Reinvention Co - Dusti Arab

I woke up this morning to the sun peering through the windows. It’s the kind of morning that refuses to be ignored, warming you and reminding you that you live in Oregon, so you better get out and enjoy this while it lasts. I lingered another moment under the covers before crawling out of bed to figure out how to spend the morning.

With no kids last night or this morning, it’s my time to recharge and fill myself up before the week starts over again. And everyone knows the best way to do that on a Sunday morning in Portland is with brunch.

Lucky me – turns out there’s a creperie down the street. Let my heart just flutter at that thought for a moment. A creperie! BY MY APARTMENT. I threw on a scarf, tossed my red notebook in my bag should inspiration strike, and was out the door. This sort of spontaneity is still new to me, and I’m enjoying every ounce of it.

Last night, I went out on a whim to sing karaoke. I made a lovely new friend who got my Firefly references and sang Disney karaoke without any prompting. Best of all, he didn’t hit on me once. This whole being single thing has been surreal so far, but my hopes for making friends in this city just grew substantially.

Walking up the the creperie, it was everything I’d wanted it to be without knowing it. The steps up to it were worn, the paint having long since been tracked away by other delighted food lovers. Inside, it was well-lit and cheerful, and I picked a table in a nook by the front door, chipped paint framing the old windows that gazed out on to the street. It was a people watcher’s dream, the perfect stakeout. Miles Davis’ “So What?” filtered through the air with the scent of fresh coffee grounds and a hot oven.

I ordered my coffee (black) and a fruit crepe dripping with creme fraiche. Oh happiness, thy name is French food. Every bite tasted exactly how a crepe should – light and slightly sweet with just a touch of tartness. This is food for the soul.

A baby squealed with delight in another part of the cafe. I knew just how she felt. Watching people walk past the cafe, I wondered about their stories and their lives, and I realized this was the perfect spot to write my next book. And I knew exactly what it would be about.

Sitting there finishing my coffee, I felt this sudden, irrepressible urge to laugh out loud.
This was my life.

Here I am. I live in a beautiful apartment – exactly the one I have wanted for years – in a delightful neighborhood tucked into the west hills of one of the most breathtaking places in the world. I found the perfect cafe to write my next book in. And I’m heading to Europe at least once this year with a dear friend.

This is my life. I did this.


I could leap out of my skin with the joy I feel in moments like this.

It’s not all like this. My kids are struggling with this transition, and some days, I do, too. It’s easy to pretend nothing is wrong when there’s a certain amount of security involved.

But that’s not me anymore.

I’m not going to pretend again. I’d rather take risks and smash my comfort zone to pieces. I’d rather be alone than be with someone who doesn’t value me. I’d rather turn people away with my honesty than lie to make them comfortable.

I choose this.

I choose dancing and travel and writing. I choose friendship and love. I choose to live this one life as fully alive as I can, and I’ll be damned if I’ll fall back asleep again.

There is so much I am uncertain of. But for the first time in my life, I know what I don’t want. And that’s a good start.

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