One of the biggest shifts that’s occurred since the inception of this project: I no longer get trapped in regret. I had a habit of cycling through memory, ruminating about every wrong turn I’ve ever taken.
Tonight I thought, my eyes are ahead. And I remembered a song I used to listen to when I lived in the city, headphones on, the soles of my flats worn thin, my hand gripping a greasy subway pole, surfing the rhythm of a B train racing downtown, fearlessly barreling into the future.
(Post 206 of 365)
I get pulled back into dreams. Wish I could rewrite the past. Get a do-over for certain years. Today I actually thought, time machine. And I have to keep going back to the Joy Castro quote I first saw here, “There is no way back. We can only dream our way forward.”
I think I’m pretty freaked out about turning forty.
I still want to get my MFA.
I was thirty one and studying for the GRE when I met my husband. I’d been looking at the MFA program at Brooklyn. I had a boring office job (albeit great co-workers) at a home accessories company on 34th Street and I was living in an apartment in SoHo I couldn’t afford.
The year before, I’d been accepted into a writing workshop at the 92nd St Y with Josh Henkin, an excellent teacher and incredibly kind human. Almost everyone else in the class was a professional writer (editor at Scholastic, writer for the Daily News, writer for the Financial Times). The class jelled, and when the workshop was over, we agreed to continue meeting on a monthly basis. Somehow I became the organizer and host, and every month Write Club met at my studio apartment. Tall french windows, original tin ceiling, exposed brick wall, a hot water pipe that spit and hissed during the winter. I had a futon for a couch that seated three; everyone else spread out on my bed and the floor, and we’d workshop two stories a month.
My (not yet) husband was from western Massachusetts. He called that lovely little studio, those precious 400 square feet in a coveted neighborhood that I’d luckily inherited at an almost rent-stabilized rate, “jail”. He interviewed for a few jobs in New York, but ultimately landed one in the Berkshires. I was hemorrhaging money in the city. The Berkshires seemed like a bucolic dreamscape. Not to mention cheap. I was wearing the rose-colored glasses of new love, a really thick pair with no peripheral vision.
And, just like that, I let go with both hands.
Now. Here I am. Thirty nine. Husband. Baby. Mortgage. Dreams…