So I have been in Philadelphia a year. Amazing how fast 12 months can go. (Hell, amazing how fast four years can go …)
I have to be totally honest and say that this has probably been one of the toughest years of my life—tossing myself into a random place, with no real plan and no real idea of who or what I’d be when the first annual where-am-I checkup came.
In many ways, I’m a million times better than I was in September 2004. And in a few ways worse off than I’d ever hoped to be. But goddamn if this 1/4 Polish peasant isn’t doing all she can to pull herself up by those proverbial boot straps the old codgers are always so fond of referring to.
A few weeks ago someone told me I was living in a fantasy world: that I’d fashioned a reality in my head that somehow didn’t coincide with the actual flesh and blood existence going on around me. God, if only. I’d always wanted to be one of those children with an invisible friend, going off to the playground alone with my pretend friend by my side, dawdling away the hours with a big, dumb smile on my face.
Unfortunately, for me and the fool who had the gall to suggest I was somehow in a different, and allegedly, better place: I don’t have enough imagination when it comes to what I see around me. I exist emmeshed in the day-to-day drudgery and mind-numbing minutiae that surrounds me. Give me your tired, your poor, your shitty grammar and misplaced commas, and by golly I’ll set it right.
In fact, the more I think about it the more I realize I could probably do with a little dose of fantasy, a bit of fancy and silliness and wild-eyed star gazing naïve hope: "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight …"
Sometimes I forget I’m a boringly over-educated scholarship-toting geek-girl with schmancy degrees from even schmancier schools who has managed to wind up a mildly talented, entertaining, borderline intelligent world traveler with an occasional free spirit driven not by drugs or alcohol but pure, maniacal why-the-hell-not-ness. I do what I want—not everyone can say the same.
And, for the poor sap who misdiagnosed my malaise as some disenchanted Cinderella mind funk, I can honestly say that in my newfound Tinkerbell cotton candy sparkle-land, my true evil twin would most definitely be able to meet me halfway—intellectually, morally, financially, spiritually—and for chrissakes, if I’m in fantasyland even a churlish Capricorn like me would leave the ex-wife, child and bleak, uneducated future out.
That’s called real life.
Well, someone’s—definitely, thankfully not mine.