Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Woman in her Thirties Does Not Take Advice from Homeless People

I currently am in a transitional point in my life, which is basically a nice way of saying things are crazy as a wedge (thanks, JS). You'd think that after thirty-one years of moving, changing, and uncertainty, I'd be used to it by now. I'm not. I do not know how to fly by the seat of my Paige Jeans, and this whole 'trust that there's a plan for you' business only makes me grind my teeth at night harder. Whatever the plan is for me, the only thing I know for sure is that it had better include dental.

Tonight while on a walk (on a busy, crowded street, please don't worry), a man approached me. He had that crazy homeless guy look about him, but I could tell he didn't mean me any harm.

'You should study civil law,' he said, wiped some drool from his chin, and then walked away.

Civil law. I walked in to a frozen yogurt shop and considered it. What exactly is civil law? Civil as in 'civilization'? Civil as in 'be civil to your sister when your Grandmother is around'? And law? Me? I love 'Cold Case Files' as much as the next woman in her thirties, but isn't it a little late in my life to throw myself into a new profession? I actually thought this while dumping chocolate sprinkles into my cup.

You know you're confused about the direction your life is going when a homeless man's ramblings get you thinking about changing careers, even for a moment. I couldn't help but laugh at myself. It's not that there has ever been a time when I might have taken him seriously, but by the time I left the yogurt shop I began to think about a more spontaneous point in my life, a time where I could change professions easily (I did), and move countries (did that, too), on a whim. Not so much anymore.

It made me feel sad, but only for a minute. I realized that even in the most selfish and spontaneous time in my life I felt the same way back then as I do now-- uncertain. And yet now, older and wiser, I could fill a best-selling book with all the stories I never would have believed would be mine (plus or minus a few salacious chapters).

A woman in her thirties gives up on trying to control everything all the time. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that it's not going to do me much good in the transitional time ahead. I have to unclench my teeth, smile, and let life happen. Change is coming, and it's going to keep on coming for a long, long time. We may as well get as many frozen yogurts as possible on the way.


  1. I hope this also pertains to 26-year-old me. Change is coming for me. Thanks for the reminder to LET GO for once.

  2. The title of this post had me cracking up. And sometimes I think those vagrants know better than I do...

  3. Best advice I've heard in a long time.
    I'm unclenching teeth now...I'm relinquishing control...