Its been a long time...
holy shit. its been almost a year since i have posted. my two devoted readers are probably long gone. and anyways, who can follow all the title anyways. what does all that mean? maybe i'll simplify at some point. in the meantime, the fact that i haven't posted seems to parallel the first year in the delightful big apple.
sometime around the one year anniversary of living here, i started to feel something like being human again. it was like, we moved to new york, we got excited and blown away by the prospects, then a wave came and has kept us under for months. drowning seems to be a decent analogy, so i'll stick with that.
but remind me to get back to the being human again part...
one of the words that i learned living in berlin, a concept that never occurred to me until i gave birth there two times and dealt with midwives and birth houses and pelvic floors was "constitution." i think when i first heard the term, i thought something like bowel movement. i think the fifty times i heard the term after that, i was still stuck on you eat well, you have a good constitution. who knew? americans don't understand constitution. but germans do.
anyways, fast forward to a couple of years later, you find yourself going nuts in a crazy fucking city, and the term resurfaces again. this time, it takes on a different meaning, or the real meaning. hmmm, the overall strength of the body?
okay, i'm not a big lady, but i'm a strong lady. sometime last month, i started questioning if i had it in me to live here, physically.
stress. its loud, its expensive, its hard to find work, going anywhere requires some hearty, uplifting subway travel, people coming going upstream downstream on sidewalks with (get this!) overwhelmingly, tall fucking buildings, pollution, an energy to shatter the most calmed soul, millions of entertainment options, countless old friends that have congregated, visitors up the wahzoo, brilliant people, beautiful people, excitement, alcohol, and did i mention that its expensive?
in the back of our believing minds has been a feeling of sticking it out a year. in the back of our lease, it says that if you don't stick it out a year, you fucking owe.
so here we are. my late-night encounter with questioning the strength of my own constitution (a couple of weeks ago) has remarkably, peacefully, luckily challenged me to stick it out longer. lucky only because i know i don't have the constitution to move somewhere else right now.
after a trip to maine (you gotta get out of here once in awhile) this summer, i have a sense of i know i can handle this if i put my mind to it. those days (long ago posts) of being baffled by the amount of people running in prospect park and the beyond packed classes of type-A yogis trying to find a place for their mats are making sense in a new way. i once heard that new yorkers are among the healthiest americans, but i tell you something: its not all the walking, its not that they are more enlightened or that they don't want to eat fast food, its that if they are gonna live here, they have to learn to sink or swim. you can come here healthy and sink quickly (drown under the wave), you can come here healthy and get lucky enough to catch a nice wave to ride (surfing), or you can come here healthy, start sinking, and figure out that you will simply drown if you don't do something different (take surfing lessons). if you come here unhealthy, you're fucked.
as it turns out, i feel more in the category three of this storm. i'm signing up. what's outrageous is that i haven't really had a flight response, no matter how weak my lovely non-bowel movement meaning constitution has become. sure, i ache sometimes for the lovely chapel hill house, but still, somehow, i still want to be here.
call me crazy.
maybe the second year is different. right here at the beginning of september, i'm banking on that. with all the moves in my life (this is the 15th), i have never had a problem adjusting. maybe new york is just different, i keep telling myself. its bigger, so it takes longer.
not only are there the basic living stresses of being here. the surface ones. the ones that actually don't matter all too much, but there are the psychological/quasi-spiritual stresses.
though i'm happy to report that i still have this weird ironic satisfied feeling after hauling my laundry to the laundry mat when i pay INSANE rent, there are other things that have lost their punk rock charm (i know, i know...nothing punk rock about paying INSANE rent...). ease in the daily living things that one has to deal with is something that exists elsewhere. i can embrace that. everything is a little bit more challenging. options are plenty, maps must be navigated, blocks must be walked, people must be dealt with constantly, and well, when you are tired and don't think you can walk another step, you can't flag down a taxi to save your life. extremes downs are met with extreme highs, when you find yourself face to face with julia roberts because your old friend from high school is a reporter for a major u.s. publication, assuming being face to face with julia roberts constitutes (ahem) an extreme high.
julia roberts is absolutely star striking. taller than average, sun-glassed, a jaw-line and a smile that makes you question biology and symmetry in general. a fear, a wealth, an ease from living, fame beyond comprehension. some kids, some acting skills, a constitution...
and then there is the issue of meaning. far more abstract and complicated than fresh laundry and stunning julia roberts. we all confront those issues in life no matter where we are or who we are, but if you ever find yourself wanting to jack up your mid-life crisis a little, move to nyc and let your head spin. good stuff.
okay. i don't know if any of that made any sense. just talking for now. goodnight to all the internet and non-internet souls out there.