When my youngest child entered high school and I could see that in four short years I would no longer be tethered to this house and to the school year, for the first time since my early twenties, I began to think about what kind of life I wanted.
Have I mentioned that I had children at home for 31 years? That is a long, long, long time. I know there are exceptions, but for the most part, if you do something for 31 years, you’re going to be tired of it. I was.
And I had a life all those years–I was an attorney, I travelled by myself, I kept up my French, I did four sprint triathlons, I produced a cookbook, I started writing, I went to writing workshops, I started this blog, I got my MFA, I was an editor at two different journals…
I wanted something different. To start with–place. I wanted to spend more time near the ocean. I had been going to Provincetown for writing workshops, and each time I went, I loved it more. I had always loved New England–from my days of camp in Vermont.
Graduation was at the end of May, and on June 2nd I went to Provincetown for the first time just to hang out and write, and I stayed for the first time in one of the cottages at the top of this blog (that had been at the top of this blog for four years by that point), and I fell in love.
With the air, the water, the sky, the light, the cottage–everything.
The way I feel now is as if I have emerged from something and I want to turn around, look back, and figure out what happened. As Mary Gordon wrote in The Rest of Life, “I’m trying to understand what it means to have had a life.” And I want to understand it now while I’m still living it.
Although I do feel as if, over the years, I lost my own mind, I don’t feel lost. I just feel like I need to get my strength back. I feel less like I’m flailing around and more like I just need to keep on this path, following the bits of bread that I managed to throw out over the years–picking up the crumbs and letting them expand.