Other lives.

I’ve chosen a life that I really love. I love being at home with my kids, writing in spare, sleepy hours, drinking cup after cup of coffee. I love being here for every second (well, okay, not every second. I don’t love the screaming seconds, or the clinging-to-my-leg-and-whining-while-I-try-to-load-the-dishwasher seconds. I don’t love the coming-out-of-her-room-fifteen-times-because-she-needs-a-drink-or-has-a-booger seconds), and I love writing and having pieces accepted by journals I read, and desperately seeking an agent for my book, and working on another while I submit the first, because I want my kids to know they can do these things. They can do anything. Like the Country Bunny, they can have it all, and I so want to be that example to them.

But as much as I love the life I’m living, I am eternally grateful that there are other lives. Particularly lives that are lived by other writers, so that I can experience them, too.

About a million years ago, I went to Juniper Summer Writing Institute, where I learned from some of the most wonderful writers on the planet, including Paul Lisicky and Mark Doty, who are so, so lovely. 

I’m going to step aside from this narrative for a second to admit to one of the most awkward things I’ve ever done. My blog is the confessional, and you are the priest, reader. You’re about to feel mortified for and with me. When I knew Mark and Paul, they were a couple. Years later, when Mark announced that his partner had proposed to him, I commented on his Facebook post (oh God, I am beet red just remembering this), “So many congratulations to you and Paul!”

You can kind of guess what happened next, right? Mark thanked me, and said, “But I’m talking about my partner. Paul and I haven’t been together for awhile, now.” (Oh God oh God oh God. Mortifying.) 

Anyway. Juniper was another life, and it was fabulous. I met another writer in the program named Elisa, and I’ve been guilty pleasure-reading her blog, Elisa Writes. She blogs about her life in Paris, traveling all over Europe, and all kinds of wonderfully scandalous goings on that are so very different from my own life. Thank goodness for writers with different lives.

In grad school at Hamline, I met one of my best friends in the whole world. She’s my diary. She’s my Diane. And while her life is actually pretty eerily similar to mine (our kids are the same ages, our husbands are gingery, we have a similar appetite for books), it’s still a different life. I love reading about it. Her blog is called Supergirls in Wonderland, and it’s wonderful. It makes me feel like I’m in Indiana with her, raising our kiddos next door. 

Rachel is someone whose blog, Fellow Passengers, I like to read when I’m feeling stressed out. Her life on the farm with her three girls is always beautifully photographed and written, and it’s a good fix when I’m wishing for a quieter day. 

Anyway, you should read these blogs. I love them.


Renee Beauregard Lute

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