Right now I want a word that describes the feeling that you get when you’re 100% certain but 75% uneasy. When you feel slightly sick, but very relieved, and also completely panicked. This word would be a tiny thrill, racing up and down, followed closely by a wallop of reality. This word would be accompanied by a lot of not-quite-firm chocolate. (No patience, with this word.)
I want a word that says I’m so proud of you and wait what were you thinking and couldn’t you have hung on a little longer and no, this is absolutely, positively right. I want a word that says the ones you don’t even want to whisper: what if it’s not.
Twenty-two seems to be the year that I turned into this brand new person that I damn sure never expected to meet. She wonders if that top comes in black, if it’ll be faster to walk, and if it’s time for a raise. She wonders if she has been too quick to put herself down; if you’d like to read what she wrote. She wonders if you’d like to go to brunch, and if you wouldn’t mind passing the butter.
You gave me a chance when I didn’t know which way was up and which way was down. (Literally. I took the wrong train so many times it was silly.) You gave me a start when I was shaking in my shoes. (They sure felt spiky enough to me.) You invited me in and took me to lunch and cleared a permanent spot for me at your table.
You had me try a little of everything, but you ended up letting me make all of my own decisions. You were good like that.
You gave me opportunity on a copper platter. Responsibility, too. (Most of the time, it was less heavy to hold than I thought it would be.)
You let me design and create and reevaluate and rearrange. You taught me that things only look ‘just so’ in photographs.
You had me dip my spoon in this, this, this, and that. And more TK! (You probably didn’t know that I once had to Google ‘TK.’)
You gave me more ‘firsts’ than you know. And for that, I will always be grateful.
I will remember in beautiful blue Ball jars, in loaves of Challah, in the click-clacks of keystrokes, in the red-orange-yellow of Gmail labels. I will remember in the smallest, loveliest spaces.
I will remember how nice it was to be surrounded by bright, young, creative people. And so much pie. (Always, pie!) And towards the end: bagels. (All the bagels!)
But mostly, I will remember how I discovered that I’m a person with room for more, too. Thank you for helping me see.