I have the coolest friends. Like, seriously. Musicians, mega-moms, artists, writers, moguls—you name it, I know one. Some of them are all those things! I can’t imagine my life without them. I’ve been curating and counting on them for years.
The tough part is, I lost touch with many of them the last half decade when I had my head so far down in my work. So, I thought it might be fun to bring showing up to light with the people whose opinions I trust and value most.
I figured I would just start through the list, alphabetically. Just kidding. With Andi, I actually felt inspired to start with a fellow leaner-outer. As I explore this new normal of work-life presence, I wanted to pick someone else’s brain about it.
TRUTH: Sometimes the clean laundry pile at the foot of the bed towers bigger than the bed itself. Sometimes the dishes pile up twice the height of the sink and the dirty pots and pans spill over onto the grimy stovetop. Sometimes the boys’ toilet, if I even bother to look at it, looks like a gas station toilet that hasn’t been cleaned for days.
And sometimes, I have one of those weeks, a week that hasn’t even really started, where I start to see it all and feel the oppression of it all and I can’t help but say to myself, “What do I have to show for myself? This life? This laundry mountain, this dish disaster, this biohazard toilet? Where has all the time gone?”
Then I think: I can’t be the only one.
I haven’t had a summer off since 2001. That was the summer we moved to DC from Texas in the month of June with no prospect for jobs, no apartment and no money. I’d left behind the hourly pay that I earned at a small-scale publishing desk job and some moonlighting at my favorite job ever: greeter and folder at the Gap.
But it was DC, a land of opportunity. We figured we’d have jobs in no time.
With a parental co-signature, we ended up renting in an idyllic garden apartment complex that felt a little like Melrose Place (I’m dating myself, I know) because so many people we knew lived in or around it. It had this huge glamorous pool that was far more enticing than job searching. So days slipped into weeks, slipped into months, and before you knew it, we had idly passed nearly four months with nary a job on the docket. But, man, did we have rockin’ tans and “regular” status at a bar up the street. Oh, and about $10,000 in credit debt. But we didn’t care. We were young and wild and free.