breadcrumbs: 19/365

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.


 365 true things about me

14 thoughts on “breadcrumbs: 19/365

  1. I’m approaching that time since my youngest child is a high school senior. I’ve been parenting for nearly 21 years. It’s good to see you embracing this new chapter in your life.


  2. Cynthia… I am picturing you:

    Kneeling at the water’s edge
    placing all your crumbs in a row…
    then sitting back on your heels
    to watch them…
    into the arms of your beloved sea

    still in my bathrobe at 12 noon… 🙂


  3. You produced a COOKBOOK??? How the hell did we miss that tidbit in our, what, almost two years of almost daily communication? I am… bereft. You MUST do a “true thing” post on this. YOU MUST.

    And btw, lovely post. I particularly appreciate the distinction between flailing–which you are obviously NOT doing–and needing a lot of time and space to follow (sometimes microscopic) bread crumbs.


  4. Claire, I’m laughing. Yes, I did produce a cookbook and surely, if I must come up with 365 things about me, I will get to that. And thanks, yes, the breadcrumbs are often microscopic.


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