She’s a writer, with a pretty oak secretary’s desk in a sunny window, where pressed flowers wait to beautify stationary and a manuscript is laying out, neatly stacked, waiting for a final edit before it’s sent out to print.
She’s a reporter, and never skips that extra step that makes an inside story move out front. Her accolades are taking up her wall space; her bylines scatter across the pages; she asks the hard questions and never fears the backlash and angry calls, but always adds a smile to keep sources talking; and she never loses time on Facebook or tries to see if jeans can be business casual.
Her vegetable gardens thrive; her shelves are stocked with quart jars filled with her produce and capped with those little checkered fabric circles; her flowers bloom from early spring bulbs to fall shrubs, ever changing with the seasons; her house is perfumed with the bouquets she brings inside.
She is the picture of health and youth and vitality, and she is always cheerful and never tired and never moody; she doesn’t even know what hormones are.
And she is as fake as those pictures from old cookbooks, the ones where women with perms and high heels turn out perfect chocolate cakes without so much as a smudge on their frilly white aprons.
She is the woman in my head, and she is a tyrant.
Oh, I imagine you know what I’m talking about. We somehow merge several different worlds and several different lives and expect ourselves to live up to them all. I want the home of a stay-at-home mom with no kids and plenty of creativeness coupled with the career of a successful reporter and writer, with a dash of retired woman’s gardens and Amish woman’s pantry.
And then I wonder why I fall into bed at night with a vague discontent and a sense of leaving something undone.
But when I try to face her, she looks at me with disapproving eyes and points to a checklist of my own creation with her perfectly manicured finger, and I scurry off and return to checking boxes.
But now I wonder – if it’s my own list, maybe I should rewrite it with a little more realism and a little less merging of too many worlds.
Maybe I should live in one world at a time.