September 20, 2010

From The Department of Starbucks Realizations

Starbucks at 7pm doesn't match my Sunday nights anymore, but I stop in anyway convinced that my evening cannot go on without a pumpkin spice latte, and when I walk in, there is a twentysomething girl sitting in the corner, hunched over a text book and spiral notebook.  I order, but then I'm waiting for my latte, noting that my life really no longer warrants an evening (or late night!) caffeine intake, and I suddenly miss being that "girl" sitting in the corner just trying to get the work done. 

I reason that it's my first year not going back to school (sans one temporary year) in twenty one years (or more?), if you don't count anything before first grade.  Of course I am going to feel misplaced.  But then I hear my old con law professor saying that the word "obviously" written in any opinion is a red flag that something is not "obvious" and the author just doesn't have a better explanation and wants to dismiss the need for an explanatory foundation.  (If I could cite to a case here, I would, but that's just because tonight I'm okay saying, "yes, that was my life" and leaving it (almost!) at that.)  I hardly ever use the term "obviously".  But I do frequent "of course".  And I almost groaned out loud because I had just said "of course" silently, which means now I need to find that better explanation.  So then I'm standing in Starbucks trying to decipher my feelings on September fresh starts that I haven't gotten yet, remembering alllll those exhausted Sunday nights under the florescent library lights terrified of fifty five minutes of con law Monday morning and how I used to wonder if "everyone else" in the world bakes pies on Sundays. 

So sure, that's it.  I don't need this pumpkin spice latte in my hand; I didn't get my standard September reset button; I'm running "old tapes" that don't apply anymore but still make my stomach flip with anxiety; and I still don't know if "everyone else" bakes pumpkin pies on Sunday afternoons in the fall.  I don't actually want to be that girl, drinking coffee, hunched over a book, with that worried look on her face. (And I tried the pie baking.  It only goes so far.)  But I'm getting so little of what I do want that I'm nostalgic for misery.  (I wonder if this is a worthwhile realization.)  I keep thinking "I'm too old for this" and then feel guilty, because I'm not, but I didn't know that before, and even though I know that now, I still can't stop thinking it.  I'm in a seemingly never-ending transition, and a good friend told me the other day that it is okay to be discouraged, and I really, really needed to hear that, but right now all I would really like to know is: when does this chapter end?

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