I have been putting off writing this. Partly, because writing is giving yourself, and I haven’t had very much to give. But mostly, it’s because I believed that some a-ha moment would arrive when I would magically feel like myself again, and writing would come easily. No such luck, so far.
That’s not to say that I haven’t written. I have. My words are scrolled across several journals, trying desperately to make sense of “the new normal.” Or secretly hoping that all this new is temporary — that eventually I will feel comfort in my own skin again, and writing a feel-good blog will seem like the right thing.
But the truth is, everything has changed. I’ve changed. The most important bond I have ever known was broken when my mother died. I have had to learn a new form of adulthood I am neither comfortable with, nor like very much, if I’m being honest.
And with my mother’s passing came many complications for my circumstances — including me losing my home in the Upper West Side of New York City (more on that another time). So after 11 years, I’m no longer a New Yorker, or even a city-dweller, really. With little choice, I packed my newly-inherited things into a 20-foot moving truck and landed 60 miles south of the city in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where I now live with my boyfriend, Dave. This marks the first time I have ever lived with a significant other, and certainly the first time I’ve ever felt I actually had one.
We also got a cat, Penny (adopted from my “wife,” Bonnie, whose fiancé Jeff has terrible allergies). Oh, and I live in an actual house for the first time since I was a teenager, gleefully bucking the Connecticut suburbs for the big apple.
Today, there is virtually nothing I recognize about my life, and few places of comfort to turn; few things that haven’t changed as rapidly as I have.
And that’s ok.
With the changes have come many lessons. And the lesson which brought me back here, to my long-neglected blog was this: there is no better life waiting for me around the corner. Or rather, if there is, it’s not going to present itself while I twiddle my thumbs feeling bad for myself. I think we all fall into the trap of “around the corner” mentality. “Once I finish school, I will know what I want to do with my life and everything will be clear.” Or, “Once I lose weight, I’ll be happy with myself.” Or, “If only I could meet the right person, my life would be complete.”
It’s a natural sentiment, but it also robs us of today. If I’m being honest with myself, I know that no new dawn will fill the void that my mother’s passing left. No change in my zip code will automatically make me feel anew. And no, living at the beach and having more space (while definitely having many perks) will not magically make me a happier person.
I’m finally starting to accept that what I have in front of me is everything. It’s rarely ever perfect, but it’s mine. Now. And it can be taken in a moment, as I was reminded yet again this week by the sudden and untimely passing of an acquaintance I adored.
The present is a gift (heh, see what I did there?) and although I’m currently sad as hell, I don’t want to squander it. If I’m taken tomorrow, I don’t want to be remembered as someone who was living her life in limbo, hoping to feel better before she tackled anything of significance. I want to be remembered as someone who took life by the reigns… er, whatever the hell that means.
So I’m going to stop waiting for some mythical time when my life will be better, or I’ll feel “together” enough to share it through writing. This is where I’m at right now — this messy, scary, ever-changing, sad-but-sometimes-amazing-and-much-of-the-time-HILARIOUS place.
I think I’ll stay awhile.