Doesn’t that sound like a movie? The Pie Bar is next to Des’ daycare. I posted about it on Facebook and had a pie date within five minutes. She met me there and we talked about cameras and love, and love and cameras, and saw 1,000 people I know walk in and out of the doors. I was getting texts and calls, that I couldn’t hear over the pie, but they were also about cameras and love, and love and cameras, and a moose that was spotted by Des’ classmate’s dad on his way to pick up his daughter from daycare early. It was all connected. The moose, the pie, the people, the love, the cameras. I ran out that door to find that moose, but instead found a woman stuck on the side of the road with a muddy dog, and van doors that wouldn’t open. So I helped her, you see, because of love and pie and cameras and moose, and that bull moose wandered off into the woods.
Maybe he waited for me. Maybe not. And why did I go off on this tangent anyway? I saw an old friend at the Pie Bar and we talked about Scarlet being small and me being more tall, and it was all about the beauty and heartbreak of late blooming.
Today’s Finish the Sentence Friday topic hit me in the heart strings. It’s “I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that…” Come link up if you have a spin on that great topic. You should totally link up. HERE.
I’m a very late bloomer. It’s like how I won’t call myself a picky eater, favoring instead to say, “Sensitive palate. Super taster.” Well I’m not slow or oblivious (well not fully, anyway), but I am a late bloomer. When you say that, you don’t focus on the “late”, favoring instead to focus on the “bloomer”. We are all in bloom. Always. Our lives are in bloom. Always. And then sometimes not, but the chance to bloom again in the spring (or summer, or fall) of your life? Yes. Some of us choose to live in climates in which we can bloom all winter too. So there. Although you know that I tend to wither more in the winter.
My mom always said that if I wanted something badly enough, wild horses wouldn’t, couldn’t and shouldn’t stop me. If I didn’t want something enough, or more likely, I hadn’t yet unlocked a key element in getting there, I was rather useless at it. I spent a lot of my life thinking I was either worthless or fearless, one after another, and not realizing that most of us are wonderfully and messily in between. When I was in high school, I was trying to figure out how to bloom into the light. When I started my junior year, my sister started Rutgers and I visited her and dressed like Supergirl and crushed on college boys and thought about how my father went there and it became my dream school. The problem? I had underachieved for far too long.
So I did what I do when I wanted something badly enough. I become super-heroic. All A’s. Vice President of the Multi-Cultural Club. Literary Magazine. Drama Club. A virgin who can’t even drive. (Clueless reference but also true) I applied to Rutgers at the beginning of my senior year and got wait-listed to Douglass College – my personal dream. I was accepted into a pilot program at University College and even completed the orientation, but my heart was broken about Douglass. I had this amazing admissions counselor – Eric Flint (are you out there??) – and I even met with him to see what I could do. Sadly, a lot of that included waiting. At this point, school was starting in two months and I was still on the waitlist for Douglass.
So I wrote a letter about all I had achieved and how I had done so well on the math placement exams (WTF?) that I never had to take math again. I urged them to review my transcripts again, with particular focus on the last two years of high school.
Within a week or two, I got that “Congratulations, we have reviewed your transcripts and application again – AT YOUR REQUEST – and have decided to accept you into Douglass College” letter. So I danced with my mom. For hours, weeks & days.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that I could get into my dream school, but I did it in the nick of time.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize what I’m capable of, and that even to this day, I forget it for years and years and miss more and more life, love and work. I can’t believe this will happen to me again. I’ll wither and bloom again.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that love and grief are winding roads, without endings.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that love is a choice, and you wake up every morning with that choice.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that it might not always be the choice that feels best at that given time, or on a random Wednesday, but ultimately it’s a choice you made for a reason.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that love is automatic, but completely manual as well. You have to take it out of the box, charge the batteries, and get the settings as close as possible to align best with what you want to do, what you know how to do, and how you want to see yourself as well. Then find the best light, and even the worst light. You need to examine every angle. Your camera is still in your hands. So is your love.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that that having “game” is not about being stoic or aloof or confused. It’s about being beautifully vulnerable and exposed.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that it’s ok to talk about hot messes, anxiety and mental health. And that we all have baggage and sometimes it’s about if your mess can play nicely with his or her mess, and that instead of creating a combined super mess, you two can discover a method on cleaning things up – one by one.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that under each mystery is another mystery, and some excitement too.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that love is a battlefield, and that “Love Is a Battlefield” came on the radio exactly while I was making notes for this post.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that positive thoughts and actions breed more positive thoughts, actions and outcomes. Same with negativity. And everything is serendipitous and sometimes I’m closed inside myself for so long that I forget or miss the fact that my life is often a series of magic and overwhelming love – with opportunities around every corner.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that we make simple things complex, and complex things simple.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that it wasn’t that I was wrong, or that he was wrong, and that maybe it wasn’t even that we were saying the wrong things at the wrong time, but that I was shouting from one rooftop silently, and he was shouting from another rooftop more loudly, but we didn’t hear what the other person had said. Or hadn’t said.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that I’m ok as is, and that my dreams of eventual plastic surgery have almost been completely squashed by myself, learning to appreciate this as it is – perfect and imperfect, messy and beautiful.
– I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that life doesn’t necessarily have long and smooth points. That it doesn’t just completely stop being hard and become safe and free from harm. Life is a series of ebbs and flows and waves that knock you down and waves that just go around your ankles, and waves that are large, but you can learn to withstand.