Right?

“It just takes time, right?”

G and I caught up this week for the first time in forever. Our love lives parallel in such interesting ways it’s almost uncanny, and when we do catch up, the conversations can be tough. We can’t pretend with each other; yeah, we’re both moving onwards and upwards with our lives, but there’s a rawness to everything, a tinge of regret for someone else’s choices and for thinking maybe this is the time it’s for Real. Last night we joked for a while about her queen petty skills and my latest crazy workout, but after a few minutes the conversation quieted somewhat. “Even if I did want to date him,” she told me about (a guy), “it wouldn’t be fair to him. I’m still not over (the ex), and I can’t really be with anyone till that happens.” I echoed her sentiments with half of my brain, because on a logical level I totally agree with her. The other half though? It’s a little more complicated.

What do you really do with love that’s gone from your life? Do you ever really get over an ex? Is it okay to move on at 75 percent instead of 100? There are always a lot of things on my mind but those occupy a bit more space lately. If I look back on the people I loved that way, mostly I appreciate them for their part in my story; I love the original two of them like you love a character from a novel but nothing more. I can’t remember the early days after our stories ended well enough to know how I was doing two months on, but I think I was doing better and worse than I’m doing now. Worse, because I never tried to reach out to the others to extend one more chance to be definitive, tell me to fuck off or tell me you miss me but stop pretending everything’s fine. And better, because I definitely know I’m exactly where I should be, and if that means moving on then so be it.

I suppose this is the part where I mention that there’s someone waiting for me. Someone kind and funny, and he understands my job and lifestyle and doesn’t push. He’s someone who is eager to support me and makes me feel sexy and wanted, and he’s waiting for me to say “okay.” Every time I see him my heart skips, he makes me laugh like I haven’t in a long time, but I can’t tell if that’s enough. Sometimes I want to say that word to him and other times I want to run, and I can’t find a balance between the two extremes, and he doesn’t seem to mind either one of my moods. And yet, other times I catch him staring at me when we’re on the subway or out to dinner like he’s studying me. “I am studying you,” he told me one day over takeout Thai on his couch, and he pushed a strand of purple hair from my forehead. “I want to know everything you’re hiding behind those big blue eyes.”

So here I am, literally living a dream, and there’s someone who wants to be there with me while I do it. And much as I’m not really wishing for things to go back to the way they were, I also don’t think I’m ready for them to change from where they are now. Right now I’m still okay being alone because part of me still hurts, and I’m also okay having someone that I can text and call after a long day knowing he’ll make me smile. I’m still navigating the early waters of this dream and I love all the changes but I need a break. Will I ever be at 100 percent? Do I even want to be at 100 percent? Will I ever get a definitive answer? Will I ever tell him “okay”? There are always a lot of things on my mind but those occupy a bit more space lately. It just takes time to figure them out.

Right?

dreams, in real life.

At my second job this week, two of my favorite coworkers and I were up front, talking one of us through a dilemma; she wants to leave her second job to focus on this job and her acting career, but is having major guilt. “I wake up in the middle of the night with extreme anxiety that I’ll have a text from my boss,” she told us, “because every time I try to leave she pulls me back in and I can’t go.” We talked her through some advice, and I couldn’t help but smile thinking back to my days where I would look at my second phone and a hard knot would form in my stomach like a hairball. I remember the days of hating my job so much that the thought of reading an email after I left the office caused extreme panic and even anger, and I remember how liberating it was to walk away and vow that no job would make me feel like that ever again.

I haven’t talked much in specifics of the last six months of my life here, preferring instead to allude to changes and challenges until I could form coherent thoughts about where my life is headed. And things aren’t settled now, even a little bit, but they’re starting to make more and more sense. I have a better routine, and I have a clearer vision of who I want to be and how I’m going to get there. My days now are spent at the gym, pushing and learning and going going going until I physically can’t, and then I finish the week working at the store, where I’m connecting with amazing people from the fitness and fashion industry, people in the neighborhood, and I spend my life in workout clothes. This week I’ve been battling some kind of throat infection or other nonsense, and instead of waking up stoked I may get to take a sick day, I fought my boss tooth and nail and then almost cried when he insisted on sending me home early one afternoon so I could rest up.

