Thankful Day 8: Just Write

I like to listen to NPR in the mornings. It makes me feel smart and less like a mom in her minivan going to a stroller exercise class and more like a sophisticated business lady going to do business. Important business.

Today the story is about writers – playwrights, to be exact – in Washington, DC. They’re sponsored by Arena Stage and wait, I know that place. I’ve been there! I say it out loud in the car “Hey, I’ve been there! Arena Stage!” And then the memories come flooding back.

I’m in high school and we’re taking a bus, which smells exactly like every other school bus in the history of buses. I have brought my lunch. We’re going to see a play, maybe Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, maybe one of the dozen other plays I saw during those years and I am excited.

We are at the theater and I am sitting next to a boy. I’m too distracted by wondering if he likes me as much as I like him to pay attention to the story. It’s one of those boring Russian plays anyway – Uncle Vanya, I think – and boys are much more interesting than crazy Russians.

Now I’m under the stage, standing in the costume shop and dreaming about wearing all the beautiful clothes. I imagine what it would be like to play Maggie or Stella or Blanche and have everyone clap for me. Tell me I was wonderful. But here behind the scenes I am much more comfortable. I don’t really want to be the star, but I like to dream about it. It’s a pleasant dream, the way it’s nice to think about living in France but not actually wanting to LIVE IN FRANCE.

But I’m not in France, or under the stage, or at the theater. I am a mom in a minivan, listening to a story on the radio about a place I used to know. About writers who are paid to write and paid to create and who get to travel and explore and read for days and call it “research”. I think if my high-school self had known that was a real job, she would have done more than dream.

And now I’m done dreaming. I’m remembering and writing. And that’s close enough.

(Today I am thankful for people like Heather, who encourage me and so many others to live in the moment.)

7 Responses to “Thankful Day 8: Just Write”

  1. Other Erin says:

    When I’m on the way to do important business I’m usually reading online British tabloids. Just saying.
    (tear, Arena Stage Wednesdays. Is it weird I remember it was always on a Wednesday?)

  2. molly says:

    Sometimes I struggle with this too, Suzanne. I mean, yes, I go to work but it is not my dream. There are days and nights when I long for what I wanted so long ago. But morning always comes and I realize I wouldn’t trade my life for any dream job. I know you wouldn’t either.

    Glad to see you joining Just Write :)

  3. Robyn says:

    I wonder how many of us are actually living our dream life, especially the one we had when we were in school. i wish i could go back to my high school and college self and tell me know many other options were out there that i didn’t even know about. and the job i’d most love now (a lactation consultant), was no where near my radar when i was in high school and college. Animals were my first love and i wasn’t even sure i wanted kids, haha! my how things change. still, i have that second career to look forward to. the one i plan to persue when my kids are grown and i don’t have to pick a job because it pays well and is convenient for a working mom. Keep the dream alive!

  4. CJ says:

    Now you have the best of both worlds! Two beautiful little babies who call you MOM and the ability to write for the masses…ok, so the pay sucks, but you can’t have it all.

  5. Elaine says:

    I can relate to this about some things. And you totally nailed it when you compared it to wanting to live in France versus ACTUALLY living there. I completely get it. Nice post. :)

  6. MrsJennyK says:

    Fabulously expressed – and I can so relate. LOL, I listen to NPR and BBC as I’m driving around with the twins, desperately hoping I’ll be able to make conversation with adults, should I encounter any. But the dreaming…ah the dreaming! Keep dreaming and keep writing. You are wonderful at it.

  7. ryan says:

    I don’t know why this makes me so sad. It’s the same sad I feel driving to something or another, listening to NPR, crying because I miss my life or my mom or my kid who is right there in the back seat.

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