AROO!

In the early part of 2014, I was about 2 months into a workout routine and starting to feel pretty good about myself. Despite a lack of a serious gym routine for the past year well,  two years FINE pretty much since I’d moved to the city, I was holding my own on the treadmill, slowly building endurance and kind of kicking ass on weight training, pushing myself harder and harder each day at the gym. While surfing Facebook after a particularly awesome workout, I saw my sister T had tagged myself and our brother in a post, announcing that the Spartan Race had finally scheduled a Connecticut event, and were we interested in doing it? Blame it on the gym endorphins or the fact that the date hadn’t even been scheduled so it seemed pretty far-fetched we’d actually go through with it, but I sent back a resounding HELL YES almost immediately, and thus LB does a Spartan Race begins.

For those who aren’t familiar, the Spartan Race is an OCR (obstacle course race), where obstacles, ranging from flipping a tire to trudging through waist-deep mud and jumping over a 6 foot wall, pepper a running course – in this case, about four-and-a-half miles. My partner-in-crime R had signed up with me back in March, because at the time it seemed like a great idea. Three months to train ourselves to run and jump and crawl through mostly dangerous obstacles? Totally do-able! I was great about keeping up with a solid workout routine until about mid-May, when work exploded and I had a lot of travel planned. I went from total humblebrag confidence that I’d be able to kick the course’s ass to absolutely terrified that the race was going to end me. The weeks leading up to the weekend are a blur of work and personal nonsense and all sorts of craziness that culminated with me exhausted, frustrated and disappointed with myself while traveling to CT with R and her pooch after a long day of work on Friday.

Early Saturday morning, T, R, twinster’s boyfriend and I piled into the car after quadruple checking we had our signed waivers and race bags packed and ready, and made the trek up to Mohegan Sun for our 12:30 p.m. heat. We arrived probably too early, giving ourselves about an hour and a half to register, hydrate, pee, re-hydrate, pee again (I may have overhydrated) and shake up the nervous adrenaline that coursed through our veins like a drug as the minutes inched closer to our race time. Finally it was 12:15, time to line up, and time to face the first of many obstacles to come: the 6-foot wall jump required just to get to the Start Line. If that was a preview of the whole race, I was already nervous.

After much “AROO-ing” and a pump-up speech that sounded cheesy when I heard it before but got me super hyped to run the fuck out of this race while at the start line, we heard “3… 2… 1… AROO!” and took off. In one hour and forty-five minutes, T, R and I stuck together and supported each other through every one of the obstacles, the mud run, lifting the concrete balls, scrambling under barbed wire and running, running in between. We spotted each other crossing the traverse wall, shouted encouragement after failing the spear throw (WHICH EVERYONE FAILS I’m just saying) to keep counting and keep going through 30 hellish burpees. I twisted my ankle on a tire jump at around mile 2 and they walked with me until I was ready to run again, T fell backwards a little harder than expected off the cargo net and we limped with her until she felt okay, and we all walked down the final hill so R’s knees, beat up from years of lacrosse, could take a break.

Covered in mud, exhausted in the best possible way and grinning from ear to ear, the three of us finally reached the last hurdle – jumping over a fire pit before crossing the finish line. We took off and took some great action shots as we triumphantly kicked over the smoke and grabbed our medals, hugging and laughing and shrieking that we survived. A few more celebratory photos from papa B, who documented the event for us, and we walked to the beer tent to claim our free Shock Tops, which will forever live in my mind as the greatest beer I’ve ever earned. The rest of the night was spent reliving moments, retelling stories of funny spectators to moments we pushed each other a little harder to do a little more, shooting past our comfort zone in to Spartan glory.

I woke up sore in places I didn’t know existed on Sunday with a swollen ankle to boot, an injury that turned out to be HILARIOUS walking around the city and up-and-down the stairs from the subway to my building. Even this morning while getting dressed, putting on a bra (which let’s be honest, is already the worst part of the day) was like torture, my shoulder screaming at me to stop moving and get back to bed. Hobbling around the office with my wrapped foot, people keep asking what happened and if I’d ever do the race again.

Would I willingly subject myself to running in mud, under barbed wire, over fire and through wooden walls, lift tires, run up and down an 80 degree hill with 25 pounds of sand, climb a cargo net with questionable safety restraints, throw a spear into a hay barrel, climb up a rope wall, do burpees until I can’t feel any part of my body and more, all for a medal and a free beer?

Absofuckinglutely. AROO!

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Just Because

This morning while getting coffee at the office Keurig, one of the VPs stopped in and we started chatting. Since it’s going to be 80 degrees today and I’m not seeing clients, I left my arms bare, trying to avoid the inevitable pit stains that form while standing in the West 4th station at the end of the day, humidity and heat having stewed in the tunnels for hours. He noticed the tattoo on my arm and complimented the piece, asking “What made you get the skyline there?” I thought for a moment, cycling through the normal responses of “I have a tattoo for each place I’ve lived after high school,” or “I went through some big moments in the fall and wanted to commemorate making it through,” but eventually I just smiled and told him “Just because.”

In mid-December this past year, I walked into my go-to Upper East salon, determined to do something different with the same old bleach-blonde highlighted locks I’d been sporting since my teenage years, dyeing (lol puns) for something different to match my new single status. The stylist did a great job, but it wasn’t the change I wanted. The edge of my typical white-blonde had been softened, for sure, but I kept thinking it’d be fun to take it a step further, get just a little crazier, make it just a little different. Over Easter weekend, I talked to the stylist I’ve been seeing for a decade and we decided to go for it, choosing a fiery red ombre, a color that made my eyes pop and made me noticeable from a mile away. My mother was shocked when she saw me step out of the chair, a huge smile spreading across her face as she surveyed the final product. She touched the locks gently and said “I love it! It’s so different! What made you choose the red?” and I smiled and said “Just because.”

I make a lot of big decisions, good and bad, impulsive and well-thought out. I can talk through my logic for many of them, why I got my various tattoos and what they mean, why I love living in Washington Heights, why I’m still so in love with my job four months into the new place. I can reason why things were so crazy for so long, I can explain the funk I was in for a few weeks with a few words. I can rationalize lots of things that I’ve done and lots of decisions I’ve made, but every once in a while it’s nice to do something and have something for no reason at all. It’s enjoying the moment in the purest form, taking a step back from rationalizing and ranting and explaining every step to enjoy the big picture that is life at this moment, because honestly? It’s pretty freaking great.

I walked into the office this morning after the perfect three day weekend: relaxing at my parent’s on Friday, playing with D&D’s dogs on Saturday followed by the housewarming party for my partner-in-crime R and her Scot H, all ending with a lazy, greasy, bacon-and-burgers Sunday brunch with AZ. I chatted with coworkers as we all dug through our weekend emails, they complimented my hair and I complimented their sundresses. We all laughed at how restorative this weekend was, all of us completely burnt out by the few weeks of insanity and relieved to be moving forward into the rest of the summer. I went back to my desk with a smile on my face, reminiscing about the small changes in just a few days, when my boss walked past and asked “Why the big smile LB?”

I’m just really happy, boss. Just because.

Quick thoughts: Bliss

Hello from CT, where I’m sitting in a salon chair gettin’ my hair did after a long morning of yoga outside, laying by the pool and sneaking in a pedicure/massage. Plans from here are to head up to the Outlets, where I’ll blow what little money I’ve managed to save since Hell Week began on Club Monaco everything, followed by a trip to the farmer’s market and then dinner at home with mama and papa B and a whole lot of wine.

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This is what they call bliss, my friends.

Knock Knock

In the past, I’ve discussed my very broad criteria for an apartment in NYC: four walls, manageable vermin, working stove, hot water. This has screwed me in a few ways, namely that in the winter my shower rains dirt from the ceiling and my lives-in-the-building super refuses to work outside of 9-5, M-F and definitely no holidays. I love my apartment in Washington Heights, sized perfectly for one person and 6.5 pounds of evil in feline form, a kitchen with more cabinets and counter space than I know how to fill, and a gaggle of neighbors who will never stop asking me out but will also never stop looking out for me, the only white girl on the block. But it seems I can’t escape the always-comical-eventually series of events that befall me when I get too comfortable with the apartment maintenance status quo.

The most basic amenity I should have added to my list was a functional door/doorknob. You may think “but LB, that’s easy! The building is responsible for your doorknob and lock! It’s impossible to get locked inside your apartment!” And were we discussing this six months ago, I would have wholeheartedly agreed. But, as is the way of the Heights,  nothing is ever easy. Knock knock – who’s there? The door from fucking hell.

Here is why you shouldn’t neglect to add “working door” to your must-have list:

  • After a particularly long day followed by a very painful still-hungover-from-Sunday Funday run in January, my doorknob jammed and refused to move, effectively locking me out of my unlocked apartment. I called my super, whose phone was off (because of course), but eventually tracked him down so he could come up and inspect. He took one look, shook his head and said “Esta rota” (It’s broken) before turning to leave. PAUSE, PLEASE. After arguing that he did, in fact, need to do his job and find a way to let me into my apartment, he decides to mention he “only had a screwdriver” and didn’t have an extra doorknob/lock for me to use at that time. Awesome. He fiddled with a few screws, took out a piece that may or may not have been necessary, and then helpfully suggested that I only lock the bolt for the time being and he would fix the door eventually. Ugh. Fine.
  • Around 9:30am on a Tuesday in mid-February, I received a totally calm and collected call from my super asking if I was aware that my door was open. UH. NOPE. No I did not casually leave my door open before exiting for work that morning. I really didn’t care about my stuff (frankly I could use a new couch, if anyone wants to steal mine) (I mean what? Who said that?), but little miss is endlessly curious about the outside world, and for the entire panicked cab ride uptown, I was convinced she had escaped. To be perfectly honest I’m still not really sure how the door opened in the first place, but apparently it had something to do with the hack-job the super had done a month prior. Naturally, after confirming little miss was still in the apartment (she slept through her escape opportunity), my super turned and left, and promptly stopped answering my calls to fix the door. UGH. FINE. I managed to get the bolt closed, tested the lock a few times and all seemed fine, so I pushed the problem out of my mind, not needing the extra stress of a broken lock.
  • The final straw came about a month ago, on a rainy Friday night around 8:30. At this point, I was five months into only locking the bolt on the door, and had largely forgotten that I’d needed to call my super for exactly as long to fix the lock. While heading out to pick up food for a Chipotle/Netflix night with AZ, I noticed the door struggled to close a little bit. I had a premonition that it was going to jam again, but I was running late to meet him and I hadn’t been having problems with it in a few weeks, so I figured it would be okay. Lol. Nope. We got back to my place after trekking through the pouring rain to a door that was completely jammed. After repeated attempts to contact the super (whose phone was off, because of course), I was hangry, wet, tired and annoyed, so I caved and called a locksmith. 90 minutes and $300 later, the most he could do to help was remove the doorknob/lock completely and tell me to have a nice day.

There’s always going to be something frustrating, whether it’s the dirt that rains into the shower or living with a hole in your door for 10 days before the super finally decides to mozy on up and do his job. I’ve been locked both in and out of that apartment another three times since that last incident, at this point giving in to the absurdity by laughing loudly and taking photos to commemorate the latest fight against the door from hell.

They say everyone has a “terrible NYC apartment” story to tell, horror stories of vermin or mold or roommates whose least offensive crime is bringing home someone they met through World of Warcraft (Aside: that’s happened to me twice. End aside). I think I’m racking up enough information for a full novel in this place, the dirt-raining, door-breaking, neglectful-super world of Washington Heights. But then again, it’s a novel of the most amazing time in my life, the first time living alone and the crazy hijinks I’m in.

And hey, who knows. Maybe this will encourage me to finally perfect my movie heroine kicking-down-doors form.

The Nickname Posse

“I can’t believe you bitches took photos without me!”

The scene: about 9 p.m. on Saturday night. I’d left the office about an hour earlier and headed straight to my partner-in-crime R’s new place with her Scot H, where I was greeted by two dogs and a full cup of plum vodka. My lovely friend M, her N, my fashionista C and briefly my work buddy S were all watching the final minutes of the World Cup game as I showed up, exhausted and frustrated after making stupid mistakes while working that day. We decided to spend the remainder of the waning daylight, my only exposure to it all day, on the roof, before heading out to dinner, when we realized the temperature had dropped significantly in the few minutes between my arrival and our trek to the top of the building. C decided to run home (which is conveniently next door to R and H’s place) and grab a jacket before we all went out for food and some more much-needed drinks. Much-needed on my end, at least.

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M and I decided to explore a little before heading downstairs, and upon rounding a corner, found the most incredible view of One World Trade in the setting sun, the perfect reminder of why we live in New York: for views like that, moments like that. We insisted that N and H snap a picture, which they managed to do with only minimal inappropriate gestures to get us to smile, and without inundating my camera roll with selfies (Aside: that is a big deal, and very unlike them. End aside). I had to put the photo online, proof of my first real, full-body laugh in far too long. Naturally upon meeting with C once she’d secured an extra layer against the setting chill in the air, she jokingly chided us for taking photos immediately after she left (which wasn’t true, it was at least ten minutes!), and to make it better, I halted everyone in the middle of a crowded sidewalk so I could get a group selfie. The picture is almost grotesque in the most hilarious way: all teeth and close-up features and funny faces, but it captures our group, my Nickname Posse, in the most amazing, unattractive, wonderful way.