This feeling, of without a doubt loving everything that I do, is a feeling I’ve been chasing my entire adult life. It’s the dream, right? To look forward to going to work every day, to find it easy to want to work harder and more and longer. I’m literally living in a dream right now and sometimes I think I need a pinch to remind myself it’s real. Unfortunately or fortunately that pinch is delivered to me every single day in multiple ways. When I wake up alone, when there’s no one to send a “Good morning!” text and no one to share my typical LB moments with, like whether I remember to put on deodorant or if I forgot my coffee at home (again). When I come home every night to the same apartment, just me and Little Miss, and when I go to sleep alone in my own bed, to wake up alone and do it again. I had wanted to spend more time in Washington Heights but this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

I wake up every morning loving where my life is taking me. I love my daily routine and I can’t wait for it to shift again as I move into new aspects of training and fitness. I can’t wait to get dressed and get started; I love that I spend my days in the West Village and I don’t have to fight anyone about binge-watching Golden Girls on Hulu when I get home. But in all the happy there’s a resounding theme that cuts through absolutely everything that I do: I miss you, I miss you, I miss you. The words are on backdrop to everything I see and do; I miss him, I miss us, I miss you. I am almost 100% totally fine in every sense of every word, except that little soundtrack I can’t turn off: I miss you. I miss us. I miss it all.

It’s so typical of life, it seems, that the happiest things coincide with the saddest. I’m living in a dream world on both ends, where I’m incandescently happy and also the saddest I’ve ever been. Perhaps that’s how we experience dreams in real life. When there’s no one around to pinch you when you’re waiting to wake up, life gives you a pinch that keeps on coming. I wouldn’t change a single thing in my life at all right now – not even the one thing that would switch the “I miss you” off for good. Because there’s so much behind the “I miss you” that I can’t put on a blog, not yet. But it’s enough for now to know that I haven’t had a pit of anxiety in my stomach like a hairball since I walked out of that office and that life for the last time, and even if it means missing him forever, I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing.

 

The Purge

The purge happened on Tuesday night. I was procrastinating finishing homework for my new job and started cleaning out a closet on a whim; 2 hours later my foyer was clogged with overstuffed bags of shoes, purses, jackets that I definitely haven’t worn in the past year. The purge itself felt like a funeral for my single life,  I wore [those] shoes to [that] party, and I carried [that] purse at [this] event. At one point something fell out of a purse I hadn’t used in years that immediately made me think of The Child, and then I saw a pair of shoes I haven’t worn since the night I knew Austin was the right decision. This kept happening as the bags filled faster; I wore that scarf on that awful first date, and I wore that jacket when the original Ex and I broke up. As I packed each bag there were waves of memories flashing from the time since I moved here in 2013, and when I stopped and looked at the carnage, I realized that Washington Heights no longer feels like home.

It’s not a coincidence I was living in the past on Tuesday evening. Actually, that’s how most November 15ths are for me, at least now. The thing is, November 15 is a day that I didn’t think I’d remember after a while, but it turns out I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life. Two years ago I lost a family member, the indescribable instigator of my understanding the concept of “family by choice.” Since her passing so many things have happened, not least of all the two newest (and cutest) members of the family. In two years I committed to yoga, got my cert, left the 9-5. I planned a permanent Austin vacation, then A arrived, and now I’m packing up for Queens. Two years ago from November 15 is a day I’ll remember forever. But it will also always remind me what happened three years ago that same day.

Three years feels like a lifetime. Three years is not a lifetime at all, but it is a lifetime of sorts for me. Three years ago Tuesday was when I walked away from life with the original Ex and started life on my own. That lifetime brought me so many amazing memories; that started Peaches and Jumpsuit and my all-star sister-wifing of M&N’s relationship, and there were concerts and happy hours and some of the best worst decisions in my 28 years. Three years ago feels like a lifetime, but then again so does two years ago, when we lost my aunt, and so does one year ago, just under a month before I’d meet A and I’d start a new lifetime with him.

There’s a quote from a recent TED show on NPR that has stuck with me. Well, the idea of it has stuck with me – I can’t find the actual quote as I’m writing this. Anyway, the gist was along the lines of: time does not move as quickly as we believe it will, but moves much more quickly than we expect. When we’re young, a 6-hour school day can feel like torture, because all we know is maybe 6 years of life. Of course an hour feels longer – you don’t have the past context of 10, 20, 30 years to know how fleeting one hour can be. And right now, in our late 20s, we bemoan how quickly the seasons pass, but all things considered we have a lot of time to savor the moments as we live them. It’s only after they’ve passed that we realize how fleeting each one really is. Time is a funny, fickle, silly thing, the kind of silly thing that somehow makes three years a blip and yet an entire lifetime as well.

