Thursday, September 19, 2013

Someone Else's Life

Recently a friend wrote about having the odd feeling that she was living someone else's life, about finding herself somewhere she maybe just never dreamed she would be.

I hope everyone gets the chance to feel this way once, like they are living in a movie, like the glamour and sparkle snuck up on them in the midst of their everyday, and suddenly the scene has changed.

I had this same feeling the other day in Wendy's.  It's not that I haven't been to Wendy's before.  But I suddenly found myself a year married, eating chicken in a Wendy's in Phoenix, like a whirlwind had picked me up and deposited me, even though I do seem to remember being present during the process.  The feeling was one of casual delight.  How mischievous that I should find myself in a place and a life I could never have dreamed up.  My plans would have had me somewhere else.  The script I was writing was certainly exciting, and full of drama and action, but in all my readings and travelings, I never did imagine myself here in the desert, or here in this skin.

I like to think of myself as a child, in my room, writing and singing and dreaming of who I might be.  Even then I must have known that things would never turn out as planned, but much better, much more fluid and frustrating and lively and right.  I just give a knowing wink to my little self, full of hopes, longing for the exciting and the ordinary at once, wondering where life might take me.  "You'll never know," I want to say, with a wise smile.

That is one of the singular joys of being young and free.  I don't take for granted that not knowing is a privilege and a beautiful gift that I am continually unwrapping.  I hope in five years I'm able to look around again and find myself surprised, whether it's in a coffee shop in Seattle or a house down the street.  And I'll just tip my hat to God I imagine, give him that same knowing smile, and say, "I could never have guessed."