Last week was a really, really long week. Food poisoning completely wiped my appetite and joy in eating, as I would take three bites of things and feel nauseated; that exhausted and sick feeling did a great job masking how poorly I was really handling my two best friends moving across the world which spoiler alert: wasn’t very well. Work is getting busier and my yoga practice has been suffering as a result of all of the above, with barely more than 10 minutes available every day for me to meditate or stretch just a bit. It’s funny how all these things can come together in a perfect storm of awful confusion, the kind where not even your favorite chocolates and flowers from a very supportive boyfriend can help. I’ve been on my own for a few years now and I didn’t realize how poorly I would handle having someone try to be there for me when I really needed support.
I’ve thought a lot about this entry, talking about what it’s like to say goodbye to your best friends, even though it’s not really goodbye considering M and I literally haven’t stopped texting aside from the 21 hours they were on planes. And I can’t compare my experience of transitioning to a life in the city without them to their experience transitioning to an entirely new culture even a little bit. I started to expand on the actual goodbye itself, clinging to M outside Central Park as my whole body shook with sobs and we couldn’t say anything more than “Thank you for the past six years” and “I love you,” N and A looking on at us pointedly judging because girls are crazy. Even writing that one sentence I’m overwhelmed with tears, where I’m so happy for them and I’m so excited for them but I’m reminded of the empty feeling that my nights have sometimes, void of the option to stop by their apartment for a quick visit on the way home from work. This paragraph is as much as I can talk about them leaving, really, because it’s the most I’ve opened up about it since it happened.
Thursday and half of Friday last week are a complete blur. I mean that literally. I remember waking up and going to work, going through the motions of being in the office, going home and watching Netflix in near-silence with A while he tried to ask me gently how I was doing and I shut it down by snapping at him or turning up the television. A small family emergency popped up in the afternoon that required me to leave work the next day to head to Connecticut for an overnight with my baby nephews, Aunt Lo to the rescue because their poor mama can barely stand, let alone hold two growing baby twins. That was where I kept my energy focused from mid-Thursday on at that point, the promise of an afternoon with those sweet boys. I couldn’t process the myriad emotions running through my mind, stress and sadness and loss and support but I could look forward to an afternoon with two little munchkins that needed me to take care of them. I went through the motions of “nice girlfriend” on Friday morning, A cautiously tip-toed around me as I made coffee and avoided eye contact lest his unending support cause me to start to feel real emotions. I stayed in that funk all day at my desk, not talking that much to anyone, just focusing on the clock until mid-afternoon came and with it, the sweet release of the weekend.
It’s really interesting, the waves of emotions that come after a week of sickness and goodbyes and emergencies and loss. But sitting on the train headed to Connecticut, after waves of awful emotions for the past 24, 48, 72 hours, out of nowhere in a really profound moment, I felt this tangible calm wash over me. I started texting jokes with A and a friend from work, and I smiled when I heard from the recent Vietnamese residents, content knowing M and N were safe in their new home. The weekend ahead promised beautiful weather, time with my family, time with A and a Sunday dedicated to yoga with my best friend from yoga training, someone I haven’t seen nearly enough in the weeks since the sanctity of that studio. Life had changed, somehow, in the short amount of time that I left New York for five days in Austin, and now life was settling too, the new life, the one I’m staying in New York to live. Mourning the loss of my friends around the corner or in the same time zone just happened to coincide with all of that and overshadowed everything. There’s a peace when everything settles though. Life returns to its new normal, waiting for the next change to come along.