Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dancing with the possibilities

So here's the thing: When I go out and meet my life, it's such a rush. The reintegration of self continues—really, that is what it feels like, gathering all the scattered pieces of me, all the parts of myself I have ignored for so long, and bringing them together, putting them right where I can love them again, or for the first time. Weird.

Today I met an old friend and former colleague for lunch at a French Vietnamese restaurant and we talked for hours. We worked so well together back in the day, 19 years ago now, when I was a book editor and he was a designer and the one I preferred to hire above all. He would get started on the work before we had even signed a contract, because we both understood that neither would ever screw over the other. He had such a magnificent eye, and his work ethic was impeccable. He was just a good person, married, as I am, and we had our first children, both sons, not even a year apart. He and his then very pregnant wife had my husband and me and my son, just months old, over for dinner when I left the publishing house to go to the magazine where I would submerge myself for the next 19 years. I can't for the life of me figure out why I didn't keep in touch. Not just with him, but with all the people I worked with from before I went to the magazine, who I am now reconnecting with in such life-expanding ways.

The crazy thing is, we are both older, both grayer, I am fatter, he is still lean, still a runner, he is balder, and with all of that it was as if no time had passed, we knew each other still, in a way that had nothing to do with externals, but instead was based on mutual respect and recognition of  a similar way of understanding the world.

We shared all the news about our families, too, each of us with a fairly inexhaustible capacity for hearing about the other's offspring, discovering all the ways in which their histories have overlapped. There was a sense of wonder at the realization that our sons had attended the same high school, and our daughters are both sophomores at the same college! And then we began tracing the last 19 years only to realize we had done this married-with-children thing in lockstep, with so many of the same experiences, so many people we both know. And we are also both in the very same place at this moment, he having just closed his design firm and opened a new one out of his home, and me embarking on this new self-employed venture as an editor, writer and book coach working out of my home. When I told him I was giving myself till March to see if I could make this work, he said that was too soon, I should give myself a year, that it takes about that time to really get things going at a steady clip.

I left our lunch reminded that my life has become wider and more vivid since I transitioned to working for myself. Some days the financial prospects are scary (we talked about that, too) and some days, like today, it's exhilarating to truly know I direct my own life and can dance with the possibilities.

As for my gimpy left leg, the physical therapy finally feels like it's having an effect, and that combined with slow but deliberate weight loss, will bring about a healing. I'm putting that out there. I will be healed. So it's been a good day so far, lunch, then physical therapy, and now I am heading back out to attend the going away party for an editor at the magazine where I used to work. She got herself another job and is moving to another city to do it, and life trundles on.


  1. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this good news. I am so thrilled for you. You were feeling so stuck, Angella, in all of it. Your work, your pain, your life and now here you are...
    You are having a second bloom, I know it. I am just so damn thrilled for you. I am actually tearing up, thinking of you out there, meeting your LIFE!

  2. Me, too. Me, too.

    And while I rarely like articles like this, it was just the thing for me to read today. I wonder what you think of it:

  3. Yes! You are inspiring to me. The same thrill I get from Elizabeth's de-schooling with Oliver, I get from watching you unfurl. It is endlessly inspiring to watch someone claim their path. And you are beyond beautiful. You radiate light.

  4. You should be so damn proud of yourself! I'm so damn proud of you! It's amazing the people that came back into our lives at just the right moments. Keep going, girl. You are absolutely on your way. xoxo

  5. I love that you're acknowledging your transition and you are aware of where you're at with it.

  6. 35 pounds!! That is amazing --I am slowly but surely working on that myself.

    Sounds like a very good day and the people in your life like that are true treasures.