I am trying so hard to keep tunnel vision right now. Just having returned to my city of birth after having been away for many years, it is hard for me to look at it as though the last 8 years did not happen to me. My memory of my life before those years is still foggy…wanting to remember things that should come back to me easily. I ride the subways and walk the streets, and while things “look” familiar, there is still an unfamiliarity about everything.
I keep finding myself dazing off to memories of the city I called home for many years, the many dives I took while in Cozumel which is now almost 6 years ago. I dream of being underwater again, of the fish and animals I used to see all the time. Then I snap out of it to realize I am in the middle of a conversation with someone who I care about now but who has no idea where my mind has just taken me.
Is there a cure for this? Or is it just time I need?
I stay clear of the overwhelming social engagements I used to partake in all the time when I was in NYC many years ago. Afraid that I will feel “overwhelmed” and want to get away from it all again. I find peace in the company of the few people I surround myself with now. Working at a large firm in NYC forces me to actually see 100’s of faces everyday, but I don’t feel as though that is the same thing. I find comfort in knowing that I don’t have to be “friendly” with more than the handful I conduct business with everyday because I am still the new kid on the block at a firm that does not “hire” frequently. I take crowded subways and walk on crowded streets, sometimes with the help of holding onto someone walking next to me to ensure that I “pick a lane”…and stay in it!
I am still wary about getting together with friends who I used to see all the time. I know that I am not the same person I used to be, and am OK with that fact. (I mean, how could I still be that person?!?!) While living abroad, I literally learned how to “love” again. I came back with a skill I don’t believe that I could have ever learned, had I never left NYC. The ability to see inside a person, allow them to understand how devoted I am to them and our relationship. How transparent I am and how that is really the only way I know how to be. I feel as though these things come more naturally to me now.
I hear I am kind and that I have kind eyes…but are those the eyes that are not seeing the things currently in the room but are rather seeing the things in my head that I can not describe out loud? Am I being “rude” for not sharing what a color makes me think of and reminds me of just because I don’t want to come off as being a “showoff”…even though I am so in love with the current life I have? Am I not being authentic for not sharing those things?
Or with time, will all of that be part of my memory?
One of my closest friends is still my Irish cuz, who I sit on video with at least once a week…with whom I can share everything that is going on in my life…work, friends, boys, etc….without having to explain myself. Almost as though we behave as though I am just on vacation and that our next trip running at the park will occur soon enough. I hope that never changes.
In addition to that, I also share my life with someone who is helping me live my life again…not just be a spectator. Someone who makes me laugh and who helps me be funny and silly and really appreciate everything around me. Take advantage of little things in life…like the fact that there is a park 2 blocks from the apartment where we can play ping pong or give us an excuse to wander uptown to run an errand while taking advantage of the time it takes for us to get there.
I have recently learned the difference between surviving life and living life. And I guess that until I began to really “live” life, I wasn’t able to realize that until then, I had just been surviving life. Now I take advantage of every window of free time to get reacquainted with my inner child again. The person I never allowed to be free before, the one who was never indulged upon while life always knocked at my door. When I had school and work and rent due and bills to pay…I never realized how much time I wasted being the “serious” sibling in my household…the one who everyone watched to stay in control.
In saying this, I have also allowed the Universe to take over my life. I have stopped trying to control everything that happens to me. I just go with whatever the day brings me. I care less about controlling the minutia of life…controlling outcomes and hoping for things to happen. If things are meant to happen, then they will. I understand now how the Universe has a plan for me and so has always delivered me unto different experiences and scenarios…whether they are in sync with what I “plan” to happen in my life, or not.
I continue to love my life as much as I always have but I guess with age, I no longer have a “clock” ticking…telling me that it’s time for me to be something or somewhere because that is what society wants for me. And maybe, to be honest with you, I never really listened to that crap. But I can tell you now that I am certainly not listening now. While I may have once just considered my life choices to differ from those of other people, I am now going with where those choices have brought me. I embrace the freedom I possess everyday as I get out of work and do not have a family to care for. (No offense to those who do have those things…that is not my intention when making that statement.)
I just like knowing that wherever I end up tonight is dependent on where I feel like ending up…whatever I choose to do tonight is dependent on what I feel like doing…and with whom I choose to share that with. And it feels pretty damn amazing to be able to have those choices. Granted, my life in contained within the confines of NYC…not on a beach in the Caribbean, where it may have been eight years ago…but I can tell you that NYC is not a bad place to be. While in the Caribbean, I missed the different cuisines I can now enjoy for dinner without walking more than a block from my apartment or the fortune most think I’d be forced to pay for it.
There are so many things to do in NYC that are free…from movies/concerts in the park to people watching in any number of streets/parks in the village to a trip to the gym (I know…not really free, but $25 a month is almost free in my opinion!) or even dazing off to a great book while sitting on a random bench. It is crazy how life can give us so many perspectives on the same situation.
So how you doin’? I am doin’ pretty fabulous and I hope that everyone else is doing as fabulous as I am! Grab the freedom the Universe has given you! The freedom to make your own choices and to be who you are…not who you think you should be. Embrace your own faults as well as your own successes! Ask the Universe to keep you out of unhappy times by delivering you unto the world where you belong. That is why the Universe is there for us all!