The view from my parents' front porch is ridiculous--and one of my favorite things in this world. It looks out over the Salt Lake Valley, which is always bright with lights. On either side are the mountains, and in the forefront are trees that break across the skyline. Tonight there was wind and I sat on the front porch steps, watching the trees bend in the wind, watching their silhouettes change the shape of the lights in front of me.
I wasn't meaning to write a metaphor, but it seems rather appropriate for what I've experienced in the six weeks I've been home. I've jokingly called it a Utah-induced coma--maybe not so jokingly. I love Utah. I love the view from the front porch. I love being home with my family, knowing where I am and who I am in relation to these people who love me even when I'm being me. I'm excited for Seth to come home and Lauren to come visit, and the world will feel complete. But then the wind will blow, and the shapes will change, and I'll need to decide what it is I'm looking at.
A few important things have happened in the past six weeks. I interviewed for (and was offered a job!) teaching English 1010 at Utah Valley University. I'll be there starting at 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I am not a morning person, but I am a teacher, and I'll do anything to teach.
The next thing came out of the blue--or maybe not so out of the blue as it seems. I've been told to throw as many darts as possible, in the hope that one or two might stick. After many many many rejections (I should probably throw one more many in there), I found out that I'm a finalist for the 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. Which is bigger than any other dart I could have thrown at this point in my career. I'll find out on Sept 1 if I'm one of five winners, but being a finalist is enough for tonight.
Don't laugh at the last thing, but I went on my first blind date. Maybe you should laugh. Maybe I should laugh. After an email from him, and an email from me that was designed to scare him, he suggested an evening I couldn't say no to. And I'm glad I didn't. It was a slow, comfortable date that led to another date, and maybe to another. Whatever it was, or is, it helped me get over some of my fears and anxiety about dating. At 28, it's about time.
Which reminds me of a short story, which will bring us full circle to my parents' front porch. A few weeks ago the doorbell rang. I was the only person around, so I slowly pulled myself away from the book I was reading and walked to the front door. I saw a little person looking in through the clouded glass. She backed away as I opened the door, and I saw two little girls, one nervously holding a note in her hands. She looked at me and asked if my husband was home. "My husband doesn't exist," I told her, "but my dad lives here. He's not home right now, but I can give him a message." She solemnly handed me the note and asked me to give it to my dad. I thanked her and started to close the door, but not before I saw her little sister lean over to her and ask, "Why doesn't her husband exist?"