About one week to go before we leave Antwerp, or rather, before we begin splitting out time between Antwerp and America. Here, the weather is a gorgeous 64F. The skies are just a bit overcast, and jazz music pours out of the upper-story windows of practicing musicians' apartments. There are lots of beer drinking sounds from the corner cafe where more people than usual are huddled inside watching the World Cup.
And me? I'm sitting in front of the computer working obsessively on my novel. So utterly actual now, I'm having an intense relationship with my characters.
I'm inside, but my terrace doors are open. I see the buildings, hear the cathedral bells ring, feel the breeze off the harbor; it feels like I'm not missing a thing. My book is soaking up the atmosphere, its all recorded between the layers of my story.
One week to go. It feels so strange, so right. Time is progressing exactly as it should. Roel and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe we met some 18 years ago when I was only 15. We're having more fun than we've ever had. I feel like we're growing younger together instead of older. Even now that Roel is preparing to begin work on his doctorate (which seems so f-ing grown-up) we feel like kids. I'm so proud of him. In some ways I'm jealous of his ability to continue achieving academically. I'm so proud of Roel and my other brilliant friends who are so organized, so successful in their educational goals.
We all know what a terrible student I have been in the past - what a terrible student I'd be today. It might sound strange, but I'm so glad I decided to forgo my brief classroom relationship (if you call me staring at the clock, doodling and daydreaming a relationship). The classroom and I never got along very well. I've learned so much by faltering, failing and learning through experience. I see where my writing - be it lyric-writing for music, or novel-writing has bloomed sans the carefully sculpted formula of a well-educated student. I wouldn't want to lose my grit, though I'm not speaking in terms of grammar, rather, structurally.
I guess what I'm trying to say (so ineloquently) is that I'm benefitting from exiting the classtomb, and from an abundance of life experience. I'm glad things have evolved as they have. I'm grateful for the way things continue to evolve. Sometimes I feel as though the things that have aged me have been erased, replaced by things that make me feel younger.