I bought a book today. Actually, I bought several books. I might not have, had I not talked to my daughter a couple of nights ago to ask how her day went and kiss her good night over the phone. She asked if I could get her another Nancy Drew book. I bought her first Nancy Drew book at an airport a couple of weeks ago.
Today at the same airport, I gravitated toward the bookshop again as I waited for my flight back home. As is my custom at airports, I spent an inordinate amount of time at the bookshop just looking around. I finally settled on 3 books – one for me, and one for each of my kids.
I’ve always scribbled my name on the books I buy, along with the date I bought them and the city I bought them in. Some time after the separation, I wrote my maiden name in a book I had bought and stared at it for a long time. It was the first time I had written it that way in a very long time. I’ve done so ever since then. I try to write it with flourish each time. I have the world’s worst hand-writing, but when I write my name in a book, my writing looks half-way decent.
As I sat in the airport lobby that day with my new book, I opened it up and wrote out my maiden name on the first page, along with the date and city I was in. I was suddenly filled with a feeling of deep satisfaction, seeing it on the page.
Writing out my name this way just does something for me. It makes me feel like ‘me.’ My father’s daughter. Who I was before life got messy. Who I am now that I’ve tidied it up again (mostly). Who I am. Who I want to be.