ColumnConscious life, hear me roar.
You see me on the streets of the city, a tall, dark-haired woman you guess to be in her thirties. That’s thanks to lots of organic creams and copious amounts of ingested water; I have just turned 41. In fact, I hear it all the time: “I’d never guess you were 41!”
Right. Just give me the damn cream.
In the city, I am faceless, having made little impression in a place too full of impressionists and wanna-be-somethings. But I love it here and feel its pulse and imagine myself single, writing, tending a window box, falling in love, having loud sex with a dizzying man.
I go to parties, talks, have lunches and dinners over soy candles in hipster restaurants and talk endlessly about the state of the sustainable fashion industry, rant how I can’t believe we have to live in such a steaming pile of a planet as designers and PR flacks simultaneously pitch me, want me to write about them, could care less about the fact that my husband back on Cape Cod is stuck at home trying to make sure the kids have lunches packed and that they feel loved.
In two days, I will return home, from this life to that life, where I edit and write and ponder online media and conscious living from a small bungalow with water views. There, I drive a gold mini van with a bobble head Buddha on the dash to pick up my 11-year-old daughter from school. I wear my signature motorcycle boots and giant cocktail ring that make me feel tough and ready to battle the clique convention of suburban women, who still exist. These women are far too old for their age, clustered around shining SUVs full of plastic sacks full of processed snacks, squeezed into sloppy Wal-mart sweatpants, babbling about decorative pillows and Emma’s next recital. Or was it Abigail’s.
Nobody is curious anymore. I want to tell them all to fuck themselves but can only muster a forced smile as I walk past.
I show up 10 minutes late everyday to avoid the “Sweat Pack,” much to the chagrin of my girl with her neon-pink side swept bangs and new blue hair feather.
“You’re late again,” she says everyday with a sigh, not knowing that to show up on time would mean seeing what I can’t believe I’m part of: clueless gaggles of empty women who only think of the environment in terms of how fast their boat or truck moves through it.
I was born and raised on Cape Cod. I came back 13 years ago, just after my son was born in America’s Greenest City, Portland, Oregon. We left there after six years, packed in a U-haul to drive cross country with our 7-month-old strapped in tight, all of us watching the country fly by: mesas, mountains, corn fields, open expanses that made me feel hope in conservation, preservation and a curiosity for a new life.
What this new life has become is terrifying, challenging. It is a daily struggle to stay true to living consciously when so much is riding against my family’s progress forward.
I don’t smoke.
I don’t drink.
I am not on any medication that will make any of this any easier.
This is my conscious life in a small town.
I want you to know about it.
Editor’s note: This is the first in Managing Editor Amy DuFault’s new column, Between the Lines, where she navigates the sometimes-sharp, sometimes-blurred lines of life and culture between city and country. – S.O.
Image: Hello Turkey Toe