How Does It Feel…

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“Vanilla colored flannel sheets.  I’d been walking around downtown Manhattan in the dead of night for one hour? Two hours? Hours.  Chilled to the bone, I actually ran home.  Subway door to front door, I ran.  I ripped away my clothing and dove into my bed.

I thought the flannel would make me warmer, but it only insulated the cold.  I shivered.  The conversation from out of doors was brought indoors.  While it artificially warmed my heart, my body remained frozen.  I should have drawn a meaning line from that to this.”

I wrote those words in February and never finished my thought(s).  It was one of those evenings where I could just feel it was filled with promise before the sun was close to setting.

After-work work obligations took me through the early hours of the evening and I knew before I even left the party that I was going to be headed to new territory.  We met in a bar in a neighborhood I’d never been and can’t remember.  Like most NYC bars that classify themselves as trendy, it was lowly lit and too loud; the cocktails too expensive and just strong enough.

You talked and I pretended to listen.  Frankly, I couldn’t hear most of what you said but it clearly didn’t matter.  We were talking with our body language instead.  We left after two drinks? Three?  And then we walked.  Walked.  I wore a skirt, tights, flats.  For a Buffalo girl, I should have been used to the chill, but I wasn’t.

The chill slipped its icy fingers through my flesh and into my bones.  Twinkling lights from churches and rooms with no one in them lit our way.  As we passed the gated church, I resisted the urge to reach out and see if the garden gate was as locked as it seemed to be.  I wanted to go in.  I wanted my surroundings to be as quiet as the conversation we were having.  We walked to your building and you made up reasons why I couldn’t come up.  It didn’t bother me.  We turned and retraced our steps, finding our way to my subway stop. I was frozen to the core but I didn’t want to the night to end.

It didn’t.  I dove into those vanilla sheets and fought the icy chill of the evening.  I was losing the battle.   What I remember from that evening is how it felt.  Those sheets on my frozen flesh, the chill that I couldn’t shake, the satisfaction of my small victory, the thrill of a conversation held in the dark.  Thrills are cheap.  Thrills don’t last. Thrills fade, just like an icy chill.  They fade.

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Moving Forward, Not Looking Back

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So, my plan. The Plan didn’t come to fruition.  In fact, it was trampled on in it’s infancy.  The Plan was: move, move to Raleigh, move to Buffalo, live where I wasn’t tied down with a lease, save up a shit ton of money (which I could do since I’d be living in Buffalo or Raleigh) and save enough money to quit in June, traveltraveltraveltravel until the funds ran out and start over again in another city.  That was The Plan.  The Plan didn’t even get out of the gate.

And so I’m here.  Still.  In the same life.  Doing the same thing, different day.  Same rhythm, same existence, same mistakes, same kryptonite.

If you had told me one year ago that this is where I’d sit, I’m not sure I would have believed you.  In fact, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have changed one single action or decision.  I’m stubborn like that.

What do you do when you find yourself in a life you don’t particularly love?  Because, shouldn’t you LOVE your life?  You make changes.  I’m making changes.  I’m trying not to make the same mistakes…..I’m not going for another ride on this carousel.  I’ve been going round and round and while it’s fun at first, eventually you realize your view never changes.

Facing the parts of my life that need some work is not as scary as I thought it would be.  It’s actually pretty simple.  You just do it.  It’s as simple as that.  It’s not going to be perfect, its not going to be smooth, it’s going to be the path avoided, never traveled.

In love: I’m not riding this carousel any more and I’m not content to live marginally.  I want it all.

In job: I guess it’s time to not be complacent.  Let’s see what’s out there, shall we?

In finances: let’s get solvent shall we?  Let’s plan a trip, plan a future, plan for a rainy day.

I dont know how it happened, because I’ve been avoiding these changes like the bubonic plague for a long time….but it did.  I woke up and am moving forward.  I’m not looking back.

I took this picture last week at the Canadian family compound: