For part one, go here.
Back in October, I met a guy while out with the Nickname Posse for H the Scot’s birthday. I remember thinking he was really cute, and funny, and I don’t remember how many tequila shots I’d had before we started talking, but by the end of the night, we’d exchanged numbers and eventually made plans to get together. I woke up the next morning to a text from him, and instead of smiling, my first reaction was “dammit Drunk LB.” I had so many other things going on in my life at that moment that putting any effort into dating wasn’t in my plan. I tried to find a way to politely decline when he asked me out, but my lovely friend M and Mama B both convinced me that it couldn’t hurt to give him a shot. We went out a few times, and honestly, there was nothing wrong with him: he was polite, employed, smart and ambitious. But at the end of the day, I just wasn’t into it. I told him as much, said I didn’t really have time to date at this point in my life, and he told me it was great meeting me and good luck. We haven’t spoken since, and that’s totally fine. Sometimes it takes a little while, but when you know, you just know.
I sat down recently to figure out my budget for the next year, factoring in where I’m at with my credit cards, what trips I have planned and when, how much I’ll need to set aside for all the weddings I’ll be in and attending. The beauty of living in a rent stabilized apartment is that my rent barely went up this year, and my expenses won’t change much either, which means if I’m smarter about not spending money on Free People and taxi rides, I’ll have an okay bit of money saved by this time next year. I was running through a few vinyasas on my mat a few days later and decided to try a challenging arm balance I hadn’t tried before. This obviously led to me falling over spectacularly, splayed out on the mat like a squashed bug. Frustrated, I started berating myself for not being further along in practice, chiding lazy LB that she can’t keep using excuses like “I’m tired” or “I had a long day” to sit on the couch instead of stretch on the mat, when I know how much it improves my mood. As I picked myself up and gave the posture another shot, I realized there is a perfect way to motivate myself to keep up with yoga, save money, and maybe even forge a different path for my future than I’d ever anticipated. Sometimes it takes a little while, but when you know, you just know.
There are people and places in your life that fit immediately, make sense immediately, like you’ve known them forever, or been there forever, a series regular from day one. My M, my partner-in-crime R, Washington Heights; sometimes you need the fireworks, the immediate “I get it!,” the secure feeling that this is a constant in your life from that point forward. But there’s also times when it takes a little while before you know for sure. Sometimes it’s just giving things another chance, or two, and sometimes it’s a revelation that takes a while to form in an ever-changing life. Sometimes you’re in the middle of something before you’ve even noticed it starting, and sometimes it takes a moment of clarity after months of fighting before you’re sure of your next move.
I heard from someone I adore back in December who’d just started a new job, and couldn’t stop saying wonderful things. She and I worked together years ago, and I look up to her as both my mentor and my friend. She’d been gently pushing me since starting to “just come in and meet everyone,” reminding me it “doesn’t hurt to see what’s out there.” Flattered, I told her maybe, but added that I wasn’t looking to leave my current job. Early into the New Year, I took a break from work to check my personal email, and lo and behold, there was a note from the HR department of my friend’s employer, simply saying she’d heard great things about me and asking if I’d be interested in “just coming in to meet everyone.” I smiled at the familiar words, and went to respond with a polite “no thank you,” but something stopped me before I hit send. In a moment, I cycled through the previous four years in my mind, remembering what it’s like when someone criticizes you for a mistake you didn’t make, and what it’s like when you actually enjoy the work you’re doing and the people helping you along the way. I looked up at my screen, rewrote my polite decline and hit send, instantly getting a gut feeling that big things were about to happen. Sometimes it takes a little while, but when you know, you just know.
Decisions have a wide range of ease and difficulty, yes I want another tattoo, no I don’t eat ketchup, maybe I’m not happy here and a change is exactly what I need. Sometimes we make decisions immediately after the fireworks, but other times the decisions wait for us to be ready for them, like an offer to “come in and meet everyone” sitting quietly for a month, and before you know it you’re accepting a job offer and giving your two weeks. It’s a lovely notion, having the right ideas readily accessible when you need them, but maybe it’s just a matter of knowing where to look when you’re in need of something new. Sometimes life throws you a bone when you need one and sometimes it throws you barbed wire, but every once in a while, there are moments where you just know it’s the right thing to deal with a little blood on your hands. Because sometimes it takes you a while to get there, but when you know, you just know.