I’m contemplating taking this bottle of Riesling in my bag straight to the face. It’s been one of those nights. We spent a long time working through a project. Something that was handed to us half-baked and left to us to figure out. Not easy. And then I foolishly checked an Instagram story that I knew wasn’t going to do me any good. I was right. I spent a good part of my walk to the train consumed with thoughts about how I don’t get paid enough and how stupid it is that I’m still thinking about a boy who broke my heart 2 years ago.
I finally get to the subway station. I made it through the worst part of my long journey home and as I’m waiting for the train on the local platform, I see the express coming. I decide I’m going to catch it so I start hustling down the stairs to the middle platform. It’s a lot of effort. My bag is heavy. Wine bottles are not light. I make the train with time to spare. I realize I could’ve even taken a little more time because I could tell the guy who got on just before me would’ve held the door for me. You know when you just know? I caught his eye as the train started moving and we smiled at each other. Thanks for that.
He got off at the next stop. I met his glance as he walked out the door and again as he was walking up the stairs while the train doors were closing. I’ll probably never see him again but I really appreciate him having my back. And just like that, New York felt a little less lonely.
Did I just have a moment with a stranger on the train? Whatever it was, it was enough to take me out of my thoughts. However, I am still thinking about this bottle of Riesling in my bag.
I had a really good morning.
I caught the sunrise.
Can there be a golden hour in the morning too?
It was beautiful.
My dirty, garbage-ridden neighborhood looked pretty.
I got up early enough to get to the gym.
Even thought it was a late night.
We were watching Madmen.
Can you blame me?
I ran my 3 miles.
Today was day 20 of 30 that I’ve challenged myself to do.
Even had time to fix my hair.
Put on mascara.
I’m starting to feel good in my skin again.
I didn’t know what I wanted to listen to for a while
but then it came to me.
That song I like by
that band that you really turned me on to.
I was a fan before in the way that
I knew their one single that went mainstream.
But I did a deep dive after you.
You know when you find the song that fits where you’re at just right?
It was one of those moments.
Those are the ones that land in my Instagram story.
I wonder if you’ll see it.
I know you’ve been keeping up.
I hate that I check for it.
I love attention.
As I’m listening to this song thinking about how much I like it,
I glance over to see what the guy standing next to me is reading
and of all things
My honest reaction was a smile, a chuckle and an eye roll.
Because what are the odds?
A lot of people like Hemingway.
Shortly after I noticed my neighbor’s subway reading material,
the train pulled into the station where I transfer.
I walk up the stairs and put on another song by the same band.
Maybe my favorite right now.
It makes me want to dance.
I was the weird girl dancing on the platform on a Monday morning.
I was a few minutes late for work but it’s fine.
I had a great morning.
I was freaking dancing on the platform.
This is 2020.
27 is weird.
It’s up and down.
A boy bought me flowers.
My back hurts.
But what is pain?
Can I just will it away?
Am I going to run tomorrow?
What is it about being bought flowers that I love?
Is it the conditioning, maybe?
They make my room smell nice
and they’re beautiful.
That’s what I love about these flowers.
And I love the boy who bought them.
But my back still hurts
and I don’t know what to do about it.
Is this aging?
Is this what they say when they mean your body will change?
I tried on some outfits for tomorrow
and I don’t love them.
My body has changed
since the last time I put those outfits on.
I’m not that person anymore.
I’m radically accepting that.
It’s a work in progress.
But how do I make it better?
How do I hurt less?
I always want to be better.
The flowers are really nice.
I had just gotten off the train and was walking home. I was listening to a podcast shocking about relationships shocking again when I walked past someone who I thought looked familiar. I did a double take because I wasn’t sure and low and behold, it was him. We hadn’t seen each other since everything fell apart but we had texted a little bit on New Year’s Eve. It’s amazing how put together my response was all things considered. He’s leaving the city in a couple weeks and we agreed we’d get lunch before. I walked right up to him and ducked so my face was in the same line of vision as his phone screen. He was surprised in a good way and it made me feel really good to see him smile.
We started walking together and he asked me how things were going and I realized I didn’t have much to report. My life looks a lot like it did when we were seeing each other regularly. How can I still be in the same place as I was a year ago? That can’t be true. Maybe on the outside things look the same same apartment, same job, same relationships status but on the inside, I think things are different. I hope things are different. Things have to be different. Of course things are different. Look closer.
I bailed on a tree-trimming party last night. A good friend of mine was hosting and I had told her earlier in the day that I’d drop by after work. But as the end of my day was approaching I realized I wasn’t up to attending a social gathering. It was cold. I’d spent all day freezing my ass off in that shop watching the winter squall go off and thinking how I can’t wait to move to a place where winter isn’t a thing. All I wanted to do was go home. So I bailed. I sent that text that we all know so well only this time I sent it without any guilt. I knew I did what was best for me and that my friend would understand. I chose myself first.
I haven’t been feeling the holiday spirit so much these days. I’m very aware that it’s that time of year but the magic just isn’t there. Is that what happens when we get older? Am I becoming disenchanted? Maybe a little. It happens in moments like when I’m handwriting holiday cards for other people’s gifts with the most impersonal, generic, dull messages. “Happy holidays. Thanks for all of your help this year.” There’s no heart and not much thought behind those words. They’re unremarkable. Yea, that kind of shit disenchants me.
When I got home I lit my pine-scented candle, poured myself a glass of wine, pulled out my guitar and played Christmas songs for myself. It was oddly perfect. My own little tree-trimming party. A small, unexpected, self-administered dose of holiday cheer.