Perfect, then…

Last week on Thursday, I kept smiling. Despite having worked a full twelve hours, I’d texted my lovely friend M on the way out of the office to complain a little, and it turned out she was around the corner, so we met for some much-needed margaritas and maybe a tequila shot (or three) as well. The weekend ahead promised so many wonderful things: a yoga workshop in Central Park with M and my cousin, who I’d convinced to come in from Connecticut for the afternoon, followed by dinner at a different cousin’s restaurant in Nyack, and ending with a pit stop in FiDi to say hi to the rest of the group, as my partner-in-crime R, her Scot H, my fashionista C and N planned to spend the afternoon and evening on rooftops, drinking in summertime alongside Oyster Bay. I’d also promised D&D that I’d watch their dogs this weekend, so in between all of those wonderful things, I’d get to come home and snuggle with my favorite pug and pitbull, So as I took the last tequila shot on Thursday night and started the long trek back to Washington Heights much later than usual, I had this overwhelming feeling that life couldn’t get any better.

Last week on Friday, as I prepared to leave the office on the earlier side, I kept smiling. It had been a productive but simple day at the office, and I was just on my way out to meet my sorority big for a short walk along the High Line and then a long and leisurely dinner/happy hour at Montmartre, a cozy French bistro in Chelsea. The Supreme Court announcement led to a giddy elation that permeated the neighborhood streets, rainbow flags and songs about love every which way you looked, people gearing up for a pride weekend that celebrated so much more than they’d originally planned. As my big and I moved into our third hour of sitting in the backyard patio, munching on pickled vegetables and sharing a cool bottle of rosé, I had this overwhelming feeling that life couldn’t get any better.

On Saturday, I woke up early and met up with M to head to the Upper East Side, her to babysit for a few hours before our yoga class, and me to drop my things off at D&D’s and hang out with the pups for a few hours before it was yoga time. We rode the bus and chatted excitedly about dinner later that night in Nyack, and bounced in our seats at the chance to train with Superhuman Yogi. I felt my phone buzz twice, the rapid cadence of an incoming text, and checked my phone, assuming it was my cousin with travel plans or brother reminding me to take home the toy he and D had picked up for little miss a few weeks back.  Instead I saw a number that I didn’t recognize but I immediately knew who it was. Before I’d looked at the text, before I looked up the area code to confirm, I knew in the bottom of my heart that The Child had just sent me a text. After thinking all weekend that life couldn’t get any better, he had some fucking nerve sending me anything, especially seeing as today is exactly a year since he told me “I can’t.”

You can see why we call him "The Child" after that final response.

You can see why we call him “The Child” after that final response.

That’s our conversation. M and I debated hotly about what to say in response – should I take the opportunity to be a bitch and tell him to fuck off? Ignore it completely? Play dumb and just say “who is this?” In the end, I realized I just don’t care anymore. Maybe he thought about me for a split second this past weekend but I take that train every day, and I stopped thinking about him months ago. And as I crafted the perfect response to acknowledge I read the text, know who sent it and now want nothing to do with it ever again, I felt an eerie sense of calm. This text three months ago, six months ago, would have put me in an emotional tailspin. And all it did this weekend was make me angry for six minutes and then I didn’t think about it again until the next day, when I was scrolling through texts and noticed I’d forgotten to delete it. What a different place to be in from this time last year; what a different way to approach hearing from someone who used to hold a piece of my heart. What a great way to start a new week, a new month and a new season: surrounded by so much happiness and people I love, no longer preoccupied with the things that caused me so much pain in the past.

Circles

Sometimes the best adventures in New York are away from the city, a quick respite from the madness to enjoy the surrounding beauty that’s only a Zipcar away. In an effort to stay as far away from the hell known as Santacon as possible, my lovely friend M, her N and I made plans for Saturday to borrow N’s mom’s car for the day and take an adventure, starting the afternoon at the Ikea in Paramus and ending the day in Nyack for a meal at my cousin’s restaurant, 8 North Broadway. I thought that I’d be recapping the weekend by talking about how incredible the meal was (which it was), or how nice it was to spend some time with two of my people (which it was). And while I’ll absolutely remember those moments for a long time, there was another memory made that will probably trump them all: That time we spent nearly an hour lost around Ikea.

Now, when you park a car in any parking garage, and especially one as large as those around Ikeas, one would think between the three of us, someone would have taken a look at the garage markers to remember where we’d parked, thus avoiding any confusion later. But after we’d paid and walked out the door, we realized none of the surrounding scenery looked familiar. “Maybe we parked on a different floor?” said M, even though none of us remembered walking up or down any stairs. We made our way up to the top (no car), the middle (no car) and the ground floor (still no car), walked up and down the rows, walked around the edge of each lot – still no car. This continued for around ten minutes before M and I just looked at each other and started laughing. I mean come on. Here are three college-educated twenty-somethings and we’ve somehow managed to get ourselves stuck in an Ikea in New Jersey. It could have been a panic-inducing situation, imagining the car was stolen or that we’d be stuck in New Jersey forever, but I think we knew that everything was going to be just fine, so we just laughed and kept going.

I’m a person that loves to panic when situations start getting out of hand, letting my thoughts run in circles, overthinking, overanalyzing, overeverything. Especially with everything in the past year, and specifically in the past seven months, I’ve made myself dizzy with thoughts, trying to sort out the idealistic dreamer with the crushing blows of reality, circle up to optimism and loop down to disappointment. Somewhere in the past month or two I finally fell down, exhausted from spinning for so long, and started trying my best to walk in a straight line, saying I needed my life to stay exactly as it was, no distractions, no fireworks, for a long time. It worked for a little while, but life has a tendency to get in the way when you’re that determined, and recently a tiny spark caught my attention and slowly started turning my head. I suppose you can’t avoid spinning like that forever – now it’s just a waiting game to see if I can figure out this dizzy dance, or if I’ll fall down again, alone and confused and dizzier than ever.

After nearly 20 minutes of determined wandering around the Ikea garage, M, N and I finally decided to head to the Ikea entrance and retrace our steps, still in fits of giggles at such a situation. We made it back to the big blue building, and before we could even walk inside to begin retracing, we all looked up at the same time, stopped in our tracks, and started laughing hysterically: turns out, there were two sides to the parking lot, and we’d just spent the whole time looking for the car in the wrong one. Two minutes later we were bundled in the Saab with the heat on and the music blasting, on our way to Nyack for a well-deserved drink. Naturally, the GPS in M’s iPhone had a little hiccup, and I kid you not, we spent a further 20 minutes driving in circles in the unfamiliar routes around Ikea, laughing hard enough for tears to run down our faces, the bare trees surrounding the roads waving to us once we finally got back on track. Maybe in the end the circles aren’t the worst thing that can happen. At this point, I probably know better than anyone that if you get nothing else from being so dizzy all the time, you’ll get a good story at the end of the day.