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100×17: Tide

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I wrote this in February and never posted it:

I’m in one of those phases where everything is happening at once. The last big sea-change in my life was June 2010. There’s a very clear divide between before and after, and I feel like something similar is rapidly bearing down, like I’m approaching a critical mass, and right now is the bit where I dig in and just try to stay afloat until the wave passes. And then I see where I end up, and with any luck there’s still solid ground under my feet.

The thing I like about times like this is how the big stuff — the stuff that changes your life, the stuff that changes you — always sneaks in. You can never prepare for it, and it never goes the way you’d expect. Most of the time, it comes on that wave, and all you ever get to do is hold your breath and let it take you.

I watched this great TED talk in the weekend, about how we work so hard to provide for a future version of ourselves — for a person who’ll probably never exist, because we all underestimate how much we’re going to change. His point, I think, was that Future You may as well be a stranger, and isn’t necessarily worth the sacrifices Present You is making for them.

I went out that afternoon and bought the material to make some clothes I’d been thinking about for ages, but kept putting off actually starting. And then I made them. And I felt fucking fantastic about it.

But I’ve been talking to Gentleman Caller today about how that’s a risk in both directions — I shouldn’t wait for Future Me to get around to the stuff I want to do, but, by the same token, Present Me mostly wants to drink wine and hang out, and she gets her own way far too often.

February Me knew change was coming. I didn’t know where I’d end up, but I had some ideas. Some hopes. I was being a little bit smug, secretly. And yet absolutely nothing happened the way I thought it might, and both so much more and so much less occurred in the meantime that when I reread the paragraphs above, it feels like someone else wrote them.

Someone else did, really. Some girl in the grip of a foolishly considered but well-meaning crush, on the cusp of having her heart seriously dented for the first time. Some girl who had no idea how men should treat her and how she should treat them (she only learned that later, from the one who picked her up after the last one).

Some girl who thought her contract would be renewed or her business would really take off. Both those things almost happened, but I’ve taken another full-time job at an agency in town instead. That girl thought she might go to Europe and write, but instead I’m spending next week in Bali. She thought she was on the brink of really sorting out her time management and her motivation… and I still do. Seriously. It’s happening. I’m all over it.

Tomorrow. Next week for sure. In July. By August, definitely.

But maybe by August I’ll be a different person again.

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Writer of things. Annoyer of cats. Mother of very small dragons.

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