So I went to a gathering for my thesis advisor's students yesterday. She's a lovely woman, a former modern dancer, with thick hair, large eyes, and an apartment right on the ocean in Solana Beach. It was a nice place for a grown-up party--a little alcohol, a cheese spread, and people that have read more poetry than you can shake a stick at.
I came with a diaper bag and Lucy in a sling.
It was a weird feeling to be there with my fellow students, try to talk about what we're all up to, and keep Lucy from eating the dirt in the planter.
It actually went better than I thought when I arrived. I mean, any time I come to a non-baby-friendly space, my stress level goes up. You just can't tell how non-baby-friendly someplace is until you set the baby down and see what happens. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
The most awkward time for me was the circle, where each writer talked about what we were going to do after the MFA program--and listened to the two graduates who were nice enough to be there.
I was fourth. So for four people, I had to think about the non-career direction my life is going, how I'm really okay with that, thank you very much, it's what I want.
Except it still makes you feel weird or dumb or just out of touch when you have to talk about finding the little bit of time to write between feedings and diaper changes.
I think I want to move to Botswana (site of the Ladies #1 Detective Agency novels). there, people know how to be better, rather than trying to achieve all the time. That would make things easier, right?
I left the gathering early, saying that Lucy was getting ancy, but it was more me: the effort it involves keeping her quiet and occupied in an adult gathering is considerable, and also, I just was tired. Tired of the effort, of the internal monologue in my head, and of the day.
I went home, back to the safe place we've created, and felt much better. I think.