I Don’t Know/I Want

I eat my lunch while reading, my thoughts faster than the speed at which I can write them down. Oh! My students should read this: here’s a poem about peeling an orange. Wait—it’s really long & it’s about cancer and war and travel and oranges.

The vent system of our house is pushing waves of heat toward me because I turned up the heat after I got home from my bookstore shift. I’m writing fast, before my family returns. All the needs I meet right now are mine: food, reading a poem, catching up on Instagram, taking a picture of myself and texting it to my mom. Because it’s a good hair day.

After almost 50 years on the planet, I can style my hair. I figured out how to blow it dry in 5 minutes. I even use a brush. And if the humidity and barometric pressure are just right: the style holds all day long.

As I read the poem about the orange, I get to the bottom and see that the writer was a Fellow and I think about how I want to be a Fellow. For so long, I told myself it was too late. But I have a feeling it isn’t. Because my friend Kat told me today that Americans are always supposed to have the answer to the question “What do you want?” ready. “I don’t know” isn’t a sufficient answer. But some Buddhists are onto us, answering “I don’t know” every time they are asked a question.

It’s OK to not know what you want. It’s also OK to hold onto a thread of what you’ve always wanted and picture yourself walking into that want. I want to be a poet. Wait—I am a poet. I want to be a more widely published poet and entertain the idea of going to grad school for poetry. Because it’s entirely financially ridiculous but someone might pay me to go. Because 50-year-old women are very cherished in our culture and I am almost 50.

I’m almost done with lunch. And this is my blogpost for today.

What do you want? I don’t know is a fine answer. Soak in it.

I don’t know. I want….

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