Eating three bowls of Rice Krispies on the couch at midnight. Not having the heart to take down the portrait his niece drew you. Relating more than ever to the emo songs of your comically angst-ridden youth. Spontaneous tears in the car–driving while crying is sort of dangerous. Dropping the news to folks in the most off-hand way possible, with a stoic shrug. Feeling the wild freedom of responding to a ‘how are you?’ with a simple ‘not okay.’ Adding ‘but I will be’ for a while, before realizing you don’t need to make your hurt comfortable for others with the promise of healing. Right now, you are hurt, so let yourself live in it. It is uncomfortable. It is the definition of uncomfortable. The healing is happening at every moment, and it is not linear. There will be days when the sadness sets in the moment your eyes blink open, and an invisible weight sits on your chest, the days you quietly coach yourself out of bed. Then there will be days when you take a moment to feel the warm sun on your face, appreciating that you are alive and knowing it will be okay. Mostly, there will be moments in between, and progress shouldn’t be discounted just because it’s sandwiched by two heart-shattering breakdowns.
The fears will set in–will anyone ever be able to learn the rhythms of my body as well as he did? Am I less hot now? Can I still catch a dick? What is dating? Is that man single or gay (always no, always yes)? And even in the moment, you will acknowledge how silly you’re being, but the subtle truth of the jest will prick your skin just so. Because breaking up with someone you love sucks.
You will tuck the hurt into a worn suitcase, lugging it around with you to every happy hour, every girl’s night out, and eventually, every date. Until one day, you will absentmindedly leave the suitcase at a bus stop and notice only once you are far, far away.
I’ve been fortunate to have a few larger writing projects these past few months, which have largely kept me from writing anything for myself. All my free writing time has been spent on commissioned pieces, which is what I need to do right now. In fact, I am currently procrastinating on a writing project to pound out this blog.
In a way, it’s kept me from having to write for me, from tackling the hard bits I’ve been avoiding lately. If I take the time to sit down and let it all come out, who knows what thoughts and feelings that will unearth? Mainly those involve the recent election and general state of the world, the nuances of a longterm relationship, the courage to name and then pursue dreams and goals wholeheartedly. Light stuff.
Even if a failure to write means keeping it all in, I’m not mad that I haven’t written. I’ve been full to the brim with projects and opportunities and even though I am working myself tired I am okay with that. I am okay. There is one project in particular I’m very excited about and that will be starting soon. Essentially, the theme of these past few months has been work (work, work, work, Rihanna). And a little play, of course. But very little.
I am looking forward to a restful period of “holiday brain,” which has already somewhat started, but to which I will relinquish full control in about a week. A time to rest, recharge, and reset, in anticipation of the end of this particular year which popular culture has decided sucked.
It’s mind-boggling that exactly a year ago I was beginning my adventure in Spain. I spent my 23rd birthday surrounded by strangers, half a world away from my loved ones. I think that was the year my concept of birthdays changed from a “me me me me me” outlook to a “let’s celebrate life” mentality. Coincidentally, the 24th of September is a Catholic feast day, Dia de la Merced, which is one of Barcelona’s huge annual festivals. There was no better way to celebrate my new life and another year lived.
This year, I find myself in yet another new city, overwhelmed by opportunity despite recent setbacks. I feel celebrated, I feel loved, and I am grateful. This weekend was exactly what I needed to get me through the slew of 12-hour days, weekend work hours, and physical challenges that will continue into the next few weeks.
Time seems to be an underlying theme of this post. In the three months since I moved to DC, I have: lived with 12 housemates, broken a bone, started a new job, tried Ethiopian food for the first time, walked out of a bad show at intermission, watched my favorite band live, landed a role in a play, and let strangers sign my cast.
I am thrilled to see where the next year takes me. I feel rich in possibility.
Yesterday marked exactly one week on crutches, with at least five more to go (only two more weeks in my cast, though). Writing those words felt like a joke. It’s felt like a month since I broke my foot two Fridays ago. For someone with a regular yoga practice, this has been hellish. But in a short calendar time, I’ve made some realizations and accepted some truths about myself and others. Obvious though they may seem, I’ve never felt the weight of these truths until now:
Continue reading “Crutchable Life Lessons”
The thing about using crutches is that every day is a string of battles. Small victories thread each day together. Those first moments when you open your eyes are hell. Your leg feels like a log of lead. The injury is sore from a nighttime of asphyxiation. Your body creaks, reminding you of its inactivity. With all these predispositions, you start your day. If you’re lucky, you’ll leave these foul truths in bed behind you, reach for your crutches, and start the slow morning process.
In reality, luck has little to do with it. Will power is a more adequate suitor; it takes pure mental grit to release yourself from this unfortunate circumstance and learn to cope. Once you’ve learned to cope, you can live. Yes, it could be worse; yes, the time will fly by; yes, you will learn a lot, your sympathizers coo, and while you appreciate their good will, nothing seems longer than the trip down the stairs, a harrowing obstacle you try to complete no more than twice daily, resorting to kind friends who offer to fetch things from your room for you (how you quietly envy the dexterity with which they fly up the stairs!).
Day 2 down, 19 more to go, you repeat to yourself in the mirror, determined, and in your anger, you brave a trip to Starbucks down the block, the warm bagel in your drawstring backpack and a great smile plastered to your sweaty face. Small victories.
There is much to be grateful for, even when it’s hard to see. Many good things to come…
I didn’t think readjusting to Spain would be so difficult after only two weeks away. In that time, I’ve had the chance to reflect on the past year. As it turns out, I hit a few giant milestones…in fact, 2014 was the year EVERYTHING changed for me. So, a little late, but here they are, my most memorable moments of 2014:
Continue reading “Best of 2014”