Somehow in my split decision to clean up I packed eight freaking bags with material things to discard, enough to create a fire hazard in my hallway and three total trips up and down my fifth floor walk-up. As I huffed and puffed my way back up the stairs on the last trip up, cursing the circuit workout I’d done after my shift at Equinox earlier that day, I stopped as I walked in the door and smiled. Looking around, my apartment felt empty. It’s the beginning of the end of a short-lived yet wonderful era in life. It felt good to get rid of that literal and figurative baggage. It felt even better the next day to take the elevator up to another fifth floor apartment in Forest Hills, free of so much baggage, and run past the door into the arms of the love of my beautiful new life.

Milestones

Every relationship has milestones: first date, first kiss, first sleepover, first “I love you.” Those are the cute ones, the ones people talk about, the ones you look forward to and tell your friends about the minute they happen. There are also different milestones, ones you don’t think about, as I found out on the recently-achieved First Vacation Together with A. For most of August we traveled around Norway, a trip ambitiously booked four months in advance of leaving, and without either of us realizing it, there was a lot riding on this trip. Neither of us knew what to expect, and as we eventually discussed, we were both quite nervous about it. It turns out there are a lot of milestones when you’re on vacation with someone for 10 days traveling around a foreign country, more than I ever expected or could ever plan for. They’re kind of cute, in a weird, gross, super-real and also wonderful kind of way.

There are the weird milestones, that honestly are mostly about pooping. Like, it’s one thing to spend a few days at apartments in New York City, but 10 straight days in foreign apartments together is a whole separate level from your comfortable apartments. You get really close, really quickly, and that kind of closeness is the silly kind of thing that has the ability to tear your relationship apart or make it stronger. There are the scary milestones that happen when you spend 10 days straight with someone too. Chronic pain is something that A and I deal with as the third wheel in our relationship; usually it’s one of his injuries but this time one of mine got in the way. We had to cancel our first planned hike because of A’s back; we had to cancel our remaining hike on the morning of because of my knee. I thought he would be mad, maybe sad, maybe even disappointed, but instead he just let me cry out my own disappointment and then we planned an amazing day in Stavanger anyway. We adapt together well; I didn’t know that before this trip.

There were a lot of things I didn’t know before this trip. I didn’t know that he likes to get to airports early like I do, and I didn’t know how many Roots t-shirts he actually owns, which is a lot (maybe too many?). I didn’t know how we would live together for that long, because we talked about living together like its a given without any reason to think so positively, and I didn’t know if 10 days together would solidify what I’ve been feeling since the day I met him or if we would kill each other by the plane ride home. And there are a lot of things I learned on the vacation. I learned that my boyfriend is a 10 year old and likes to chase me around foreign apartments calling me Poopface while I’m simultaneously mortified and hysterically laughing. I learned that breaking the only razor on day 7 means I shouldn’t wear a sleeveless top and cropped leggings on a crowded plane for day 10. I learned that a lot of relationship milestones have to do with pooping, really, and I learned that I’m also a 10 year old because I think that nickname is adorable and high-fiving A over shared bowel stories is gross but also really awesome.

I also learned it’s possible to enjoy every single second of 10 days with someone who makes you laugh and cry and frustrates you before making it all okay again. I learned that 10 days with someone can completely transform a relationship without changing a goddamn thing. I learned more about the idea of forever. I spent a lot of time in the realm of thinking about forever. I learned what it’s like to consider 48 hours without someone after 10 days of constantly being with him and before that even happened I learned it made me cry too much, because those 48 hours felt like the kind of forever I want to avoid. I learned a lot this vacation. I learned a lot in the week since. Mostly I learned that I’m the luckiest girl in the whole damn world, and my forever these days is the best mix of Nows.

Fog Lights

Yesterday was a weird day. I tried to write a post about this past weekend, where we celebrated how wonderful E is and what it’s like to watch someone change their life for the better, but it kept coming up short. I wanted to tie it into a larger piece about our pasts and maybe eventually I will, but I kept stopping and staring at the words. I felt really stifled at the thought of delving back into my past for inspiration. I started to feel really stifled at the thought of my past at all. And I started to tell myself that maybe this reality I’m living would become a similar type of past in the near future, and this giant fog fell over my whole day that I couldn’t shake for anything.

