I’ve been restless lately. Antsy. Impatient.
If I were a dog, I’d be running in my sleep, chasing something just up ahead. If I were a toddler, I’d be fussing over something shiny I can’t quite reach and can’t ask for. If I was a summer storm, I’d be building.
Part of me—possibly a part I should either pay attention to more often or keep better medicated—seems to believe that a change is coming.
Maybe good, maybe bad.
The first time I felt like this, I’d been working in a bookstore in my hometown for about a year. Something clicked, and within two weeks, I’d taken the GRE, applied to the nearest university that offered the degree I wanted in the shortest amount of time, and dragged my husband across state lines and a hundred miles south, so I could get my MLS.
The second time, I was working a perfectly good library job five minutes from our house—decent hours, decent money. I was reading through a professional listserv and clicked through to an ad for an open library position three towns and a river-width away. Within a month, I’d applied for and accepted the job, which offered better hours and great money.
The third time, I was seeing an endocrinologist because of some problems, including a two-year spate of amenorrhea that was interfering with my hopes for a second kid. One day, in a panic, I made an emergency appointment with him, because I was suddenly showing most of the symptoms on his Call Us If sheet . . . and discovered that I was pregnant with Sunny. “First egg out of the chute,” the doctor told me. “You beat the house odds.”
This time . . . I don’t know. Yet.
There are several possibilities.
My new boss arrives next month. I have several queries still out for Pigeons and submitted a few poetry articles to a local magazine. My kids start school in less than a month.
Work, writing, family . . . could be any of the three. Or none.
Could be indigestion, for all I know. That gastrointestinal thing that’s going around. A spike in my metabolism. A caffeine overdose. Mental exhaustion.
Or maybe I’ve slipped into an Alice Hoffman novel.
Hard to say.
But I’m not just standing still. I’m preparing.
Rest assured, I’m not stockpiling firearms or boom clay or petitions or placards on sticks.
I spent several hours last Thursday spontaneously mucking out fifteen years of accumulated stuff from my cubicle. I’ve spent this week finishing up the little things I’ve been putting off and arranging my current projects in neat, logical order. There’s an opening in another department and I’ve sent a letter to HR.
I sent out a new batch of queries on Sunday, and also offered warnings to my go-to Gun Expert and Locksmith Friend that I was amassing long lists of of questions for them on my new project.
I ordered my kids’ schoolbooks—whose idea was it to have 6th graders take Latin at $115 a pop for textbooks?—and plan to go through their closets tonight to see what we need to fix/buy/borrow/steal to comply with the school dress code.
I balanced my checkbook and paid my bills early. I ran a box of stuff through the shredder.
It’s like reverse nesting: I’m clearing my buffers and freeing myself to follow—or dodge—whatever comes my way
You could argue that all this prep work is going to make something happen and that I’ve been busy fulfilling my own prophecy. You’d probably be right.
At this point, I don’t care why it happens or even what happens, just that it does.
Because on Friday, I found out after the fact that I’d painted my nails in “Walk Away” rose.
If this is a clue from my subconscious/brain chemistry/the Deity of my choice/the Universe/Ms. Hoffman/Fate, it’s stopped trying to be subtle.