Friday, August 10, 2007


So here I sit typing. It's Friday afternoon and the sun is shining brightly outside. I am a bit tired. I have had many late nights this week, but don't mind at all. I have seen my family and a few close friends, which makes a little sleep deprivation all worthwhile. The Observer is moving out of his parents' house next week. Moving out for anyone is a huge step. For the Observer, it's a momentous occasion. He has lived at home for thirty years. That is all he knows.

Leaving home for the first time is a bittersweet experience for a lot of young people, I suppose. It means freedom and independence; it means choice, control and a sense of who we are, what we like, and the opportunity to build the life we envision for ourselves. On the other hand, leaving home is a bit scary, strange and surreal, as you inevitably come to the realization that you can do anything you want. You can have chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can crank up the tunes on your radio and dance like a freak. You can leave the lights off while you are watching T.V. You can shrink your sweaters and burn your dinner. Like all firsts in life, there is an element of mystery and fear because you have no form of reference to tell yourself you know what to do.

The Observer is one sensitive dude. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is not afraid to show emotion. While it is rather refreshing to know someone like that, sometimes I tell him to toughen up. That dude will melt like an ice cream come at a sappy commercial, movie or song.

Like myself, the Observer needs attendant care daily to help with activities of daily living. I have learned that while most people who work in health-care related professions are caring, concise and helpful, there are some I could do without. I tell myself that the majority of people in the world are good, and once in a while, we need a less-than-wonderful person to show us that it's easier to be good than not. To learn that regardless of how considerate, accommodating and polite we are, there are those who will choose to be negative, rude and just plain persnickety is tough to swallow . Learning the lesson happened for me when I left the nest. I'm guessing the Observer will experience the same revelation.

I worry about people groaning when he asks for assistance, being sloppy with their work, and just plain not giving two flicks of a switch about him. The Observer is almost as cool and groovy as me, so I'm thinking that this will be advantageous. People are generally kind and caring when we offer them the same in return.

Firsts for everything are significant. From the first time we go to school, take a trip on a plane, get stung by a bee, our first date, first glass of wine, first exam, and first broken heart, we remember all of it well. In the movie Evening, there is a quote that says something like , "We remember our first mistake like we remember all the other firsts in life." I think that is true; however, since I rarely make mistakes, I can't remember my first one. Well, it's a foggy recollection at best.

I really value my independence and sense of space. I like being the lady of the house. I don't mind quiet or sitting alone in a coffee shop people watching and collecting my thoughts. Some people think that's odd and that I seem socially reclusive when I engage in solo coffee-shop-people watching or when I sit alone for hours reading, but I like it. Don't get me wrong: I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and good heart-to-heart conversation. I'm a girl who can swing between flying solo and flying on a full plane easily, and both make me happy.

I hope the Observer finds peace and contentment in his own four walls. I hope he learns to shrug off a less-than-sunshiny attendant and know that no one has the right to ruin his good day. Living alone is a fantastic experience but it has bumps in the road. Bumps are just challenges to help us grow.

Recently, I heard the following from Leonard Cohen, "Everything has cracks. That is how the light gets in."

Find the light wherever you may be .


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