When I was 14 I was determined to be the polar opposite of my sister. She was so floaty and girly with bows and pink and swishy skirts. I was combat boots and plaid pants and bright green eyeshadow and oversized earrings. However, we were united on the front of frilly lingerie.
There is a moment in Amelie where she is standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom, (not frilly, but you get the gist) neglige on and studying her face. Her thought process is interrupted and she drops the cap of her toner. Suddenly, everything is turned on its head.
It’s easy to fall into a routine and forget how to notice all the tiny things that punctuate the cycle of Get up. (Sunny day!) Feed self. (That bread was extra grainy!) Feed companions. (He eats when I do) Go to work. (I won best-dressed on the bus today) Work. (PROGRESS!!) Go home. (By way of martini and new friends) Feed companions. (He was annoyed, but waited for me) Feed self. (I don’t remember the last time I had spaghetti) Go to bed. (It feels good to rest the bones)
While I was washing my own face this evening, I began accounting for all the things that have happened since the last large milestone — graduation. There have been plenty of highs and plenty of lows but neither really dominates the spotlight. Instead, the changes in my face, my body, my wardrobe, my habits, my patterns of speech and even the bathroom where I’m doing all this navel-gazing add up to something much larger.
I’m so lucky.
And more importantly, I’m exactly where I need to be. Someone once said “Were you are is exactly where you need to be,” and I completely agree with him. So right here in this moment, face dripping wet and reaching for the towel, I know that I’m supposed to be in this place, with this cat, and this pile of clothes that I should really put away, and broccoli that needs to be eaten. I don’t have to know the road as long as I know the direction. And it’s the stuff that happens inbetween, like a major discovery a la Amelie, that makes the story worth telling.