Pivotal moments of my writing life are linked to three specific people. Ex pushed me to dust off the pen and start this blog. Alaska urged me to stretch myself, thereby landing me in graduate school. And this charming, nameless guy who was nothing more than a bundle of lies inspired a short story that ultimately developed into my novel. Sure, I would have evolved as a writer without these three people. But I find comfort in seeing them as integral to my destiny.
I struggle more to explain the path of my love life. Recent relationships played out like a tired record, the needle catching on a scratch and repeating the same refrain over and over. In the moment, I am always certain I have erased bad habits. Or I seek a silver lining to justify the grief littering my past. Sure, Ex told me that a five pound weight gain rendered me unattractive. But if it hadn’t been for him, I would have never met Alaska. Except, that just turned out to be the same mess in a different pile. I guess sometimes the explanation you discover doesn’t always reveal what you want to see.
A few weeks ago, I returned from Denver and in my head I started connecting the dots. Maybe hibernating for the last few years, maybe refusing to let go of Alaska, was necessary for me to land here. Everything in life is timing and perhaps everything that filled my time up until now was necessary for me to be ready for what lay in front of me. I couldn't help but enjoy this explanation, reasoning that justifies the past in search of a brilliant future.
But then I got home and nothing had changed. I still curled up on my sofa on Monday nights with a remote in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. On Tuesdays I worked out with my trainer and on Sundays I went to the grocery store. But there’s no meaning to these acts. Buying aged Reggiano Paremsan has in no way contributed to my destiny. Nor has taking out the recycling, playing Scrabble online or watching endless hours of Andy Cohen produced television.
I’m not exactly sure what will come next. I don’t know when I will finally finish my novel, though I did recently complete one chapter and begin another. Where I reside and how I make a living are equally uncertain. Worse yet, I truly have no idea where my heart will take me.
In two years, I’ll look back fondly on this time and be able to piece it all together. I was destined to land a specific job, to move to another city. My novel wasn’t meant to be finished because I wasn’t ready to say what needed to be written. And no matter how strongly I thought otherwise, I still wasn’t ready to fall in love with the right person. Or maybe I was. Maybe two years from now, as I rest my head on his chest, I will smile at how wise I was, how far I had come.