old (2009)

yearning, tonight

It’s the time of year when I start wishing I could be somewhere else, and not just anywhere else but somewhere bigger and more exciting and less known-to-me than Chicago. Last August I vowed I’d find a way to spend my summers in New York City, but relationships and life and job loss have gotten the better of me, and here I am facing another trio of sunshine-filled months in the Windy City rather than some 700-odd miles to the East. I have a small sum of cash coming to me within the next week, and I say to JS, “That would make a nice trip to New York,” and he says, “Go.”

I should feel happiness that I am with someone who encourages me so readily to stretch my wings, but instead I feel a sadness and a fear, mostly that he will not love that city as much as he does this one and it will become our deal breaker. I’ve always known this, but I’ve also always known that anyone who loves me will have to accept this yearning that won’t go away, no matter how thoroughly I attempt to distract myself. But the sadness and fear are there, too, because he doesn’t insist I stay, or that I wait until he can take time off of work to go with me, or take offense at my needing more than what this quite-large city can offer.

I want to learn how to get — and heartily pursue — what I need without feeling as though I’m giving up something else I want more, even though I know that “something else” is everything I’ve always had, and it never has been enough. Mostly I’m stuck in that place where I want to be a different person, but the only thing that feels comfortable and true and real is being the person I’ve always been. It’s a rough transition, one that only passes by passing through it, but knowing that somehow makes it harder still.

Still: these dilemmas and frustrations and unknown quantities are part of being human; they persist the most when I least want to be fallible and vulnerable. It’s time not only for me to eat dinner and take a bath and watch a movie and meditate before I sleep, but to accept the fact that this is life, this is my life, these are my struggles, I will get through to the other side, and somewhere among it all, I will find my way to New York City, and I will be okay. Namaste.

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