I'm getting married in three weeks.
I always say that I never thought about my wedding when I was a kid, and I held that to be true until I was adulting today with my chores, and I remembered this time when I was writing out the milestones of my life.
I couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen, and I set this piece of paper in front of me and looked at the generalized outline of a life, and I said, "I'm here at this point. See? I haven't even graduated yet. I haven't gotten married. I've got all these things to look forward to. I'm still so young."
Now I'm turning 28 in two weeks, and I'm getting married seven days later. I've just spent a whole week putting together a slideshow of my life. It's a small life, it's just one person, but it's taken me all over the place and so many characters have come in and out or were there to begin with and stuck around.
Then I went to my fridge after chores to grab a pop, and I looked at all the magnets on the fridge. Now I know this is really lame, but I actually collect magnets from important places I've traveled or lived, and I realized my collection had grown exponentially throughout my adult years.
There was the Domino's magnet from Chicago. Then the new Ireland and Edinburgh magnet. All the quote magnets that I've gotten for myself around birthday time every year since I was nineteen and starting college. There used to be only a few, but now there are a bunch. I'm going to have to start curling them around the fridge.
There were the pictures of my characters (and below Katara and Aang) for Alex when he lived far away at law school. There was our countdown to Disney and now our countdown to our wedding.
My life is on my fridge.
I then had a phone conference with my amazing mentor, Nancy Holder. And she started talking about my book and I started seeing this big picture of where the book was going, what the rest of my graduate years were going to look like, what a career in writing could look like.
I started thinking about the milestones I have yet to still hit. My 30th birthday. My first child. My big move somewhere else. The death of a parent. 10th Anniversary of the wedding. Taking my family to Disney World for the first time. Retirement. Growing old together. Death of a spouse. My death.
How will this life look?
I told Nancy, "I feel like I just need to finish my book before I go and start analyzing the thematic constructs of earlier scenes."
Will my own life make any sense when it's over? Will I be able to look back and understand who was important and why certain things happened? Will I understand its importance? Will it be a story I like?
Well, that's what this year is about, isn't it? Filling my fridge with places, filling my blank word documents with projects. Taking control of what my life looks like, and making sure it's worth reading.
Oh, and also, the writing went well today.
What is this?
Dawson is an editor and writer and MFA student at Stonecoast. She writes stuff.