What is it about the rooftops in Buenos Aires? Welcome to the city of looking up.
For a metropolis that’s so compartmentalized, the skyline is enchantingly cohesive. Walking the streets, you never know what to expect. One moment you’re passing stone porticoes and neoclassical scrollwork, walking cobbled streets dappled by the boughs of great sycamores.
The next, it’s like you’ve stepped into the opening scene from Pretty Woman.
Dog poop, street food, spontaneous conga lines are all within the natural order of an afternoon stroll. It’s a hurricane of sensation. Who will I run into on the way to work? Emma Watson or Gorge, the homeless troubadour who haunts the subway and my dreams?
But up above the hum of city life, things make sense. The complex unpredictability is quelled just long enough for you to form an attachment to the present moment and revel in the awkward hilarity of your day.
Like a story written in watercolors, your removed from reality just enough to see things clearly.
Twenty seven years old. I have written it the long way, because it takes the visual impact of each syllable to fully appreciate the longevity of the age. As anyone who has made it past a quarter of a century knows, the birthdays flit past with less ceremony and twice as much reflection.
With each year gone by, the line between retrospect and regret is increaslngly more defined and I find myself in a state of naked awareness. Everyone has moments from their past they would like to forget, but there is no greater lesson than failure.
For me, this is not a time to agonize over the cliff not scaled or the half baked cake. It’s a time to bask in the honesty of my darkest moments and gain a more realistic sense of self.
Reviewing the frenzied scribbles of my journal, I find it littered with comments like “future Jessica slaps you here” or “indoor scooter-ball will never be a good idea”. Looking back, these are the notations I value most.
Where would I be if I didn’t take something away from a good crash and burn? Surprisingly, dead baby jokes are never the way to go on a first date, although terribly effective screening. Lately, I prefer confronting animal memes.
Present Jessica knows now that drunken sledding is only ok if your not tied to the dog. Careening down a hill, one boisterous beagle fails to appreciate that zig zags are not a part of the plan. You live, you learn…and then you unhook the leash.
Most importantly, moving forward in age is not a departure from the frolicsome abandon of youth, but an incorporation of it. The stark optimism of a 5 year old, the deviant curiosity of age 10 and the foresight of 27 rolled into one.
May yesterdays floor-cookies bake me a brighter tomorrow!