Saturday, April 29, 2017

adult lives


It's Saturday morning and I am emptying the dishwasher. For what must be the 100,000th time in this life.

Maybe it’s Norah Jones on the radio, but this menial household chore is becoming an experience for me. I am fixated on the ceramic white plates that I bought from Target in 2012.

Our true adult lives start first and foremost in a place. For example, it could begin in a grimy women’s bathroom in New York City, or while eating in the brightly colored cafeteria at Google in Mountain View, California. If you're paying attention, you know the specific moment your adult life begins because of the power that radiates from within the place. It's like a small explosion; in the air, and unavoidably noticeable. All of the inanimate things around you are pulsating with an energy that says, "Congratulations! Your adult life has just begun!" My adult life began in 2012 when I picked up some plates at Target in aisle two. 

I remember the thoughts. These are not my parent's plates and they’re not my roommate’s plates either. These are my plates, in what will supposedly be my kitchen. Despite the pack of eight, I remember the realization of actually only technically needing one plate, one fork, one spoon, one knife. I was one person, after all. What a beginning of your adult life way to feel.

As I am putting away the wine glasses this morning and then organizing the coffee cups, I am hit with a surprise wave of pride. I acknowledge that since the buying of the plates, there have also been five years worth of evenings filled with wine, stories, good food, belly laughs. There have been groggy mornings that turn into long days at the office, all which start with a dark cup of reliable coffee. These are the artifacts of our lives, memorialized in what may seem like a trivial way, but it's meaningful if you really think about it. Here's where you began; here's where you arrived. A set of eight ceramic plates; a wine and coffee-filled wonderful, colorful life.

The irony of course is that we are never as in control as we think we are.

A plate could break at any time, and shatter into a million tiny pieces.