today we were supposed to go to chicago to visit the german christmas market just for the day. i was beyond excited.
i wanted german beer and pretzels and a special ornament for melby. i wanted to speak my imperfect german. i wanted the big city with its bustling people and long blocks and skyscrapers. i wanted to walk from place to place, to take the train, to drink expensive coffee, to wonder at the chilly air and the deluge of christmas decorations.
we went to the airport early in the morning. yesterday the flight had 17 open seats. today, as we found out moments before it was supposed to leave, it was booked solid. we fly standby for free since nic is a pilot— a wonderful perk that also requires one to be infinitely flexible.
i am so truly bad at being flexible.
i cried a quiet, slow cry all the way to the car. i felt dumb. i felt dumb for being so excited and even dumber for being disappointed.
the world is full of tragedy, i told myself, who am i to mourn something so small and indulgent?
and the truth is, i was never really going to chicago. i would never have been going to chicago until my body was on the plane and the plane was in transit to o’hare airport. up until that moment, it was just an idea, a plan.
and i think, beyond being mildly bored— or feeling boring, more accurately— that the heartache of this unsuccessful trip laid in feeling so totally, constantly out of control.
i make plans so i feel in control. i look for patterns so i feel in control. i organize so i feel in control.
and i can make all the plans and patterns in the world but all that really exists is now. this is it.
and i somehow keep being disappointed by that.
i really, really wanted to go to chicago. but in the end, it’s not about chicago. it’s about letting go.
i will fight it at every single, fucking turn. i will fight fluidity, ease, change, spontaneity. i will try to line it all up and make it all make sense. i will try to organize my life into something i think i can control.
i can’t. i can’t control jack shit.
this is it.
i have to remind myself every single, fucking day. this is my life. i’m not waiting for it to start. my life is not getting on the plane and then my reaction to not getting on the plane. what do i want it to look like?
today it looked like a quiet cry and a small bit of self-pity. it looked like some pancakes, an early morning nap, a long talk with nic, and then beers and cards. it looked like a deliriously happy, splashy bath with melby and then an early snuggle and trip to bed for her. it looked like now, these words, a small fire in the back room, a movie to come.
it looked nothing like chicago. but it was still so lovely. and what would happen if i could just allow myself to love that? to just let it be? to stop trying to make it one thing or the next?
dear god, i’m trying. i’m trying not to try.
this is my life. it’s now.