I’m quite impressionable. I pay attention to people-their actions, mannerisms, facial expressions, if they are quiet or loud, smiling or frowning, pleasant to be around, or obnoxious. I listen to what people say, too. Are they foul-mouthed, eloquent, down-to-earth, kind, rude, or just plain detached? I find it takes all kinds.
As I watch and listen, without fail I compare my own actions and words to theirs. I know how I want to be as a human in this world, but how do I really measure up? I’m drawn to earthy, real, authentic, and inherently happy people. I hope that I fit in with them, as I take their lead. I want to be true to myself, to love myself as I am, at my age, with my looks, my body, to pursue my ideals and hopes and dreams no matter if they are anyone else’s.
Sometimes I contemplate the details of what I see and hear, and I find myself fading into a movie scene. The genius of Ed Sheeran is playing in the background, I’ll Be Loving You. I’m driving along the 101 Rincon with the windows down, hair blowing in the breeze, sun shining brightly on the ocean, reflecting pure blue as deep as the water itself.
My tiny house is in tow, migrating from the last location in the hills, getting ready for winter. Once I reach my destination on the beach I’ll set up home, start a fire, get the soup on, and hunker down for the night. I’m alone, but I’m okay with that…or so I tell myself. After all, I’ve been alone for years.
The fire is warm as I relax in my chair and listen to the waves.
Flashbacks come one after another. Golden-blond little girl sitting on the bathroom counter while Dad shaves before work; 12-year-old 8th grader, shy, closed off, wearing khaki long skirts and army boots just hoping to stay in the background yet somehow be noticed by the cute boy playing soccer on the field; pregnant sophomore, isolated, walking around the block in the dark at night so no one will see her as she gets exercise for the baby she will give to another family; crazy in college, drinking way too much yet graduating with honors, many boyfriends, feeling sick, wanting to die; 25 and in recovery; married at 30, pregnant again in the best of times, hopeful for all that is to come; 8 years later, divorced and starting over; single mom, strong, resilient, working out to You Tube videos and reading books on parenting teenagers.
The waves provide solace. My tiny house sits tucked in its space, glowing lamplight and grinning. I push the flashbacks aside and grab my guitar. Immediately the mood changes. I switch to Miranda and sing the Airstream Song.
“Mom! Mom!! What’s for dinner? Guess what happened at school today, so much drama…”
I’m quite impressionable, but I also want to leave a good impression, to be the example. It’s important, critical even. So, taking the happy lead from my observations I answer,
“Spaghetti, and tell me all about it.”
I love movies, and it’s sad when the good ones end. Luckily, there are more to come.