So why are we here? Not here, online, on blogs, making friends with women we may never actually see, but why are we here, here. Here on this earth. In this world. Why are we part of our particular family? The community around us? Why are we friends with our particular friends and mothers to our particular children?
Heavy stuff for a Thursday morning, wouldn’t you say? These grand issues aren’t things I take lightly. I never have. I had friends in college who were happy-go-lucky, party girls who saw the fun in everything. I envied them, because I always had that serious bent. I had my share of fun, for sure, but I’m a list maker, a pros and cons kind of girl. I knew the possible consequences of whatever the action—whether it was lack of sleep or a jail term—and I weighed those carefully. At twenty, I felt the weight of the world. No longer a teenager, I knew it was time to get serious about life, to think about the future, a job, to choose a life.
And at that tender age, I did think that we chose our life. And for awhile, it felt like I did.
I chose San Francisco, or it chose me, and to this day I haven’t found a city I prefer.
I loved the bakery on the corner and the dry cleaner on the next block.
I loved taking the express bus downtown every morning for work.
I loved that I hardly ever drove, except to visit customers outside of the city, or to take road trips to Napa or Half Moon Bay, or to move my car on street cleaning night.
I loved the hustle and bustle and the sounds of the city.
I loved the quiet of the city on a Sunday morning.
I loved the view from the top of the hill, looking all the way down to the joggers getting in their afternoon run at the marina.
I loved Golden Gate Park with its twists and turns and interesting people.
I loved roaming around, exploring new neighborhoods, and finding new places to love every day.
I loved the smell of that city.
I miss it.
And, yesterday, when I read that Alice Bradley of Finslippy is leaving the suburbs and heading back to Brooklyn, it hit me. It really hit me.
And so, here I am, wondering not just about San Francisco and all of the other choices I’ve made, but about life. I’m thinking about how we were designed to interact with one another—with our spouses, our parents, our children, our friends. I’m thinking about how we each have a different calling, and some of us find it and some of us don’t. I’m thinking about pain and suffering and about how our experience with them affects our view of the world. I’m thinking about fairness and unfairness, about justice and equality, about life and death.
That’s a lot of thinking for one morning. Thanks a lot, Alice.
And what about you? Did you choose your life? Did it chose you? Join me in thinking about it, would you? Then let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts.