One night I was reading Berkeley Breathed's Goodnight Opus. Actually it might have been my husband reading. I don't actually remember who it was. But I know it was bedtime and we were putting our baby to bed. She was old enough to sit up and listen to us read to her, but there wasn't a stream of questions pouring out yet.
As we sat there, the story filled the air. It began to niggle at a part of me I'd been working to ignore. After a year in the suburbs, life had settled into a young family routine.
Get up. Get Dressed. Get out of the house before the baby is up. Drive to work in traffic. Work. Schedule a few kid appointments. Work. Eat lunch. Putz around on the Internet. Work. Drive home in traffic. Pick up the baby from day care. Set her up with toys in the living room. Make dinner. Greet husband. Eat dinner. Bath. Read a bedtime story. Put the baby to bed. Swap loads of laundry. Fold clothes. Plan dinner for the next night. Pack lunches. Go to bed.
"... the same one you've read me two hundred nine times."
"Grandma read, the two hundred tenth time."
"When your sight surpasses what's plainly in view, pull your head from the clouds, keep the ground to your shoes. [...] It's improper that folks get so carried away."
These were full days. There was joy, but there was a monotonous repetition. I could feel the edges getting tattered. I was tired. In my bones and my soul. I could feel the strain of having a full and beautiful life. My world had lined up. I had no complaints. But I was so tired.
And Opus was on a beautiful adventure. A Tooth Fairy selling an Elvis Molar. Fishing for the moon in Blue Mist Lagoon. Cows in the Milky Way.
Upon returning home Opus says "I sure like to think that one day or the next she'll get carried away and depart from the text."
My heart broke just a little. With each day, the rut I was digging was getting deeper. If I was tired now, it was not going to get better. Soon our daughter would have potty training and school and field trips. My job responsibilities would grow. Traffic just doesn't get any better.
Time passed. Tattered edges turned to fringe. We had a second baby. The fringe was gone. In its place I found holes. The kind where the material is so threadbare that attempt to mend it just make the hole bigger.
I started writing this blog. Maybe my writing would be so awesome I would become a rich blogger and talk to suburbanites around the world about how they too could break the mold. How the text they followed was under their control.
More likely, I would write and have something to look back on. I would be able to look back and see that the struggles were real and different and I was growing and changing over the years. It wasn't as monotonous as it seemed. And in telling my story I would find the joy in each day. I would seek out the joy.
But something completely different happened. I didn't write about it. I didn't capture it. I simply lived it. One day at a time.
In January, an email from a recruiter showed up in my Inbox. It was obviously a form letter, but I answered. When a bright red door appears in front of you, one you hadn't installed yourself, it is a good idea to check it out a little further.
In February, I interviewed with a big company for a job that came with a catch. The job was 2800 miles from where I'd lived every day of my life since I was born. I interviewed for an interesting job. They saw more than I realized I was offering.
In March, they offered me the job. But it wasn't just a job. As I read and re-read the details, I was being offered a new beginning. We could try something completely new. An adventure if we were brave enough to take the leap.
"After two hundred ten times, I departed the text."