I have a life filled with almost-maybes. You know, those times in your life when you have stuck your toe into something and then right when the critical moment came to go full-in, you bailed and headed another direction. That’s me. And if memory serves me right, that’s always been me. I could have been so many things in my life…
I almost played the violin. I started playing when I was four years old. I remember falling asleep every night to the Suzuki records, hearing the patterns and allowing the brainwashing melodies to lull me to sleep. I played in recitals with adults and I think I could have been good had I continued. But I didn’t. I got bored.
I was almost a gymnast. I started when I was five and know the exact date of when I did my first round-off back tuck (no handed back flip). It was 8-8-88 and I was 10. I was fearless and loved tumbling. I flipped in the back yard, in the living room, in random parking lots. I could have been really good had I actually practiced. But I didn’t. I got distracted.
I was almost a piano player. I spent my whole life playing the piano by ear, so by the time I was in high school, I signed up for real piano lessons. Every lesson started with a piano exercise going up and down the scale in complicated patterns. My teacher told me that she had never seen a student play the exercises so proficiently and so fast. She even tape recorded me. She handed me the Maple Leaf Rag, and I played it. She handed me Clair de Lune and I played it. What she didn’t know was that I barely practiced. I always wonder what could have been had I applied myself. But I didn’t. I made out with my boyfriend instead.
I could have been a physical therapist. When I was 16, the local physical therapist offered me a job and taught me to do various treatments and techniques on patients. I performed ultrasounds, electric stimulation – things that a 16 year old probably shouldn’t have been doing. But I loved it. There was a rough patch when I acquired two adult male admirers. One was a pizza delivery guy who taped Alanis Morissette concert tickets to the top of the pizza box to woo me, and the other started to say inappropriate things to me when I was doing his ultrasounds. Stalkers aside, I went off to college to major in physical therapy. One year in, my advisor broke it to me that my grades were just not good enough and that I should seek out a different major. As I stood crying in a bathroom stall, I thought about how I could have been such a good physical therapist had I just studied harder. But I didn’t. I went to parties and slept too much instead.
I almost moved out of Ohio. I found an internship in Las Vegas straight out of college, packed up my car and drove across country to start a new life out West. Having never been there, I was in a bit of culture shock. I think it hit me when I found myself sitting at a table with Penn from Penn and Teller and porn stars. I just couldn’t find my place in that crazy town. I wonder what would have happened if I had just stuck it out. But I didn’t. I decided to save the world through working at non-profits and moved back to Ohio for a job instead.
I almost had a daughter. One of the pregnancies I lost would have been a girl. When I was pregnant for those 10 weeks, I just knew it was a girl. I can still picture what I thought she would have looked like. I always thought I would have a daughter. But I don’t. I have two boys instead.
I almost had a really good blog about pie. See, I can feel the almost-maybe coming on with this blog. September, 2011 was when I started this and it’s now exactly a year later. I have made a lot of pie, gave it to a lot of people and ate way too much of it. I still love to make it (I made two last night), but have slowed down. I’m not sure what this blog is going to be. I still have a lot of random thoughts to get out of my head, not to mention a lot of baking to do. The blog has been so many things this past year – a distraction from a miscarriage, a reminder of how much I love story telling, a chronology of my year of pie, and a connection to friends new and old who I would not have heard from had it not been for the blog.
My life in the almost-maybe. I’m ok with it because at least I tried.
And like a Tiffany song looping through my head, I’ll never know what could have been because I’m trying hard to be grateful for what I have.