I’m really bad at being happy, it turns out. Like, resorting to self-sabotage-bad at enjoying happiness for what it is in that moment instead of freaking out that things are going too well and have to stop going that well soon. It comes in waves, this resurgence of the anxiety that’s plagued me for years, but lately it’s sticking around. It’s not like it used to be, where it was intrinsically connected to my then-self, where I couldn’t disconnect where my anxiety ended and I began. Right now it feels like a bandaid I don’t want to rip off; I know it’s not a part of me and it’s temporary, but I’d rather let it hang out to the side for now and I’ll get rid of it when I’m ready. Anxiety sticks to everything when you pay it too much attention: new job, finances, plans for the next year, and relationships. Right now I’ve managed to assuage fears about the new job, about our budget for the Norwegian adventure, about any plans that haven’t come to fruition, and so it stuck to my relationship, because I’m really, really happy, so obviously that means everything is wrong.

When you live in this mindset it’s hard to be present externally because you’re so focused on what’s happening inside your ego, your mind.  Last night A and I went out for dinner with a few friends in Queens and I think I said three sentences all night. He could tell immediately I was off, but didn’t push, he just let me sit and be, clearly inside my own head about absolutely nothing.  When he asked me later “are you okay?” I told him the truth and said “Yes,” because I am okay. I’m just off, and I don’t know why. Sometimes for people that’s a lot to handle, when someone is okay but then again they’re not, and there’s nothing to do to fix it.

Not A, though. No, he knew exactly what to do. He didn’t push me to talk when we got back to his place; he didn’t try to offer solutions to fix every problem in my life and he didn’t ignore that I was off. Instead, he put on Last Week Tonight, handed me my favorite sweatpants of his and we snacked on peanut butter pretzels. When we settled into the couch he laid behind me and held me close. He stroked my hair and kissed my cheek and said he’d missed me the previous week. And we stayed there, half asleep, even after the show was over and the television was blank, until it was time to go to bed, where we talked about Norway till we fell asleep in the middle of sentences.

I woke up this morning like a new person, like something had been switched back to “on” and I could see through the fog. I made us coffee and we watched old SNL clips for no reason until it was time to leave. It felt like the bandaid had fallen off overnight and all the delving back into my past from the weekend that opened up the old anxiety wound didn’t matter anymore. The past has happened and the future will come, but the present is really beautiful for what it is: the sliver of sunshine amid a sea of fog that comes with a little self-awareness and a whole lot of love.

Really, really, ridiculously

Sometimes things aren’t going well, and sometimes that’s where inspiration flows. For me it’s as simple as a bad commute, a bad practice in the morning, an exhausting day at work, and all of a sudden I can hyper-focus on all the terrible things I’ve ever done in my life and I have entries coming out of my brain like a typewriter ribbon, click click of the keyboard and I’ve got enough inspiration to last me a month. Some people only write in that world of inspiration, and I can understand why. It’s easy to create relatable material to the bad days, because we all have them. Some people like to live in that sphere of bad days, woe is me, everything is wrong; tragedy is inspiration and it would be meta-tragic to lose that muse.

Not today for me though. Not after this past week, this past weekend, the past month, hell, the entirety of 2016. It hit me recently that I’m really, really ridiculously happy. After minor freak-outs last week about things like “why is it so freaking hot in this subway station” and “what the fuck was I thinking leaving a job I loved?” the past five days have been, in one (non-existent) word, cra-mazing. As in Crazy. And also Amazing.

Life is crazy. I switched jobs. I’m staring down the likely barrel that I need to start planning when and how I’ll pack up my apartment after four years of living in the Heights, even though this is the time where I thought I’d be in the home stretch till moving to Texas. I’m trying to figure out if and how I can make it as a yogi in this concrete jungle I’m lucky enough to call home. My grandmother is in the hospital again. One month from tomorrow A and I leave for a two-week adventure around Norway and this summer feels like it’s already slipping away. I’ve put on ten pounds. My best friends moved to Vietnam. I haven’t seen my other best friends in months. Because life is crazy. Life is insane, life is can’t-stop-won’t-stop crazy.

