That S&!t cray.

Tuesday was officially the weirdest day of my life.

Okay maybe that’s a generalization. I mean, it probably doesn’t beat the traditional weird factor, like that time a dude in the Flatiron wearing a feather headdress followed me for 5 blocks while quacking. Or that time in college I woke up in my roommate’s bed alone without pants and minus a phone. Or any of the times I accidentally got on an empty subway train (non-NYers: unless you’re at the very first stop for a train, NEVER. TRUST. EMPTY. SUBWAYS.). And back to Tuesday, aside from a quick stop at my lovely friend M’s place to play dogwalker, I didn’t stray from my normal routine of wake up, yoga, work, go home, yoga, sleep. But looking at the events pragmatically, between the hours of 8am and 8pm that day, a lot of freaking weird things happened to me.

Truth be told, I’ve been in a strange mood for the last few weeks. It’s like a combination of nostalgia and trepidation, a heady mix of the past, present and future. Maybe it’s that my birthday is in two weeks, which means summer is over; maybe it’s remembering the tumultuous nature of my life last fall. Maybe it’s that I’m only a few months away from celebrating my one-year anniversary as single LB, spotlighting how much someone and some things can change in a year and then again, how much can stay the same. Maybe it’s something strange in how the stars are aligned or maybe it’s something else entirely. It’s been an odd few weeks though, all of which culminated on Tuesday into one of the weirdest days I’ve had in 2014. Unfortunately, I can only go into so many details, bound by a self-imposed code that some things here stay cryptic, but just to be clear: that shit was cray.

In just twelve hours on Tuesday, I was confronted in a variety of ways with a few very distinct aspects of my life: high school, college, early New York, this past spring and the past three weeks. Pieces of my story that I’ve long stopped thinking about suddenly surfaced with a gasping breath, parts of my life I thought I wanted to keep private had a request to go public, and the realization that the wall I’ve tried to build around myself in the past four months isn’t as strong as I want it to be; this was all wrapped into those 12 hours, leaving me simultaneously very amused and very overwhelmed. Combined with a setback at the office which put my confidence into a tailspin, and here I am, two days later, still feeling weird.

A few weeks ago someone told me that weird doesn’t have to mean bad. “It’s like caviar,” he said. “Caviar is freaking weird, but it’s also pretty good.” Normally I would have considered all of this weirdness to be the epitome of the Bad, putting me into the kind of tailspin I can’t pull out of without more time, something I have in short supply only these days. But Caviar has a point above: all things considered, the weird things were also kind of good. It’s nice to think or hear you might be on someone’s mind, even if (or especially) you haven’t thought about that person in a long time. It was funny that everything happened in such a short (yet infinitely long) period of time. But honestly, it was really weird to have so many ridiculous scenarios present themselves within twelve hours, rather than spread out over a few days to save time for a glass of wine or two with M in between, allowing us the chance to obsess and overanalyze.

I keep setting these “deadlines” in my life, an idea of when things will finally stop moving at lightspeed and finally start making sense. First it was after Austin in July (nope), then it was early August (nope) and recently it’s been September, which is turning into another big Nope. I feel like my life has been weird since May, filled with things I wasn’t expecting, then things I can’t explain, then situations I can’t crawl out of, and finally back to things I’m not expecting. I don’t see anything calming down in the near future, as I have defined plans every single weekend through mid-October. Maybe these past few months are a lesson in the mixed caviar of life, taking it for the weirdness and the goodness it brings to myself and my character, and maybe I’ll stop waiting for things to make sense. After all, it wouldn’t be a very interesting blog if, at the end of the day, I didn’t sometimes have to shake my head at my circumstances, and sigh a big “That shit cray.”

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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.