Same Same, but Different

Something very weird is happening right now. Actually, there are a lot of weird things happening right now. Let’s start with the least disruptive: because I can only do a handstand minus the wall when I’m outside (and also in a quest for cute Instagram photos), I spent a lot of time practicing yoga in the yard this weekend, and consequently there is poison ivy all over my back. ALL OVER. Granted, it gives me a good excuse to walk around my apartment without a shirt on in the muggy New York summer (shades drawn) (well, usually), but this certainly isn’t what I would call “fun.” Work has also been wild this week, and I’m leaving my apartment again this weekend to stay with D&D’s dogs in the Upper East Side, a staycation I can’t wait for, yet I’m desperate for a weekend at home in the Heights, curled into my chair with bad Netflix and little miss. All of these things contribute to weirdness in my already-very-weird life, but those aren’t what’s making my life weird at this moment. No, it’s something more funny and frustrating all at the same time. It’s funny because I’m acting so ridiculous, and it’s frustrating because I’ve had these conversations with myself before, and I can’t believe I’m having them all over again.

Lately I feel like I’m in the exact same spot I was a year ago, after six months of feeling like I’m a whole new person; like I’m a whole new person that’s exactly the same, with the exact same surroundings that have changed completely. People are still together but now they’re planning weddings, not Saturday nights; he and I are planning my next tattoo, only now it’s my sixth. I sleep in the same room that looks entirely different, and I’m having a conversation with myself I’ve had before, but even that’s a little different, too. “It’s all in your head!” the mirror tells me, “it’s just because you want a good story.” I tell her maybe it’s going to be right this time, and then I play Maybes and What Ifs, and she reminds me what happened last time, and why sometimes it’s silly to dream. It’s a conversation I had with myself just over a year ago, and now I’m having it again. Same same, but different.

Maybe things are in transition, and in an effort to prepare me for something totally different, the universe is throwing me a curveball of familiar, like a reminder that I pulled through last time, so just hold on for now. Maybe it’s just a fucking coincidence and who even cares tho really. And really, I’m probably reading too much into the situation, in need of an escape from the long days at my desk, and the long summer weekends where my free time sold out faster than a Taylor Swift concert. But all the same things wrapped into everything that’s changed are making the conversation that I’m having with myself again very strange, like a constant reminder of how much I’ve matured, except it looks the same as when I thought that was true the last time, too.

Someone I follow on Instagram posted one of those corny but poignant quotes recently, and I took a screenshot on a whim: “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” On the least disruptive level, I sincerely hope that means that the poison ivy all over my back is healing and I won’t be in this kind of itchy-gross agony that has plagued me all week. It could mean that work is going to calm down soon, or that I’ll appreciate next weekend more than I already know I will, the only weekend in July where I have no plans but to enjoy my own apartment. But no, right now I think that means something more frustrating and funny all at the same time. It’s frustrating because I can’t figure out how to feel about this situation, and it’s scaring me that it feels so familiar yet foreign; and it’s funny, because I think this is what they call growing up.

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