But my word, life is amazing. Life is really, really, ridiculously good looking amazing. Tonight I have the summer party for my new agency, a chance, I hope, to keep getting to know this wacky group of people I’m already excited to call coworkers. This Tuesday I have dinner with my sorority big, and we haven’t caught up in way too god damn long. This Wednesday A and I are going to a concert in Forest Hills because why not, it’s summer! This Friday we’re watching D&D’s pit bull, which means a weekend in the Upper East Side, and on Saturday we have plans with R and H that have been on the calendar since May. May!! That is just the next week of my life and every piece of it makes me so excited and happy to be here, exactly here, in this moment, in this city, in this life.

And every day there’s A. Every day there’s someone who texts me “good morning” and “good night” and all day in between; every day there’s someone who tells me everything is going to be okay and brings me peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s after I cry on the phone telling him I don’t think it will be. Every day there’s someone in my life who is really, really ridiculously good looking and smart and sweet and kind, and this past weekend we danced like nerds together at a bar with no walls while the summer rain raged outside, and I stopped for a minute to stare at him, because I realized he picked me and that thought took my breath away. Every day there’s someone who tells me “I love you” and it’s like the first time I’ve heard those words from anyone, and I feel like I can do anything. Maybe even fly. (okay maybe not literally but it’s pretty sweet hearing those words all the same).

Life is crazy. Life is amazing. Life is cra-mazing. Life will go back to the ebbs and flows, the ups and downs, the inspiration in the bad days or the slow churn of monotony, but man, I wanted to remember how crazy, amazing and really, really, ridiculously wonderful it is right now.

Swan Song (Pt. Two)

Part Two: “Two words. Nine letters.”

C and I were enjoying our final sips of $7 pinot noir as the bartender brought over our check and I nervously bounced my foot, uneasy about leaving the escape of a perfect happy hour. It was early February, the weather had just changed from a mild winter into that deep chill that settles in your bones, the kind that makes you want to stay inside and hide from so many things. I was hiding, at that point, from a conversation that I’d been dreading having for nearly two months, because when the wine ran out I had to go to Queens and start talking. C gave me a perfect hug when we parted, and promised me everything was going to be okay, the thing that I needed to hear even if I didn’t believe it. I’m an eternal optimist, for sure, but even I was having trouble picturing an okay conclusion to a conversation where I had to tell the person that I didn’t plan for and was falling in love with “oh by the way, you might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I’m planning to move across the country in the semi-near future.”

After I’d made the decision to leave the city, everything felt so clear. I was watching the life that I thought I wanted evolve around me, my focus shifting from work hard/play hard to following my heart. I felt this tangible pull to the decided new destination every time I walked around the city and saw that perfect NYC sunset, and I felt it when I would stand on a subway platform in tears, exhausted from a long day and still no sign of my train, 20 minutes later. I had graduation goggles mixed with impatience mixed with nostalgia mixed with love, but from August till December, much as my feelings surrounding the decision wavered from one end of the spectrum to another, my decision to leave never once wavered or changed. I knew that it was time to change my life. I knew from the bottom of my heart that the life I had built in the previous five years in the city was not a life I wanted to continue living. And so in the spirit of taking chances and being brave, towards the end of what I wanted to be my final full year in NYC, I went to a wedding in Jersey all by myself, not knowing a soul aside from the bride, and then all of a sudden my entire life changed.

I spent January and half of February waiting: waiting for Whole30 to be over, waiting for YTT to start, and most importantly, waiting for A to leave me, because how can someone handle a girl they barely know who stops drinking for a month right as you started dating, then disappears into a yoga studio for the next six weekends and oh by the way SHE’S PLANNING TO LEAVE THIS CITY. After all, that’s what I knew about dating from my limited experience, how to be left behind and forgotten. It will always be easier to prepare for the worst, so I convinced myself in all this waiting that it was silly to get invested, because eventually I’d find his breaking point, and at least then I could say I would never be the girl to change her plans because of a boy.

Once it hit me that he wasn’t going to leave me, I took stock of my entire life and tried to remind myself why I was so dead set on leaving everything. Not only did I have this person that was making me question everything, but my entire life was changing in ways I never saw coming: I had a new sister-in-law, and I had two baby nephews that are already growing up too quickly. I had a whole new tribe of women from YTT that were the missing pieces from the gap left by M&N as they moved across the world, and how would I find all of the best happy hours and workout spots without my C? Suddenly I realized the change I’d been craving like cool water on a New York summer day was already happening all around me, and the parts of my life I was ready to give up were already gone, whether by my own doing or by the slow creep of time and growing apart. In a moment that paralleled the moment I decided to leave back in August, I took a look at A one night as we were falling asleep, the tiny smile on his face as he stroked my hair and told me to sleep well, and in an instant I realized how happy I was. The next morning I took a look at myself in the mirror after realizing all of this and said out loud: Why the fuck am I leaving this all behind?

