Walking with Cats

I’m just one woman living in a broken-down bungalow in a fading neighborhood. I put one foot in front the other, pretending that I’ve got a life worth living. Isn’t that a laugh? Middle-aged and the lone human in a house of cats. Just like everyone predicted would be my future life, and now here it is. How did this come to pass?

I open my window and become enveloped in the busyness of my surroundings – teens hooting and hollering, men in slow cars with excruciatingly loud, pounding music shaking the floors of my wood house, people pulling up to homes and honking and honking, trash tumbling down the street driven by the wind, birds calling to each other from tree to tree, lonely cats occasionally caterwauling, children yelling in play, sirens crying in the distance, and highway traffic noise wafting over all of us. I imagined a different life than this. I imagined myself a writer in Paris or London or New York, yet somewhere along the way, I chose a detour that has never ended. I think back on my life and ponder my decisions and what I could have done differently, but, of course, I know that I would choose the same journey given who I was at the time, not who I am now.

It all seems so easy. There are a billion ways to change my life (judging by the many books on the subject). I expect it all comes down to how I think, what I value, what I believe is the truth of my life, what I want my life to be this minute and the next. The past is done, even though it lingers on in everything I am and do. If I accept that my past choices are only choices and that I can choose differently now because nothing in my life is written in cement (even though it seems so), then I can go on as someone with life dreams. I want a Paris in my future. It’s not too late, they say it’s never too late, whoever they are. Hopefully they are smarter than me.

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