And here it is. Almost a full year after I came down to Virginia for "a couple months" to be with my mom and also to try and get my head on straight after some very intense bouts of anxiety and depression had it unscrewed and flickering. I am heading back to what I want to call "my old life." At least there's some sort of distance there. Certainly, I am not donning my New York Self cap (made by Uniqlo). I have been scared of it (NY) for so long, originally for irrational mental health reasons and now simply because it is just a feigned memory at times, and a body at rest in Virginia tends to stay at rest in Virginia.
But it has been hard to convince myself to leave my mother. Though I know that I'm too young or too old to be staying anywhere on behalf of her desires alone, it has been a while since I have acted selfishly (while also footing the bill) and it is not coming naturally. But as I sat down with my scatterbrain yesterday and asked myself, "why wouldn't I go back to New York?" I didn't have a good reason. Just lots of quickly proffered, "it would be nice if" and "what about's" and some questions about, how exactly my life is going to go now, and will I still be good at anything?
Perhaps it is the muddy waters of a post project phase. Two days ago, I cooked perhaps my most ambitious dinner ever, a five course Korean feast for my dear Maryland friends who have been my rock(lobster)s during my time at home. And now that the chow has been downed, both the emotional release of saying goodbye for now and the lack of things in my hands (dough, knives, pan handles) make me feel as if reclined on a pizza pool float staring at the clouds, only to find that the pool has grown, swallowing neighboring tanks and community swim team waters . Marooned in a pale blue chlorine sea.
My trip across the country was the best I've ever been on. Something I will always carry with me like a Pokedex. But at one point in my trip I had a day where I was stuck in a mood most foul. In Seattle, a city I very much love, when my sister was away, I woke up to one of those brain helmets of inaction and crippling thoughts. I couldn't get it together to even successfully leave the house (I did try) and I ended up ordering a pizza and binging Lady Dynamite. It was the closest I would come to a life-altering revelation everyone asks if I had on my trip. I learned that shitty days are not a product of shitty situations so much as they are a semi regular expression of who knows exactly and like a cold they can only be handled by deep sighs and laying like a bag of bricks on the couch, and Netflix.
And that's comforting to me now, as I feel so messily about the goddamn mess this past year has been. I have gained a more healthy, working relationship with inaction. Nothing has been how I wanted it, and yet, everything has worked itself out. I had a year to work on this blog and read my little brain off. A year to eat a little more recklessly and to come to grips with the things I was scared to feel. A year to regroup and ungroup and hopefully regroup again with the satchels of myself that I want to carry forward into the coming present.
And though I waver once an hour, I look forward to wearing my New York Self cap again. To living the city life, where it's easy to walk 10k steps a day and no one has to know exactly how much pizza I eat or thinks I'm weird for talking to myself. Where my bucket list is really daunting and really exciting and my dating prospects are both the nadir of civilization and bursting with life-affirming potential. Where when I'm sad I can sit like a pile of bricks with a fat cat who sits like a sack of potatoes and sigh in tandem. Worry about all the things that a living person worries about. And take a big fat nap.
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