Giving Myself a Bit of Credit

On Christmas morning, my boyfriend’s son (age 5) had a small breakdown. “I wish you and mama hadn’t got a divorce,” he said to his dad. “I wish we were all together today.”

“Of course,” I thought. “It’s Christmas morning. He wants to be with his people. I totally get that.”

Later it occurred to me that could have (would have, some years back) stung. I’m here. I’m trying to be his people, after all. But it didn’t present itself to me in that light. He is five. He needs what he needs. It isn’t about me.

The one thing I can say about turning 40 is that I genuinely feel less focused on myself, and that feels good. It doesn’t take effort and that makes me like myself more. It doesn’t mean that I can fix the things I would like to fix, like a small boy’s otherwise perfect Christmas morning. It just means I can listen and empathize without putting myself in the way

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and new stepparent. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my Yorkshire terrier, Wensleydale Doggiepants. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: rachelclewis.com @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

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