh!). I live on a different, wacky plane than them. They are schoolteachers, with full-time jobs and homes that they pay mortgages on. They buy cars and sometimes expensive purses. Meanwhile I float around like a curly-haired balloon, flitting from one "career" to the next, not knowing where my next paycheck may come from and driving my mom's ancient hand-me-down car. My purses average around the $4 range.

But through these ten years they have held on to me, curly-headed balloon that I am. They have clawed their way in again and again, past the silent phone and the non-returned emails. They keep coming back and forgiving me for all my trespasses. They grab me by my string when I'm about to float away and say "don't forget about us!"

They love me. They are always there, no matter what. They are there to tell me the truth no matter what. Because they knew me and they know me. They're not going anywhere, and they are the rock that I can tie my string to.

Or the tree branches that I keep getting caught in as I float away, or...something...

This metaphor has worn itself out.

Bottom line, a girl like me needs girls like them.

I love you, ladies!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just Dance

For this blog post, I thought I was going to catch you all up on what's been happening in the three weeks since I last posted. But that's not what I really want to do. I want to share a note that I wrote to myself this morning (Hey, I've been reading eat, pray, love and SHE does it all the time so shut it). Here's what I wrote:

Dear Me,

I'm sorry I haven't meditated in a long time. I'm sorry I haven't worked you out or stretched you with yoga. I think you'll understand, though. You see, it's my last week with these people. Ever. On Sunday I have to leave, give them up and drive away, and it's going to break my heart.

So anyway, I've been playing, dancing, laughing. It's been wonderful. But it's time to get back to you. Back to reality. Back to life. I'm sad, but I've learned.

And thank goodness Christmas is coming, so I've got something to look forward to!

Love, You

You guys still there? To those of you who haven't clicked off in disgust because ohmygod this chick is actually writing a letter to herself, thanks! And hang in there, cause it's about to get real.

I have learned so much from this experience. I uncovered parts of myself that I haven't enjoyed since high school. I danced day-in and day-out, and it was amazing. I was sexy, and I remembered what a potent drug that is. I threw the parties that I always wanted to throw but forgot about. In these last three months I stopped being the Old Married Woman I've been for so long now, and started being the Young Girl of my memories.

For that, thank you thank you thank you!

My world has broadened and opened. The possibilities for my life are endless. I am beautiful and talented, and I can do anything I want. And what I want is to sing and act. I don't care how and I don't care where, whether it's in a casino or on a stage. When I'm not doing that I want to dance and laugh and play (and meditate and do yoga and knit. I haven't forgotten that part of myself!).

But the heartache of leaving is hard. I think this life is destined to be a series of little heartbreaks. My heart will break every time I have to leave my husband again, like it did back in September. Then my heart will break when I have to leave whatever family I've created for whatever show I'm doing. Over and over and over again.

Last weekend many of the people in the show left in the wee hours of the morning while we were all at Lava. Of course, I cried, not so much for them leaving, but in anticipation of the goodbyes we're all going to have to say on Sunday. I suddenly felt terribly lonely. But I looked up into the lights flashing across this strange dance club and remembered how far I've come. All I can do now is say goodbye and keep what I've learned and hopefully keep in some form the people that I've grown to love.

Then I did the only thing I could do right at that moment, and the only thing I wanted to do.

In the infinite wisdom of Lady Gaga, I Just Danced.