My nametags boast various titles. They are simple words scrawled on square stickers, bold letters floating in a sea of white. On some, the corners are curled – perfect coils showcasing years of wear. Others gleam with stark newness, blindingly untouched. I wear them like the medals they are – silent proof that I was here. That I was real.
I’m especially partial to this one. Unlike the others, it’s a painted canvas – a pureed pea masterpiece. The dried tears are raw reminders of where I’ve been, the whispered laughter hopeful hints of where I’m going. I adore this nametag’s promise of early morning pancakes and late night bedtime stories, of priceless moments spent with the little girls who make it so. This is the title I’ve always wanted, the life I’ve always desired.
Why then do I lie awake at night tormented by an itch I can’t scratch?
Why is it not enough?
Am I greedy to ask for more, to walk outside in early December and beg the cold to shock me back into existence? Is it selfish to get lost in the horizon when there’s so much right in front of me, to wonder what lies in the space where the ground meets the sky? Perhaps it’s nametags – miles and miles of adhesive paper – waiting for claim.
The thought of leaving them for the wind to swallow gnaws at my sanity.
I’m a walking contradiction, overwhelmed with current roles while simultaneously searching for more. The tag that reads writer is my sole reassurance that I’m more than cooked dinners and graded papers – that who I am surpasses not only the daily routine, by even my wildest dreams.
Yet sometimes even it is not enough.
I am searching, searching.
A restless soul, always searching.