There are a few books I can count in my life that I was actually sad to finish reading. The stories themselves might not have been anything life-changing, but the best books, I’ve found, are the ones who’s voices echo truisms in my head, in a language with which I can identify. In short, these books are like little personal pocket sized best friends. Due to a sudden and mostly-out-of-my-control career change about a year ago this week, I found myself home alone on a Wednesday morning sulking and mourning the loss of my identity, and big surprise, I was not in the middle of a book BFF.
Still on my first cup of coffee at 11am–a testament to how long I was in bed that day–by accident I stumbled upon one of those Internet moments that at the time I might have regarded about as I regard Facebook: with trepidation and somewhat in denial of my actual participation. No, I was not looking at porn. Instead, I found myself engaged in the precious words of a woman in the Northwest who’s voice stopped time for a little while. What I found was this blog, and it was exactly like reading a book that I’m afraid to finish. I sat down that morning and was lost for the next three hours. This was the first positive discovery of what I would now consider one of the most difficult seasons of my life.
I hesitate to call Katherine Wakefield a friend. I was introduced to her on a break during our freshman year of college when I was home early from Baylor and she had not yet left Whitworth for Arizona. We were introduced by her now-husband Andy, who was actually one of my top-5 high school crushes and is #3 on the list of Boys I’ve Kissed. We met in the basement of the Wakefield house (possibly their future living room, actually) for the purpose of a Super NES-WCW championship (a brag-worthy high school past-time). Though she and Andy were not technically dating at this time–and I’m fairly certain I was already on to #4 of the aforementioned list–I imagine our first impressions of each other were identical: “Of course she’s totally pretty. And funny. Bitch.” And honestly, the rest of that day, though a bit of a blur, is marked in my mind by the realization that I had been replaced as the “token cool girl” of what was once my group of high school boy friends.
Well it not only turns out that Kat and Andy eventually married (2 years before I met John), but they had their first child with the same kind of desire and plan that John and I had Eliott. That is to say, none. So there I was that morning (afternoon?) on my couch, in fear of another life-crossroads, willing myself to believe that despite the circumstances surrounding my situation, God was still the same God, I was still the same Claire, and this would turn out okay. In her words I found myself soaking up the comfort of caffeine and a voice which so clearly echoed the one in my head. Token cool girl indeed.
I wanted to pick up the phone and call her immediately. I wished (and still do) in that moment that she was my next door neighbor, and that instead of reading about each other’s lives, we could just share them on the back porch, together, with beverages.
It seems in many things, Kat and Andy (though my same age) are about 2 years ahead of me on the life-experience scale. I realize I’m at least 2 years behind on this little trend known as blogging. But from her very first entry, I quote my exact and current sentiments:
So here I am. I just couldn’t help myself. I woke up one day and realized that I needed to blog. Probably spawned by having 2 kids. It is all very cliche and I am well aware of it. To quote Andy, I am joining an “ever growing electronic culture that forsakes genuine human contact.”
Nonetheless I enter the blog world very excited.