I say it here all the time, jokingly or in more serious matters, but the people in that Epic Selfie are nothing less than my lifeline. In my stressed out and confused mess of self in recent days, they let me snap at them via both text and email, cry immediately upon entering an apartment, skip out on plans so I could sit at home and sulk (read: drink wine and listen to T. Swift), complain about the same thing over and over, ask the same questions over and over and generally be a pain in the ass. And in dealing with my bratty attitude and elevated sass levels, they never once snapped back, never coddled me when I was being irrational and never let me forget that they are there for me, unconditionally. They give the tough advice and reality checks I need in the gentlest manner, the kind where I have to listen because it makes too much sense. And they give the unconditional, unwavering, unmatched love that you only experience with a few people in a lifetime, the kind where saying “best friends” would never be enough.

We were sitting around R’s coffee table after dinner, R, H, N and C getting ready to go out, and M and I getting ready to go home, playing Cards Against Humanity and sipping whiskey like water. My stomach and my cheeks ached from how hard I was laughing at how depraved we all are, after the least offensive card in a category read that “Preteens” were Batman’s guilty pleasure. N had said something to M earlier which she relayed to me, a simple observation looking around all of us, the Nickname Posse. Earlier that day, he’d surveyed the room and told her simply, “I like this group of people.”

Me too, doll. Absolutely me too.

Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.

I believe in a lot of stupid things. I like reading my horoscope in the morning, wishing on eyelashes and at 11:11 (or pretty much any time with the same number). I’ve absolutely been on both sides of the karmic spectrum and I’ve mentioned my feelings about my lucky jewelry here in previous posts. I know most of it is bullshit, perpetuated by people desperately grasping for control and meaning in situations they can’t predict, but I can’t help feeling some small comfort in the bullshit phenoms when things get confusing or weird.

Aside from the fact that I’ll never be Beyonce, the hardest truth I face on a daily basis is that sometimes things happen and that’s just the way it is; things make sense until they don’t. I can control things like what I have for lunch, how far I’ll run after a late night at the office, what time I leave the bar so I’m not exhausted for work the next day, how much Netflix I watch at a time wait nope not that one, but the point is I can control the little things. But I can’t control my schedule if a boss is sending “URGENT” last-minute meeting requests every day, I can’t control the fickle subway schedule that has been ruining my morning commute all week and I can’t control my weekend plans when I’m waiting for someone else to confirm yes I want to see you, or no, this is over. Clinging to an idea that you have some power in life is like holding a ticking time bomb, trying to stave off the mess that can explode when the tiny corner of this world you can control bleeds into everything else you can’t.

People love to tell you when you’re feeling sad that everything happens for a reason. Some attribute it to destiny and fate, some mumble on about God’s Great Plan for us, and others subscribe to the fact that hindsight is 20/20, since it’s much easier to see the light at the end of a tunnel once you’re bathed in the sunshine, looking back at the black hole as though it was easy to walk through. I’ll say that to myself at times because it means I might have my hand on the right part of the bomb, red wire, blue wire, to stop the chain reaction and hand me the reigns to my small bit of this world I understand. But sometimes things just happen. They happen and you can’t explain why, and you can’t explain how, and you can’t explain anything because something happened that you can’t understand, hovering the knife over the wrong wire, daring you to explain why something that doesn’t make sense becomes reality. Maybe the point isn’t to see the light at the end of the tunnel but to sit in the tunnel and enjoy the dark, holding onto the bomb and finding peace as the clock ticks down, down, down, understanding there will be a light eventually but running for it won’t make the bomb stop.

It’s not always easy, sitting in the tunnel and waiting for the sun. Even in the past few weeks, where I’m debating setting up a bed in the empty cube next to mine at the office, where I can’t rationalize what changed in a few short hours that have turned into two very long weeks, I started fumbling for wires to make sense of the mess around me, trying to find my bearings to force the light around me so things feel right and feel okay. Last night I sat at home with little miss on the couch at 10 p.m., barely home 30 minutes and already getting ready for bed, and I let out a huge sigh, exhausted by my own thoughts and tired of holding a bomb with both hands. I don’t think it will ever be my favorite thing, the fact that not only will I never be Beyonce but I can’t make sense of anything almost all the time, but I may learn to love the bomb that I can’t diffuse and I can’t let go. I’ll still wish on an occasional eyelash if it falls into my hand, still smile when I see the clock at 1:11, 2:22 and so on, but one of these days maybe I’ll tell myself everything happens because it happens, and smile with the knowledge that that’s okay.

