If you are falling. . . dive.
We’re in a freefall into future.
We don’t know where we’re going.
Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along.
And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise
Is to turn your fall into a voluntary act.
It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is.
Joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.
– Joseph Campbell
You can feel the weather beginning to turn in New York. Even with the bitterly cold wind whipping off the Hudson River, even with a recent snowfall that caused – unnecessary – school closures, you can tell: it won’t be like this much longer. Warmer days are coming.
This winter has been my worst season in recent memory, which is not something I say lightly. I’m in a new apartment, renting a room one subway stop uptown from my former (glorious) Morningside Heights sublet. I feel lucky to have landed here. My room is spacious, the rent is – by Manhattan standards – affordable, and I’m able to go month to month without a long-term commitment. Without a job or the desire to sign a lease, this was my best option and I am grateful to have found it.
Still. Transitions are always difficult, aren’t they? I miss the reliable package delivery and in-building laundry and Black and Decker coffee maker of my old apartment. I miss the corner bodega where the old man behind the counter called me “sweetheart,” and the proximity to Morningside Park, and the fact that it took me half as much time as it does now to walk to the gym.
I’ll adjust. I’ll get used to this new place and find things to love about it that surprise me, just as I did with the old place. But in the middle of this transitional period, in the middle of what is still winter, there are other things going on. Hard things. Like an ongoing health condition that has left me anxious and depressed. I am struggling to accomplish the most basic of tasks, and then I get angry at myself for my lack of productivity. It’s a vicious cycle, one that makes me feel overwhelmed and vulnerable. And New York City is not a place where you want to feel vulnerable.
I’ve been through winters before, ones far worse than this one. And what I’ve learned through weathering those storms is that I have to be patient. Beating myself up or spiraling into negative self-talk about how awful I am doesn’t help me. Instead, I’m focusing on the small steps I am taking forward each day. I’m reminding myself to be grateful.
“No one moves to New York for the weather,” someone told me recently. That’s true. But this particular storm is not New York’s fault. What I can see after a year and a half of living here is that the place is not the problem. This place just exposes my problems. Because New York is a place where it’s impossible to hide.
So, after a too-long hiatus from this blog, I’m not hiding any more. I’m struggling and I’m being honest about it, while also acknowledging the fact that I know I’m luckier than most. I have a roof over my head and access to good doctors and a network of kind, caring friends who have been texting, and calling, and checking in. I have love in my life. And I have the knowledge that I have experienced far worse than this and have come out the other side, which gives me confidence that I will again. Because even the worst winters don’t last forever. And when spring comes, I’ll be here. I’ll be ready.
Until next time, friends.
wow. it’s like you wrote this for ME today. thank you. I’m going to go back through old blog posts…I haven’t been a diligent blog reader but I was cleaning out old emails and stepped away from my computer. When i got back your post was on my screen. I was meant to read it. You were meant to write it. Thank you.
Oh I’m so glad! I often feel like blogging is self indulgent, so I’m gratified to hear you gained something by reading it. Thank you for letting me know. ❤️
Welcome back! I missed you! love the pictures, sorry you’ve been having a rough time, I really hope things pick up for you xx
Aww thank you so much, dear one. xx
You always write so beautifully.
You’re so kind! Thank you, as always, for reading.
Martini filled hip flasks and duel 9 – Volt electric knit socks will get you through it. the trick is in this, warming your feet up to just short of spontaneously combusting at the ankles, pulling the electric plug and funny your flask off to the next nearest Star Bucks and waiting for the next available electric wall plug.
Last time I called a lady Sweetheart she punched me in the eye (twice) and threatened me with a lawsuit if I did it again. It was a change of times I guess. I only go so brace as to say ‘Sweets’ and if she balls up her fist I open my own and offer her peppermint. 🙂
Haha! Thanks for making me laugh, friend.
Stopping by to remind your soul that it is time and season for the sweet scent of Lily of the valley in bloom. wishing you pleasant warm and sunny days. May I ask you one thing sense you’ve moved to reside upon the East coast? are the Easter dawn sunrises as beautiful and spectacularly vivid as the Western pacific sunsets? I am listening to Layla by Sir Eric Clapton. Eric was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on November 3, 2003. 🙂 well ‘Good Day Mate’ or however they say it over there in New York 🙂