I didn’t quite mean to take a break from blogging.
But priorities change. And the moment you let something go for an instant, it is far too easy to let it go for over a month. Which is precisely what happened.
I have latched onto a very particular type of loneliness lately. Which is not to say that I am lonely. I think that there is a subtle difference between those two feelings, and most days it feels like I am doing my best to make sure I remain steadfastly in the first column.
Having loneliness, versus being lonely.
Things have been changing for me recently, in that way that feels expansive and terrifying, like walking through a thick fog toward a sunlit morning I haven’t quite been allowed to glimpse. What I do know now is that I have an office that overlooks the Brooklyn Bridge at a job that I hope will point me toward a future beyond graduation. I zip a pencil skirt over my waist in the morning as I sip my coffee and plot my day, some days reveling in the litheness of my body before the day’s stresses take their toll.
Some days pausing for an extra second in the mirror, running my fingers over a wrinkle, picking at a string, smoothing a bulge over which I will allow myself to agonize only through the space of a breath.
Most days I feel as if I am playing a part.
Professionally and academically, I have made leaps and bounds. I will be presenting at an academic conference soon; I was just rehired for my third year as a resident advisor. I dart between three jobs and fifteen credits with all the grace of a comedic heroine lacking a lilting soundtrack to make me lovely.
Personally, the ground is slipping out from underneath me. I often feel as if one of these days I would like to climb out of my own skin and start anew as the person beneath it all. Rescue the friendships struggling for renewal, like patches of parched earth in the deep heat of August that are otherwise surrounded by lushness. Apply myself to this new online dating venture I tentatively embarked upon during a particularly low weekend in late February. The words come so easy to me; the motivation to follow through with them does not.
Being very busy makes it easy to live in a blissful, if somewhat crushing, state of denial. But afternoons with my camera bring me back to reality. This city is just as good at sending you spiraling back to the pavement as it is at allowing you to climb dreams high as the skyscrapers that make up its profile.
That pavement is more important anyway.
I often write to come to some sort of closure. Lately, I have been seeking closure more than anything, and in its absence have filled my waking hours with work. It is too easy. But damn if all I am searching for is an instruction manual to tell me how to compartmentalize the Things That Have Happened, toss them through the subway grate, and let them go forever. But there is no such instruction manual, and I have largely forgotten how much words help me sort through this complex web of hurt that comes from understanding that things never remain the same.
It is not bad, knowing this. Perhaps it is better.
But the sting is still there.
I shared a bottle of wine with Ellie tonight, a bottle of Pinot Noir with an elegantly crafted label that inspired the kind of reminiscing which nearly brought on tears but not quite. I don’t cry lately. Tears seem too simple a response, seem to point toward sadness when what I am really feeling is so much more than sad. I rarely have these moments with her anymore. But they are so transcendent when they do occur, and that almost makes it worth it.
We are all moving on, and sometimes the puzzle pieces of certain relationships don’t quite fit anymore. That’s the hardest part – trying on an identity you used to call your own and finding that you chafe at the seams of it, or that it suddenly bears a stain rendering it unwearable.
Priorities shift. Identities change.
But it is almost spring.
And that feels good.