Penis Cakes Need Not Apply

Oh, bachelorette parties. These fetes of female revelry are supposed to be the quintessential “last night out” as an unmarried woman, a chance to get real drunk and party with your girlfriends before entering the sanctity of marriage, where apparently getting inappropriately tanked and dancing on tables is frowned upon. As the token single friend in most of my groups, it’s also a chance for them to convince me to fulfill their last single-girl fantasies, dancing with strangers and encouraging a drunken makeout, just one more time. Say those two words to anyone and their first image is women in matching t-shirts and someone in a bad veil, a bunch of penis-shaped memorabilia and woo girls trying to creep into gay bars, screeching how much they love each other and demanding photos all night. For some, it sounds like hell. For me, it sounds like a damn good weekend for some PLDs.

This weekend was the bachelorette party for the first of my childhood friends getting married, a lead-in to what I’m affectionately referring to as Hell Week at work (though is more accurately Hell 12 Days Because I’m Working This Weekend Ugh). I went into the party weekend with a solid plan: get into Philly on Saturday, bachelorette activities with said childhood friend during the day, breaking off for a bit to meet my soul sister E for dinner, and meet up with the bachelorette crew for dancing all night. Gorgeous weather and an easy bus ride into Philly set the bar for the weekend, which spoiler alert: didn’t disappoint.

Seems legit.

Seems legit.

After a few days of being mopey and cranky, the chance to hang out with old and new friends, riding a Pedicycle around Philadelphia while people cheered and offered congratulations, wearing these fantastic matching t-shirts the bride had made herself, was perfect. I complained, admittedly, about the t-shirts to my lovely friend M before the weekend, annoyed at being forced into something so stereotypically bachelorette, but in the end it was perfect. The shirts made the party absolutely bachelorette without being obnoxious, a way to identify ourselves to strangers and bartenders without the need for a giant dick drawn somewhere on the bride-to-be. Bachelorette parties leave the wedding stress behind to celebrate girlfriends, no boy drama, no any drama. Just matching tshirts and lots of fun.

However, planning for a long day and night of drinking which would be followed by a last-minute flight to Indianapolis on Sunday for work meant I had two main goals: stick to beer (fail) and remember to drink water (epic fail). Sunday morning brought a miserable hangover of legendary proportions for both E and I as we woke up disoriented in the hotel, remnants of 2 a.m. room service littering the duvet. Bless her heart that she still had the stamina to drive me to the airport, where she only had to pull over once on the highway so I could vomit the small amount of hydration I was able to ingest prior to leaving the hotel. As the hours ticked, ticked on, waiting in the airport for my flight which was delayed once, twice and then again, I felt a migraine creeping in, a final middle finger to my day drinking extravaganza. I’ve never felt so miserable on a plane before, turbulence mixed with hangover mixed with migraine, cursing WHY WHY WHY did I have that last beer, WHY didn’t I drink more water, and WHY did I ever start drinking alcohol in the first place?!

There’s nothing like a hell of a hangover to remind you that you aren’t, in fact, 21 years old anymore, something that should have been more obvious by the fact that I was drinking to commemorate the impending wedding of a friend. That may even be the real point of the bachelorette fiesta, a reminder that as much as we loved to party back in the day, growing up changes things. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to comport myself with a bit more dignity at her wedding later this summer, which I think should be easy. After all, I’ve had my years drinking with her and making PLDs. Despite the lack of penis-shaped anything, this last hurrah was the send off that a lifetime of an incredible friendship deserves, one to remember as she gets ready to start her life as a Missus.

