Like most New Yorkers, I spend most of my commute reading. I’m now very good at holding on with one hand and holding a book in the other. I’m still aware of what stop we’re at and who’s around me, but I’m amazed at how I can drift into another world so easily.
I’ve read a ton of books since I’ve lived here. I was asking Bunk the other day if he missed characters in books after he finished them. (He said that he is promiscuous in his reading – loves them and leaves them). Days or even months after I finish a book, I catch myself thinking about certain characters and missing them. Have you read Middlesex? Calliope is an intersexed boy who goes through his teenage years trying to figure out what this life is all about and where his place is. I miss Cali. Bunk reminded me that I also miss tv characters. I think about D’Angelo Barksdale on the Wire and how could I forget – Tara from United State of Tara. Have you seen it?
It’s fascinating that the characters I miss are so diverse. A drug dealer? An intersexed boy? A woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder? I see these characters in the same way that I see my friends. They each match parts of me but not all of me. So often we see ourselves in total. That’s even how I presented the characters (drug dealer, etc.). It’s so important to remember that we can’t be boxed in. We have so many different parts to us that then make up the whole.
The “Wall Street Bull” is one of the most famous sculptures in New York City and a popular tourist destination. Every day when I walk from my office to the subway in the Financial District I pass tourist groups gathered around it. One afternoon as I passed by I thought – I’m not a tourist anymore. I live here. I commute on the crowded subway, I know my neighbors and I actually bought jeggings. Somewhere along the way something changed. I still have a very conflicted relationship with New York, but I’ve found a place here. It’s funny how that happens. The whole thing is logical and I knew I would become more comfortable. But time needed to unfold. It’s good for me to know that as much as I feel at home, I’m still in the middle of this process. I haven’t even experienced one full year of seasons yet. It’s also nice to know that the creation of this new home in no way negates my love for San Francisco and my life there.
I am filled with gratitude. Nothing in particular. Just feeling thankful for it all.
Song of the day: Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin
This has been a long week. Besides my big work event on Friday, both my sister and my grandmother went into the hospital. They are both home and fine now, but it was a rough few days. My sister ended up having major surgery. We are extremely close and the thought of her in any kind of pain is terrifying.
I also can’t believe it – my back is finally feeling better today. I hope it doesn’t start to hurt again tomorrow. Of course I want my back to feel better but it’s weird to think that my pain may be correlated with my stress. I should be happy that I’ve realized it so that I can make some significant changes. However, it’s hard to think that I may have been a part of the cause. I know that change is stressful for me and that self care is essential. Moving here has been a huge transition for me. Starting this job, no matter how calm I think I’ve been has also created a lot of change for me.
I do wonder though about how much stress New York causes me. I feel like I’m on guard a lot. There are so many people all the time that it’s hard to know what to expect. Walking down the street is like an obstacle course. People I’ve talked to have not disputed this but they just seem used to it. I’m of course not. I’m so much more comfortable with a slower pace and the world being a little less loud. Coming home each day does give me a sense of calm, but what I need to do is to figure out how to create that within the energy that is New York.
I got really mad at Bunk last night. It took me about half way into our argument for me to realize that it wasn’t really about him at all.
We went out with some of his friends. I’ve known one of them for almost three years, but I still have trouble reading this person. When we hang out, sometimes I get uncomfortable because the person doesn’t show a lot of emotion. It finally occurred to me that when I can’t read someone, my go-to is that they don’t like me. I have several people in my life like this and each time I’m with them, I have the same reaction. I try to please them. This is probably the most ineffective way to be. Not only does it put them off, but I’m also not being my authentic self. If I distance myself emotionally from the situation and accept that it may not be about me (or even if it is), I will end up having a better time.
They’re both good lessons for me – to know that it’s okay to not be liked by everyone and to know that if a person doesn’t show a lot of affect, that it’s not always about me. It’s okay to sit in that discomfort. It’s hard, but it’s okay.
I’ve been having terrible lower back pain. It’s been cramping up and sometimes I have trouble moving. I even had to stand up at my computer to work today. Now I know what other people mean about the very painful nature of back pain.
There are a few things going on. One is that I’m just not used to this level of pain. It’s all I can focus on. I feel relatively good when I’m walking, but if I stop for over 15 minutes, I start to ache and then cramp up. Secondly, because this is the first time something like this has happened to me, I’m really scared. I’m scared because I don’t know what to do and what the outcome will be. I’ve been icing it and taking ibuprofen, but the unknown of it all frightens me.
Thirdly, my mom has a number of back conditions. She has a degenerative spine condition and osteoporosis. She is in chronic pain. I now have a glimpse into her world and even more than before, I don’t know what to say or how to help her. I am also hyper concerned that whatever is going on with my back is linked to what has happened to her. So, here I am. Lying in bed with a (hopefully) restful night of sleep that can’t come soon enough. Hopefully when I post next, this acute period of pain will have passed.
Let me think of three things I am grateful for:
1. Bunk’s goofiness
2. remembering my strength
3. my mom.
Peace begins with each of us taking care of our bodies and minds everyday.
- Thich Nhat Hanh