So this year, I’m still saying goodbye to a lot. Goodbye to the New York I came here to be a part of. Goodbye to that life, goodbye to who I thought I wanted to be. Goodbye to the LB fraught with insecurities and chasing happiness without stopping for a minute to let happiness find her. Goodbye to looking at life as something you can force.

“I’m staying.” 

And hello to love. Hello to making plans and making a huge deal about the plans; and hello to changing all of those because sometimes following surprises can be the biggest adventure of all. Hello to a new life that’s exactly what I was hoping to find when I made the big decision in the first place. And the biggest hello to my city, my New York. Throughout this entire process of staying and leaving and changes and non-changes, the one thing that’s never wavered is my undying love for this concrete jungle I call home. It’s an entirely new life in New York that I’m starting to build here, picking and choosing pieces I want to keep from the many years I’ve lived and loved here so far, and reveling in the blank spaces of new memories to come.

Hold it back//let it go

I’m super frustrated today.

No, it’s not because I’ve barely been posting lately. That’s also frustrating, don’t get me wrong, but honestly it’s been hard to write this month. My 2016 can be described very simply so far: January and February are a blur of YTT, and March has been catching up on the life I missed during January and February. There has barely been time to clean my apartment or see little miss; there has barely been time to see all the friends and family that are clamoring for my attention now that I have a semblance of free time and there has barely been time to sleep in between all of the above. Blogging, unfortunately, has had to take a back seat to life for March, but I am so hopeful that April I can get into a groove of this new life that’s emerging in 2016, where I’m working full time, in between teaching yoga, in between blogging with some regularity.

And no, I’m not frustrated because I had a bad weekend. Actually my weekend was lovely. I decided to work from Connecticut on Friday, and spent the day with my parents, helping to clean up around the house ahead of the holiday and snuggling with their pup, the sweetest puppy in the world. And this weekend A came to my hometown for the first time to meet my parents (*but mostly the puppy); Saturday was a wonderful day where I gave Mama B a private yoga lesson in the morning and A and I explored all around my hometown in the afternoon, before heading back to the house to drink too much wine with my parents and enjoy every minute together. On Sunday morning, after I finally managed to drag my father away from lending A yet another book or telling us about yet another cheap flight he found for us this summer for our trip to Norway, A and I drove back to Queens and then out to Long Island for too much mac ‘n cheese and more wine. We sat in traffic for more than an hour on the way back last night, but it was time well spent, regaling each other with stories from our wild college days and singing along to Sublime on the radio until we made it back to Forest Hills and I fell asleep for a minute in his arms on the couch, perfectly content after a perfect weekend.

So let’s recap: I’m not frustrated because I’m not blogging. I’m not cranky that it’s Monday because I had a great weekend. It’s the last quarter moon this week so I should feel that it’s a good time for resting and rejuvenating ahead of April, where I have a little event we’ll call four.05 happening next week and a trip to Austin to visit G a few days after that. Basically everything in my life is reminding me how grateful and lucky I am for every piece of my days and my life and yet I’m sitting here at my desk after barely sleeping last night because I’m so goddamn frustrated about something it’s driving me nuts. And what’s worse? I can’t even talk about it here.

Next week, starting on Friday, I have an entry scheduled to publish. It’s one I’ve been working on for nearly eight months now, and it’s one anyone who’s been reading this blog for that long will have been anticipating for about that long: next Friday, I’m finally going to talk about the Big Change that I’ve been referencing since last summer. There’s a very specific reason that I’m posting that entry next Friday, but something I didn’t anticipate when I started writing the entry was that it would actually require two parts to tell the full story. It’s not Part One I’m worried about posting next week, either. It’s Part Two. Because while the content of the story won’t change in either part, there is a major point in the surprising conclusion that I can’t talk about yet, because something needs to happen first before I do.

