Good Evening Darlings,
I am writing to you from our brand new picnic table! It’s true, I’ve become quite the Maine resident (although I still reserve the Danskos solely for the wickedly hungover morning).
Le hubs and I celebrated our five year anniversary last weekend. Can you believe that? FIVE YEARS.
It’s been quite the journey, and we decided to celebrate in Montreal. So off we drove last Thursday to a city just beyond American borders. And let me tell you, I have never felt quite so European without getting on a jumbo jet. We had a lovely time staying at Le Relais Lyonnais Hotel right smack in the middle of the city.
We ate too much, drank not enough and sweltered through many long walks to farmers markets, a beer fest, the art museum and AN ICE SKATING RINK! We saw old friends and made new memories. We also ate so much smoked meat and bagels and smoked fish and all the finer Jewish delicacies that one has a hard time finding in Protestant centric New England.
All of the girls looked just as fabulous and effortless as they do in Paris. It is quite annoying and amazing at the same time. The best part was that people stopped us to ask us directions, which means that we didn’t look the part of touristas at all. Mission, as they say, Accompli.
And we drove home through the white mountains (not before getting stopped by a mounty with a $200 speeding souvenir just for yours truly) and it was absolutely magnificent. The trip was punctuated with a stop at the place we fell in love and were married – Maine Teen Camp.
It was quite an emotional experience. Camp is about to start and yet again, we are not there. Which of course is wonderful because it means that we both have amazing jobs that are turning into blessed careers. But it also means that once again we are reminded that we are growing up and that it’s entirely probable that we will never again spend a summer on that little lake in the middle of Kezar Falls. Summers as young adults on the brink of adulthood – nights spent around the fire making new friends and spending time with old friends. Days full of silly inside jokes, interpretive power walking, friendship bracelets and songs that will forever remind you of those glorious 9 weeks spent fending off adulthood just a little bit longer. I think I can safely say that there will never be a time in my life when I don’t miss it.
The truth is that I believe that my sentimentality is one of my worst traits. Indulging in thinking about the past in a way that makes you too emotional really does no one any good. But I can’t help it. It’s not that I don’t love my life in the present tense.
I have a job that I love going to every day and I never don’t feel lucky to have it. I have mentors that don’t actually exist in most people’s lives. People who want me to succeed and have everything I’ve ever dreamed of. And that is an absolutely breathtaking feeling, but it is also incredibly scary. I think that my sentimentality about camp comes from so many places – the fact that I spent the better part of a decade there, the fact that so many of my friendships were cultivated there.
But I also think that it has a great deal to do with the fact that I always felt safe there. Aside from a few bats that still haunt my dreams, I don’t think I ever felt afraid of anything at that little oasis. And as I get older, I am realizing that I am so afraid of success and failure at the same time that I never really have a chance to feel confident and safe.
But enough of the millennial chatter. My half year resolution is to start enjoying the present more. And knowing that I will not be perfect at everything I do but that somehow knowing that makes up for the weakness of the action. And that I’ve got my picnic table, my darling husband, my family, my friends and my family at that fabulous agency nestled inside an old library to support me.
And I’ve got the knowledge that at that little piece of heaven on Brownfield Road, little ones are learning more about themselves and life than they ever will on the outside. And that big ones are learning skills that will make them so prepared to take on lifes challenges and make them interesting and special members of societies all over the world. Even if I’m not there to witness it.
And also, I’ve got the neverending ability to listen to the Amelie soundtrack all day long on Spotify. And that alone makes me feel French and effortless, and that makes me feel like it’s all worth it.
So until next time – where I promise it will be more about diamonds and furs and gimlets – I urge you to join me in my promise to myself to enjoy the present just as much as I romanticize the past.
Because, let’s face it - the present isn’t half bad.