Come on everyone! Feast your eyes on my junk drawer. (No - not nearly as nifty and organized as the Lowe's number above) It's the little one to the left of my stove; I'm sure you can't miss it. I'm pretty certain it was earmarked as the "junk drawer" within the first few days Peter and I moved into the condo. It started with a few thumb tacks and screws - things that didn't quite have a place yet, in our new place. From there all hell seemed to break loose in our special drawer. Matter of fact, I am ashamed to say I can't open the thing without first pressing my hand down on an outdated address book, hoping things don't shift behind the drawer and spill out on to the array of cereal boxes below. The amount of crap that has accumulated over the past three years is mind boggling. 20 Chucky Cheese tickets "for when we go back", several dead batteries, a black electric cord that powers something, 2 dead cell phones, scotch tape (who doesn't keep tape in the junk drawer?), a few paperclips, pencils, cap-less crayola markers, the outdated address book, a few curled up photos, and a bunch of rusty pennies. When I open the drawer (usually to add more junk) I begin to understand just a little, what it must be like to be a certified "hoarder". No, it's not stacks of unread newspapers or pizza boxes, nor piles of clothes with tags still on them, but useless junk that I can't bare to part with because "what if". What if we go back to Chucky Cheese and I need those 20 tickets? What if the TV remote shits the bed in the middle of "The Big Bang Theory" and I don't have even a dead spare battery to try out? What if we find the waffle maker or table saw that fits that ugly black powercord? (just kidding about the tablesaw) but after all this time, how dare I even suggest purging the drawer of its contents given the unpredictable nature of day to day life? Isn't that why everyone I know and don't - have junk drawers in the kitchen?
There's a few things about me that have gone unchanged. I pluck my eyebrows too often and wear chapstick out of habit. Bathroom rugs are for show - not wet feet. I sleep better with an empty kichen sink and smile more when I've have time to blow-dry my hair. I burn candles daily - only Yankee. Coffee is my first thought apon waking. I can't seem to get past the fact I've never had a perfect body, and most likely never will. I talk to my parents almost everyday, in a way most of my friends have never understood. Peppermint patties and diet coke are the perfect snack. But all that aside, there's so much that keeps changing in my life. I used to trust EVERYONE, but after a few broken hearts and a stop at a South Carolina crack house (a future blog) - I stopped doing that. I've become cynical and skeptical of everything. I miss my old self. The self who loved without fear, gave without expecting and laughed for no reason at all. I miss the self - who used to give decent advice that my friends actually followed - instead of the self that needs it now. I miss the self that never said "what if?" and went for it instead. I miss my free-falling self, the one at parties who picked the music, danced all night and talked to total strangers. I miss the self of Yoga classes and a nap to follow. I miss the self who decided in a week to move to Atlanta alone for two years - the city of 3 Million people. You'd think little ol' me would get lost in a place like that - but ironically I was found. I miss the self who pointed to the 7th market television station and simply said "I think I'll get a job there" and did. I miss my dreams in that life. The "I'm going to be" and the "I can't wait until".... sometimes I wished my life away. One of my dearest friends, Melissa (who I met when I lived in Atlanta) ended up doing everything she said she was going to. She was going to be a world-traveling Artist/Curator at some fancy museam and wed her high school sweetheart. The last time I talked to her (at her seaside wedding) she had just landed "THE" job. As happy as I was/am for my dearest friend - I was crushed inside. I couldn't help but to think back to those long chats in coffee houses on Peachtree Road, exchanging plans about our future. She's be the famous artist. I'd be the famous producer/writer. We'd each get married and have kids at the same time and life would be great. So, as I watched her first dance as husband and wife, I couldn't shake the feeling I was Bette Midler in Beaches.... "Your everything I wish I could be". What about me? The jet-setter me? The famous producer/writer me? The one in designer suits, 8 pm business meetings and press passes to my hearts content? Now, don't get me wrong - I love my family and little life in Auburn. But I can't lie and say there isn't a part of me - staring out at the ocean at my best friends wedding wondering how my plush red carpet rolled up and became a play date on a rainy Sunday afternoon? Sometimes, I really miss myself.