A friend of mine recently referred to her life as a mountain. Apparently she started climbing it years ago without realizing, then one day looked down and discovered how high up she’d gone. She also discovered that it would be nearly impossible to get down off of this mountain and start the climb up a different mountain. By different, I think she meant the one on which she had assumed she would end up.
Setting aside this whole mountain thing, let me explain it to those of you who are not she and I. The two of us, she and I, have fine arts degrees. When we were eighteen and gorgeous (she is still a knock out), we thought we could quite possibly end up as movie stars, or rock stars, or something equally celestial and fabulous. We both pursued our own versions of this path for a time. Our twenties were pretty cool overall, if not quite as we thought they would be. Then we got married and had kids and bought houses and got regular jobs. And those things are all fine things. Anyone who has done all those things, though, knows how hard it is to do them/have them and still maintain your artistic life.
So now, she says, she is on the top of this mountain, and she isn’t super happy about it. Not ungrateful, just not sure about how to handle it. Well, I am not on any effing mountain. (Wait, this isn’t a family blog, is it?) I am not on any fucking mountain.
I’m not saying I was on one and got down because of the upcoming divorce thing. I am saying fuck that mountain idea. That is crap. I am not at the top of a mountain, looking down a few thousand feet (wait, how tall does something have to be to qualify as a mountain? Nevermind, I couldn’t care less). I am not dizzy at the thought of climbing down and starting all over. I can breathe just fine, thanks, the air here is not thin.
You know why I am not on a mountain? On accounta I can still court and embrace change. On accounta shit doesn’t simply end just because you are almost forty (yep, in November!) Right now, I have some personal things on which to focus. So, no, I am not in a band. No, I do not have an agent anymore. I am, however, writing when I can — working toward some serious goals — enjoying my son’s toddler years. I am a woman with a five-year plan and a knack for sticking to the important stuff. At most, I am on a hill and I can totally see my way to the next one.
My friend refuses to give up the idea that she’s on the mountain. So I advised her to make it look as much like the one she wanted as possible. Maybe re-decorate it somehow. Learn to enjoy the view by changing the scenery.
Meanwhile I am gonna gather up my friends on this hill of mine and start planning a party for November.