The thing that needs to happen is something I can’t control. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a really long time and something I know from the deepest part of me. It’s a thing that I know is true not just for me, and it’s something that has gotten to the point that it’s so tangible it almost hurts. It’s something that I can barely hold back anymore but it’s something I can’t give first unfortunately, as much as part of me wants to because I’m bursting holding it in this much, and I can’t do it much longer. So I’m frustrated, holding something in that just wants to be known. Why tell you about this, instead of just pushing the posts? I’m not sure, really. Part of me is tempting fate, being so open about this; the rest of me doesn’t care. I can only hold so much of myself back from this space anymore, having been held back for most of this year already. I suppose you’ll have to tune in this time on April 11 to see if part two holds true.

Forgive

Earlier this week, I was prompted upon signing into my work computer to change my password. Anyone who works at a desk knows how tediously annoying this process is, because your password is EVERYWHERE and you can’t use old ones again, so I sighed heavily and looked around me for inspiration to create the stupid new phrase. My eyes settled on this quote from the Tree of Life that I keep on my desk: “Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.” Honestly I haven’t seen the movie – I pulled the photo from one of those Buzzfeed posts where they take an inspirational stock photo and put text on it – but I found the words inspiring at the time, and this week I found them inspiring again. I created a new password with the last word, Forgive, and figured that was the end of password troubles until the system prompted me again. Except it wasn’t, at all. Turns out, “forgive” is kind of an annoyingly frustrating word to type on a regular basis.

Maybe it’s just that I haven’t got the hang of typing a new password yet, but I’m still having quite a time trying to type it every day. There’s something really introspective about typing the word “forgive” over and over, and messing it up most of those times. It’s not that there’s anything weighing on me; the yogi in me long realized holding grudges causes nothing but pain and I don’t feel the need to apologize to anyone for anything in recent days, except maybe A because little miss still does NOT like him and makes that very clear every time he’s over. Yet even though there isn’t a moment or an event or a person or a thing that’s bringing the concept of forgiveness to the forefront of my mind, messing up my password daily does force me to stop and think about forgiveness and contrition. It makes those two a larger ideology for me – like a constant reminder to forgive and ask forgiveness when necessary.

“You’re the kind of person that asks forgiveness instead of asking permission” are words I’ve heard on many occasions across many platforms, most recently as a character assessment for my job performance and style. Part of me thinks that sounds glamorous, like I fit into the free spirit mold that I’ve created for myself and I do what I want, thinking of consequences only when I have to. I don’t know that it’s glamorous or me though, frankly, because much as I’m someone to follow my intuition over reason, that statement makes it sound like I’m this reckless human out for her own self-interest, and I’ve worked hard in yoga not to be that kind of personality. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been that person. I know what it’s like to get satisfaction thinking of all the wrongs that have felled you in the past and imagining how you’ll respond to someone who wrongs you in the future. It’s intoxicating to live in this place where everyone is out to get you so you can elicit sympathy or reply with the perfect comeback every time.

Forgiveness is something we can accept only in the present. Forgiveness means letting go of the past, of the hurt or the pain someone may or may not have caused you. Forgiveness means accepting that you don’t know the future, that it probably won’t feel that great if you’re in a situation where your perfect comeback is necessary. Forgiveness is living in the present, and for the majority of us, that’s really fucking hard, because it means you have to surrender to your ego and just Be. None of this is to imply that I’m this perfectly realized human – just last night on the subway, some kid either didn’t notice me or didn’t care that I was literally standing in front of the door, and went to push his way onto a train before I stopped in his track, shot him a death glare and made him back down (and yes, it felt really good). And then it didn’t feel good, because I don’t know if he didn’t notice me and it wouldn’t matter if he didn’t care. Ten seconds after it happened we were both in our own world on the train, and save for this story now immortalized, I wouldn’t remember him in another day or two.

So maybe this is just my small way of letting you know that I understand if you can’t or won’t forgive each other. Forgiveness is really freaking hard, no matter the size of the infraction or perceived wrong. But in tangible daily reminders of how difficult it is to “Forgive,” I suppose I’m hoping to do the same for anyone else reading as well. Just be aware in your days how willing or unwilling you are to forgive. Bring some awareness to the daily task of forgiving a stranger on your morning commute or letting it go when the Starbucks person adds an extra four syllables to the name they’ve already spelled wrong. It’s just a few good vibes to spread on this Thursday, in such a small act. Like the tiny print out on my desk says: “Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light.

Forgive.”