Quick Thoughts: Coping

Things I’ve done this week to cope with the raging hurricane that’s fucking with my professional and personal lives (life? whatever, I’m too tired to care):

  • Drank a whole bottle of wine while ugly-crying to old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (RIP DENNY FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS)
  • Stress-ate an entire sleeve of Rolos and a pack of gummy fruits I may or may not have taken from my boss’s desk when he wasn’t looking as “lunch”
  • Went for a run in the rain thinking it would “relieve tension” and ended up stressing myself out about falling in one of the nasty NYC garbage puddles
  • Played Taylor Swift for five straight days at my desk until someone actually asked me to stop (NEVER)
  • Decided to walk to and from work in my new mirrored heels to break them in (“I can totally rock heels around the city at 7:30 a.m.!”) and only mostly narrowly managed not to break my ankle when running to catch a departing subway train
  • Tried to cuddle with little miss while sad and her response was to scratch my face
  • Wore a white dress on a rainy day

At least it’s Friday.

hallelo

#bloggerproblems

While I’m sure it was absolutely NOT obvious by recent tone in content here, things have been a little all over the place for me. I feel like I’m waiting for things to return to normal, but I haven’t figured out what “normal” entails yet, necessarily, so the waiting continues. Though I can quell whatever’s bubbling under the surface here with long runs after work and a glass of wine or two, an unfortunate side effect of an as-yet-undefined state of being is a lack of inspiration for a space like this one.

I'm trying not to be boring sad blogger all the time!

I’m trying not to be boring sad blogger all the time!

Sometimes you find inspiration in the good, many times in the bad. Sometimes I’m inspired by things I can’t wait to share, and other times I’m inspired by things I can’t share. There’s an unpredictability in sharing stories from single life, ebbs and flows of interesting and funny moments peppered by nights alone with little miss, one after another after another. It’s certainly not the worst place in the world to be night after night, but it doesn’t bode well for stories on a public forum, sadly.

I’m going to try and find some trouble tonight so I’ll have something fun to write about the next time I’m back here. But if things go quiet for a little while, just know that I’m out tracking PLDs like truffles, hoping to find a few gems in the muddy surface of June So Far.

Novocain

I have a few interesting habits and ways to deal with strange, confusing and very strong emotions. Depending on what I’m feeling, it could be crying to my lovely friend M, dancing around the apartment with little miss, or cleaning obsessively, and let’s be real, those are usually accompanied by a lot of wine. This past Friday, while sorting through what turned out to be the beginning of some interesting emotions, I decided to pick up my Kindle and flip to The Fault in Our Stars. I thought rereading it (again) would be a good distraction while waiting for something which never ended up coming, trying to find comfort in the words I know so well. I’ve highlighted a few passages over the course of a few rereads, popular ones that everyone knows courtesy of the Buzzfeed coverage of the movie. The words are familiar and obvious but they were also, to an extent, exactly what I needed to read at the time. First up: That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.

Sometimes that sentence is very true. Regardless of whether it’s a little bit of pain, or something incredibly painful, sometimes you can’t do anything but sit with that pain and let it run through you, allowing it the attention it demands for as long as it needs. But once in a while, something finds you, something happens that you would expect to be painful, but the pain doesn’t come. It’s waiting for the final push into the right emotion for the situation, but you can’t locate it, so you just kind of Are, you just kind of Feel, capital A, capital F.  There’s no gaping hole in your midsection gasping for air, no tears streaming like melting ice cream, bittersweet. It’s not even pain, really. To an extent, it’s nothing. And yet in that, it’s everything.

If I’m dealing with that type of emotion, a blank slate where it doesn’t help when I laugh, or cry, or drink more wine, I can’t tell if it’s the logical part of my brain telling me there has to be an explanation for whatever is causing the almost-hurt, or if it’s my heart putting up steel gates, trying to protect itself for just a little longer. Things can happen in such a whirlwind that you lose track of time, lose track of reason and just wander with the flow of the moment, wanting everything to stay exactly how it is but more, enraptured by the thought of the wide, unknown, hypothetical future. It’s exciting and scary in the best way while it’s happening, but when you find yourself out of the vortex and into the eye of the storm, you’re left standing still, surrounded by this beautiful mess with no way to clean it up. So you watch, and you wait, and try to sort your way back into any kind of emotional release, anything to escape from the numbness that’s slowly creeping into your extremities.

No one can stay in purgatory forever, at least not the emotional kind. Eventually the emotional novocain starts to fade, a temporary fix only. Through a combination of time, group texts with the Nickname Posse and yes, lots of wine, the pain will demand to be felt or will go away on it’s own, sated by it’s dulled, short-lived emotional fix. I may have reached that moment, or maybe I’m still riding the dull wave of a muted emotion, but starting a Monday numb and confused was not what I’d hoped. It is in that mindset that the next highlight from TFIOS comes to me, while looking back on the emotional ride I’ve taken in the past year and what I’ve learned in the past six months: I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.