So. You know that picture you had of your life – the life you thought you were going to have? Maybe you were going to be a lawyer putting criminals behind bars, living in a condo in Chicago; perhaps you were going to go to LA to write scripts; or maybe you were going to rival Google from a family home in Palo Alto?
Well, I was going to live in a small one bedroom apartment, overlooking a tranquil garden that someone else owned and tended. My apartment would be nice, cozy, somewhat eclectic. I would have tons of books filling shelves on the walls, a handful more open on the desk. My favorite pen would be out to take notes. A suitcase would lie half packed on the floor. I’m not quite sure what my profession was going to be (now that I think about it, probably a problem for manifesting this vision) but it involved travel, clearly, lots of time alone, and research. Perhaps more importantly for you to understand, I never thought I’d marry. I didn’t want to. Nor did I ever think I’d have kids. I loved them, but wanted them to be my friends’ kids, not my own. I never once daydreamed of being a stay at home mom. (I imagined it, sure. With horror.) And then I met my husband. That’s when all the trouble started.
On our third date, he mentioned something about when he has kids, and I stopped him, explained that I didn’t want children and suggested we talk about it. He laughed. “So, because you think you don’t want kids and because I think I do, you think we shouldn’t date?” he asked, laughing more. (He laughs a lot.) We weren’t spring chickens either: he in his late thirties, me in my early thirties. Well, I told him, I thought. He knows how I feel.
We dated. We fell in love. And then, well…I couldn’t imagine NOT having kids with him. It would be so much fun! I idealized. (As you do.) Our daughter is nicknamed Peaches. My daughter is why I want to tell stories. She is why I rediscovered color. She has made me care even more about the environment. Though my professional work has been focused in health care (see About), I never encountered the things that affect her, or rather, that affect us. (See Brain Tumor? and A World without Color? for our path to her diagnosis. The former post also explains the origination of her nickname.) Her little being is often so stressed (more details here: Recreating My Life), and I want to understand why. Don’t we all want to be well? Well-being. Being well. Don’t we all deserve that?
Regarding my earlier imagined life, it seems to me that sometimes you think you know where you’re going and it turns out that in fact you had no idea at all. The unexpected happens, and your whole life comes into focus. Hence, The Color of Peaches.