Real life is rarely getting more than 5 hours of sleep a night even though, every night, I tell myself I'm going to go to bed early . It's spending 3 weeks and 15 hours on 3 1/2 pages worth of writing, but learning a lot in the process. Real life gets in the way of writing about real life--but eventually, it happens. Real life is always running late and falling behind.
It takes a long time to figure out what "Real Life" is because it never sits still long enough for me to get it straight. Real life is fickle and changes its mind too often. Then again, there's always something about it that stays the same. Real life requires lots of water and sun and fresh air--although, unfortunately, it can exist for a long time without it. Real life can exist without a lot of things, but when that happens it starts to look like the weeds that used to grow in the dark corners of my old pole barn, ghostly white and spindly. Real life is the fact that, as of 6 months ago, I no longer have that barn or the land or the house that I built with my own hands. And when I think of this, real life surprises me with plump, rolling tears because I'm reminded of how much I loved that place. When real life is paying attention, it's a close cousin to tears and laughter. I remember real life making me bawl my eyes out when I left that village high, high up in the Himalayas. Back then, I told myself that it was good if I cried when I left a place because it meant that I experienced something worth experiencing. There are only two places that I cried that hard over. I still yearn for both--and that's what real life offers, though only when you're completely open to it. Real life is built of breakable hearts. When that happens, if you're smart, you let life back in anyway because, usually, it works out. Of course, real life doesn't let you in on this until the hurt has lost its sting--and sometimes that can be a long, long time.
Real life is every single stupid, funny, depressing, happy, ridiculous, serious, and wildly embarrassing thing I've ever written on this blog. It will probably come back to haunt me. Real life is full of memories and dreams that most of the time feel more real than what is real. Real life is that goddamned alarm clock that goes off every morning. Real life slaps me in the face and then kicks my ass to make sure it got its point across. Real life is dogshit in the back yard. It's that first cup of coffee in the morning and a husband waiting for me (presently) to come to bed.
Real life is redundant. It has no real beginning and no real end. Real life is a dog chasing its tail. It's boring, it's maddening, it is pleasure. Most of the time real life is ridiculously uncomfortable, but for some reason, I'm drawn to it all the same--like I'm drawn to love, or sunrises or the Sunday paper--always hoping that it's hiding--somewhere--whatever it is that I'm looking for. All the while, it's right there--staring me right in the face.