I love being so tired, and yet so awake that I can almost dream with my eyes open.
I am 26 now. Hello.
It's been just over one week since my birthday and it still feels so very, very weird to say that.
'Oh, hi, I'm Natalie. I'm 26 and my life is crazy.'
This is what 26 currently looks like from over here:
That's right, 26 means Tupac, lots of black leather, gold studs, coffee, cigarettes and photography. I dont know if I feel relevant with the times or just plain strange. Whatever it is, I like it. I feel me-er, as though I'm finally coming into my own personality, or rather, showing my personality for once. Oh look, this has turned into a coming of age tale! People, grab your lawn chairs and popcorn because this is going to be fabulouuus.
26 also means that I'm still an Army wife, still a student, and definitely still a mom to the coolest kids I know. Not many things have changed other than that I am farther through school than I was 6 months ago, and I am slowly (read: molasses) getting better at my favorite hobby. The upgrade from the Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm to the D7000 with 35mm 1.8g has been wondrous. I feel like I'm really getting into it more than ever and nothing feels quite as refreshing. Sitting down to edit has become a full-blown crackfest for me during which I squeal and gasp and wring my hands until it's complete. Can't get enough.
Where is this even going?
I dont know, it's nearly 2am and I'm required to be up at the dawn of whenever my kids decide tomorrow. Writing has been on the slow side for the past, I don't know, eleventeen months due to school, stress, anxiety, stress, school, rinse, repeat, blah, blah, wakka wakka. JUst as with photography, I have a very simple on/off switch for writing that compells me to either verbal vomit spontaneously for hours or, oppositely, remain quiet on the western word front for months at a time. I wish I had a more viable excuse, or any excuse at all, really, but truthfully I just dont write the way I did as a teenager (see: time constraints). It simply isnt enough. I need to will myself to write more, if only here and if only for the express purpose of releasing my thoughts onto virtual paper. As with most people who have even the smallest of passions for writing, I find the practice to be somewhat therapuetic. I'm a ball of anxious mess at my core, and writing down what I feel somehow brings me off that manic high and back into practical thought and function. It also works to embarass the hell out of me in the future (I sense a foreshadow here somewhere). But yes, write more, self, please.
As if this hasn't rambled far enough into the territory of "are you kidding me, this is a blog post?" I'd like to discuss my adorable creature, Scouty, and her upcoming fourth birthday. Yes, FOURTH. F-O-U-R-T-Oh fuck it. I can't believe 1) that she has been in existence for this long and 2) That I have been a mother for this long. All I can say to that is what. the. hell. Also, please stop it right now before my head/heart explodes into nothing. Scout growing older means I have to face all of those deep-down fears that every daughter-having parent has. I am knee-fucking-deep in princessland over here and I am about to lose my mind. The practical side of me says, "It's just a phase, lady" and the feminist in me shouts indignantly, "Burn the Barbies! Rip apart the dresses! Ban the television!" In other words, I have no idea what I'm doing and where is the current baby-guru elect on this shit?
Back to birthdays. I am waxing rhapsodic lately about my little lady and feel overcome with emotion as we approach the looming unicorn-themed birthday party. Girl has a penchant for making everything magical, so the theme fits. Needless to say, my inner 6 year old is screaming in joy as I browse Etsy for party decor. My inner-26 year old is weeping because my once chubby, whispy-haired little baby is now a full-fledged pre-K with flowing brown locks and a preschool boyfriend named Keegan. She loves princesses, Minnie Mouse, glitter and the requisite favorite girly colors. If I ask her to wear a purple plaid button-up shirt she wil announce to me, in no uncertain terms, that she looks like a boy. Basically, here is my nightmare, please send help. But, even though she wages war against my feminist ideal, she is still ridiculously fabulous to be around and makes me happy every day, no exceptions. Things she has said lately that made me die a little inside: "On your honor, I promise we watch Brave tomorrow.", "I'm nervous about Keegan. He makes me shy." "I love Jasper. He was a small baby and now he is my big baby. Can I sing him me-shine?" "What does Hanukkah look like?" and a million more things that only as a mother do I find adorable.
In other words, this blog post was mainly a way to say "Hey internet, I'm still alive" and also that I'm crazy about one particular four year old named Scout. The end. More soon.