I didn't sleep much last night. I was up late, very late, perusing pass pages, pages that are due back to my editor today. I sat there, studying words, this time mine, soaking in classical Christmas music and the past. Classical music because it inspires, but does not distract. The past because sitting there alone working into the wee hours of the night brought me back to my beloved school days. Days when I would stay up late studying, testing my body and my mind, stuffing myself with knowledge and caffeine. Gunning for that A.
A Decade Ago. A decade ago, I was a senior at Yale. I had just been accepted at law school. I was a creature who worked hard and played hard. An innocent creature unmarred by heartbreak and loss. I kept odd hours. I ate loads of gummy candy. I read lots of philosophy. I had my very first cell phone. A decade ago, I began to dream. To dream of life beyond that glorious green campus. A world people called "real."
A decade ago, I was a kid. A bit foolish and utterly fearless.
Today. Today, I am a mother and a wife and a writer. A splintered soul. A scattered brain. But still a student. Always a student. Today, my school is parenthood. My professors are very tiny and very wise. Today, my campus is home. Today, I try hard to be good at things. I still gun for that A. I fumble and stumble. On truths and toys. Today, I parse the words of my own story, the sentences of my life, the contours of my dream.
Today, I am somewhere between kid and adult. A bit foolish and full of fear.
A Decade From Now. A decade from now, I hope to be cozy in our new home with Husband and our (three? four?) girls. We will listen to carols and decorate a vast tree. Our girls will argue affectionately about the proper placement of ornaments. My man and I will hang back, holding hands, waxing wordlessly about big things. Time. Family. Future. When the girls are in bed, we will talk about the jobs we love. About the curious power of passion. We will talk about my book, my newest book. About my latest protagonist, a woman, insecure in her confidence and confident in her insecurity, who wrestles with things she can't control: the passage of time, the evolution of love, the mortality of innocence. We will trade words until it is time to call it a night. And then we will dream some more.
A decade from now, I am finally an adult. Still foolish. Still fearful. Still me.
Who were you ten years ago? Who are you now? Who will you be in ten years? (On this last one, dare to dream. Don't be shy. I don't know that there will be more kids or more books on my horizon, but that's the dream.)