Live leigh updates*
*Less live, as in right now, and more lively, as in full of life.
I was in Walmart with my roommate one day to pick up noodles and a pocket sized spiral notebook, and found myself asking , “How did I get here?” It all started with a blanket that was not nearly as soft as it looked. I reached with my hand to feel said blanket that seriously looked like it would be one of the softest blankets in the whole superstore, but turned out feeling like nothing more than a disappointment. I was shocked that a company would make a blanket that only felt like a let down, but what was even more unbelievable was that my roommate thought it felt “fine”! She was obviously unaware of the potential that Walmart blankets had.
So, we came up with a one to ten scale for justly judging softness. One would be equivalent to sandpaper which would hurt and rip up your skin, while ten would feel so soft that it could hardly be understood. As we journeyed in the general direction of noodles, we passed by the displayed vacuums. I reached out to pet one of the rotating heads covered in a short fuzzy fabric: an easy four and a half out of ten on the established softness scale. We began to assess the multitude of vacuum heads as well as the carpet they rested on, and before I could grasp what was happening we were both laughing harder than anyone should ever laugh in the cleaning appliance aisle of Walmart. You see, I had innocently touched one blanket and all of a sudden we were rating hard surface dusters’ softness from one to ten!
A few days later I was in the operating room attempting to intubate patients so a machine could breath for them during whatever procedure they were getting. The key word is attempting because although I made a lot of progress, I wasn’t overly successful. Again and again I attempted intubations, and again and again I failed. So, at the end of the day there I was in OR eight with a whole team of medical professionals who had to witness my last attempt of the day: another fail. I did everything within my power to take the suggestions of my preceptor like a big kid, but there was an army of tears conspiring a plan for liberation by waging war against my dignity! Those little soldiers fiercely invaded enemy lines until deep breaths, happy thoughts, and even my eyelids surrendered to their pressure. As the platoon cried down my face with joy for their new found freedom, I nodded my head politely and tried to pretend that the doctor’s encouragement was encouraging. In reality, I was a grown adult in a room full of other grown adults crying over failure asking myself, “How did I get here?”
Let’s see; oh, yeah! During the first weeks of living in Bismarck there was an outdoor street fair that I couldn’t wait to go to except when the day of the event arrived so did North Dakota’s annual rainstorm. I rolled up with my raincoat, and minimal cash for the sole purpose of buying street fair food. From inside my car the unceasing drops of water looked like joy falling from the sky, and after thirty minutes of wandering around I concluded that the joy was greatly increased by a footlong corndog and mustard! It was wonderful.
Some days, when I have time, I like to eat breakfast on the balcony of my apartment in one of our two outdoor chairs that may or may not have been thrown away by other people before I collected them from the curb in the cover of night. I’ll drink coffee overlooking my new home and eat toast thinking, “Really though, how did I get here?”
I think the question is such a puzzle in my mind because the life that I’m living, from fun little stories to the reality of where I’m at, is not one that I could have ever imagined. Indeed, thirteen year old me assumed I’d be married with a second child on the way by twenty, while sixteen year old me was expecting to be dead before graduation, and eighteen year old me thought she knew where she was going; yet here I am living what I think is the dream, while trying to figure out what could possibly be next. It stops me dead in my path to think that if I had made different decisions anywhere along the way I could be in prison, on a beach, in a grave, or tucking my very own tiny human/s into bed.
I guess when it comes down to it, I’m probably wherever I am because that’s where I decided to be, and my gut tells me that I can’t properly express the magnitude of this mystery in my life to anyone who doesn’t live in my head, but there has to be a part of you that asks yourself the same question, right?
How did I get here?