January 29, 2014

11 O'Clock Thoughts

Maybe I have nothing better to do.

Maybe it's the cold, trapping me indoors and trapping my thoughts, too.

Maybe I'm tired of listening to myself talk.

Maybe it's my age.

Maybe I'm hibernating.

Maybe I'm sad about things, happy about others, and neither of the two feels worthy of writing.

But I've been introspective lately.

I want to minimize my life: the material things, the distractions, the need to keep up. I want to stop reading 500 blog posts from strangers, and instead read 10 from good friends.  I want to be in the here and now of whatever my life consists of; and right now, it consists of mothering, and making macaroni and cheese, and running my hands over a beautiful mug at Target, and taking five minutes to write in this space when the streetlamps blink on and the house is silent.

I want to write the way Carl Sandburg wrote about the city up the road; I want to know something that deeply and love it that poetically. I want to feel something good that much. I want to connect to something like that. I want to be passionate in a way that bubbles up when someone presses me, instead of shouting what I love and what I hate to whoever will listen. I want to rid my sight of shallow things. I want to be focused. I want to hold on to some mystery.


I want to quit being angry. I want to break the anger and mistrust that the past four years has woven through me. I want to be at peace- with myself, with others, and with what the world hands me. I want to stop being jealous of people who are happy. I want to be happy for them. I want to love them how I would want to be loved. I want to be the kind of mother that these two can remember as joyful. I want to exhale more. I want to give myself room for quiet, and learn how to appreciate the chaos and noise in our home.

I want to stop settling for things I like, and go after what I love. I want to eat something with more calories if it tastes better. I want to buy the nicer pair of shoes. I want to hold on to old things that are better than new ones. I want to stop looking at people with beautiful lives and make my own life beautiful. I want to ignore what's in style. I want to stop imitating. I want to cultivate my own good taste and make my own way.


I want to learn something. I want to make a paper crane from the origami book I bought ten years ago and never took down from the bookshelf. I want to do something with my hands, something that I can show Walter and Millie someday, something that is useful and makes our house more beautiful or blesses someone else or tastes better or keeps some lost art from being completely lost altogether. I want to take pleasure in something small. I want to remember what my handwriting looks like. I want to use more stamps and envelopes.


I want to remember my roots. That my father was a fireman and my mother was a nurse. That I was named for my mother's twin brother. That I grew up between these squares of soybeans and corn, and that they look like a patchwork quilt from an airplane window. That I'm a nearly thirty year old woman without a degree in a town full of perpetual caps and gowns, and that it's okay. That I'm not like everyone else just because I like Starbucks and scarves and drinks in Mason jars. That I have a good heart, and need to demonstrate it more often. That I love how I feel when I write, even if it's not published in a small newspaper or glossy magazine. That I had 25 years of hopes and mistakes and fears and loves before Amelia and Walter.

I don't really know what I want.

But I think it's something like this.

16 kind comments from you:

Julie Monroe said...

I love this and want many of the same things also.

Jen said...

I love this. As always. :)

stacyfiore said...

Love this <3 I was thinking a lot of the same things yesterday. ((hugs))

Jamie said...

I love your writing.

Jen said...

As always your writing is inspiring and I enjoyed reading this.

Alissa said...

Beautiful, as always. And the pictures of your kids are perfect!

Mrs.B said...

Love.
I've had a few of these thoughts lately. But mostly I've been consumed by comparing myself to others.. It's bad.

Michelle said...

Erika. This is amazing, and it got to me, man. It's like you pulled this out of my head, but you wrote it better than I ever could. We are on the same wavelength, girl.

Kaylee said...

I absolutely love this post. Just sayin'.

Fran said...

"I want to stop looking at people with beautiful lives and make my own life beautiful" This.

This, so so much.

Jenn said...

We're riding the same wave, lately! Love this post. :)

(I totally weeded out blogs recently too. Tried applying my facebook rule to it- Would I talk to this person if I saw them in Walmart? Or hopefully, Target? I mean, we ARE bloggers after all.) ;)

nicolehinesstarkey.com said...

I came to visit from FMF with LJB. I'm not sure that this was intended as your hero post since it was posted two days ago- but it still reads as you finding the hero in you. I love this. I feel this when I read it and it makes me smile. Thank you.

Karen said...

I love this. And I totally know how you feel about the blog reading... in fact, I just skimmed through my "list", saw that you posted and clicked on it immediately and it brought me here. I think everyone really wants most of those things on your list. And I definitely want to use more stamps and envelopes :)

Jessica Lynn said...

You should think (and write) at 11 pm more often! I hope you get all the things you want and find peace with everything, too.

Sue // As It Seems said...

Sometimes I read your writing and I want to fall into it. I don't have any beautiful comments to write that could possibly contribute! I love your words.

beka said...

This gave me the chills.

So right.
So meaningful is the acknowledging of wants and desires for all these little-big things. It's good to know we're not completely alone in wanting to matter and enjoy these simple things.

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