I have been taking a bit of a break from writing. Not an intentional one. Just a “life got in the way, again,” one.
I’m trying to get comfortable with being…more awkward than I want to be. I think I was harbouring a delusion for a bit that I was some kind of had-it-together type, and now I’m hyper-aware that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I’m slip-n-sliding on the banana peel of change, here.
You see, my life has been pretty much the same for the last five years, save for a job change about four years ago. I’ve lived in the same apartment; I’ve run a couple of marathons each year, culminating in the absolute joy of NYC Marathon weekend; I’ve had the same dog; I’ve ordered the same groceries and gotten delivery from the same places (until Gobo closed their uptown location earlier this year, and Land Thai closed their UES location two years ago. RIP, best delivery ever). With the exception of changing cable providers and kicking a toxic, insane dude to the curb in mid-2011, I have had solid routine and stuck with it.
I am a creature of habit.
Except for rugs. I’ve changed living room rugs pretty much annually. But that’s neither here nor there.
What I am trying to say is that everything’s changing. This occurred to me most profoundly yesterday, when I sat on the sidelines watching the NYC Marathon instead of running it. And it hit me again today, when my final rent payment for this apartment left my account.
This era of my life is…over. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just A Thing. It’s a moment before the next phase, which will bring its own challenges and joys. And I am excited to begin What Comes Next.
But I need a minute to feel weird.
I need a minute to look around this apartment and run my hands over the crown moulding and base moulding and admire the original hardwood floor, and be annoyed, once again, that the view is of a brick wall. I need a minute to gasp that I have run 14 marathons in five years, and I just don’t feel like myself since I haven’t been able to run.
The truth is, I think, we get so caught up in Being Excited, and Talking About How Awesome Our Lives Are, and Presenting a Facebook Perfect Life, that we forget to just…feel stuff.
Here’s how I feel: I feel excited and happy that our new apartment is so lovely. It’s gorgeous; it has a cool view. I’m super excited. So I’m not…sad…for this present moment of my life to be done, but I’m not in a hurry to usher it out the door either, because, well, this is my life. I don’t know anything different.
And I was thrilled for all of my friends running yesterday, and genuinely happy for their victories out on the streets of New York. I wasn’t jealous that it wasn’t me out there, but it felt…uncomfortable that it wasn’t me. Like one of those moments at the end of a conversation where you go in for a handshake and the other person comes in for a hug and kiss — you know that thing? That was more what it felt like — a perfectly okay moment coupled with an unshakeable awkwardness, like I didn’t know what to do with my hands.
In a world where I am ordinarily running 40-50 miles per week, I am just now suiting up to run my first few miles.
In a world where I have lived only three places in ten years, I am now packing boxes for the first time in five years.
With all that said, I am excited, and anxious, and I know it will all be fine. But right now, I feel like an awkward teenager in my own life. I’m not sure how to approach things, or stuff, or people. Everything that was familiar is now strange — even running, which was always my go-to where I’d go knock out ten miles to think through a problem. Since I can’t do that, I feel like my brain is clogged, and all the thoughts have just kind-of backed up.
Eh. Maybe I’ll just go buy a new rug.