But then something happened. I went to the party and had some really good conversations. The kind of conversations that make you realize things and say smart things and make you laugh. The kind of conversations that better illuminate your life trajectory.
I came home (around 11:30pm) totally inspired. I started looking through my old journals (which reading and writing workshop teachers call "Writer's Notebooks") and realized that I have started to lose cherished pieces of my identity.
I remember reading once this idea that marriage is like fitting two pieces together. In order for those pieces to fit, each piece ends up getting losing a little of its original shape. As they rub against each other, the corners get rounded and the edges change. I feel a little like that.
There are so many ways that I am a more awesome person because of my marriage. Matt and I have created an amazingly satisfying life together. But there are also ways I am losing snippets of myself that matter to me. Snippets of my self that I do not want to lose.
I think the trick is to identify those aspects of self that I want to maintain--to hold them in my hand and separate the lint from the treasures in my pocket. Then I need to put the treasures back in my pocket and reach for them often.
For one thing, I need to go back to maintaining a Writer's Notebook. I still have a notebook, but it's more like an uninspired collection of to-do lists and grocery lists. I need to get a Moleskine Notebook (and then use Modge Podge to put some really cool stuff on the outside of it) and dig out my colorful Sharpies.
I also need to cultivate new friendships. It's so easy to go back to Matt as my default because we enjoy each other's company so much. But that's a little like overdosing on Clementines. Too much of a good thing is really not a good thing.