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Magic Numbers and Other Endings

those beginning days

those beginning days

Are you superstitious?

My mother wasn’t. At 45 she graduated from college with honors. She told me about a job interview she had at Time Magazine. With a real income she was going to get rid of the junky, rattling car and move out of the apartment complex where drug deals happened under her balcony. The boyfriend and the depression were gone. She was making her art. Then she died.

If I get into this MFA program, I will graduate at 45. Forty-five is the magic number–even if I’m not superstitious. That number brings me to my desk and keeps there while everyone else goes to sleep.

I walk like my mother and laugh like her. I get angry like her and argue like her. I’m turning into my mother every day and logic has little to do with it.

Last time I asked about your plans for the coming months. Well, what are your long term plans? I’m writing and making art for the next five years. What about you?

10 thoughts on “Magic Numbers and Other Endings

  1. It’s strange how these kind of ideas get into your head. My first pregnancy miscarried at ten weeks, so when I got pregnant again I just knew that what happens is that you feel ill for ten weeks and then the pregnancy ends. Only that time it didn’t happen that way and I had a healthy son.

  2. I would love to know what program you’re applying to. I wish you the best of luck. I’m sure your mom would be proud.

    I’ll be raising children and hopefully writing and taking photographs.

  3. Five years?

    I’ll be writing and making art and raising kids, same as this year, but in the next five years, I’ll start making a living off of it… off of whatever I need to do to keep creating, selling art, publishing novels, writing articles, teaching classes and workshops, reading tarot cards, making tarot cards, selling jewelry, tutoring, whatever. I’ll do whatever needs to be done. And I’ll get there one step at a time.

    BTW, I think you’re very brave to tackle this MFA. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t get in.

  4. I am….when it comes to death.

    my dad is a few months away from being the age that my uncle died at two years ago and I’ve been pretty stressed about it.

  5. fairyhedgehog, it may be strange how these ideas get into your head, but it is near impossible to get them out.

    shelli, the MFA program is here in Texas. We’ll see how it goes and if it is worth it.

    rowena, oh, I can think of many reasons I wouldn’t get in–but because I didn’t try won’t be one of them. (am terrified too).

    Karen and JES, you’ve got me. What army? Whatever else I say, I have one 5 year plan–not freak out at turning 45.

    D’Arcy, I know there is nothing anyone can say to make you feel better because nothing no one says helps my thinking one jot. But everything probably will be okay in spite of ourselves.

  6. I didn’t freak out at turning 45, but this year I turn fifty. My plan is to start saying I’m fifty about six months before my birthday. I did that when I turned 40 and by the time by birthday arrived, it felt very natural and ok.
    I had goals earlier in life- get a master’s degree by 40- done. Get published by 45, done. Write a novel in one year- done, etc. But now I’m more about letting things unfold and it’s a great relief.

  7. Sarah, if my mother were still alive, I’d be fine with turning 45. It’s not that I think getting older is so great, but I’d rather not waste energy worrying about it. Random time markers don’t mean much to me, but worrying about reaching my goals (even if I’m not sure what I really consider them to be) before I die, takes up way too much of my time.

    christy, I know and I wish you luck.

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