September and October have gone by in a blur. The more I think about what happened during those two months, the more I want to write my experiences down because I’m sure I will soon forget.
A hurricane hit the east coast. Surely everyone knows this, but what they do not know is that another storm hit me weeks earlier. Just as Sandy choked off the streets of New York with water and cut off electricity to millions, I felt a storm of similar effects. We’ll call this storm John. Rather than flooding streets, he flooded my heart, and rather than cutting off electricity to my apartment, he cut it off to my brain. He was this powerful, hurricane force, that unexpectedly pushed his way into my life.
The only solid conclusion that I can take from my experience with him is that I was an idiot for thinking I would never fall for someone again. I spent a lot of time worrying that I had found the best I was ever going to find and had concluded that I may as well just go hide under a rock for the rest of my life because that was it.
As it turns out, the “best” I thought that I had found was just an insecure and selfish boy (named Joey) who left me for a man closer in age to my mother than to me, and for reasons unclear enough to make him look like a self-serving whore. Further disconcerting were the arguments I had with him after we broke up. He somehow has me painted in his mind as some kind of arrogant lunatic, but fails to see how such an observation has no merit after sinking to the lowest levels of human dignity just to insult me. He actually told me, and this is word-for-word, that “the day after I broke up with you, I celebrated by having some of the best sex I’ve had in my entire life,” as if his whorish endeavors were some kind of badge of honor, or that his actions were some valiant act of triumph over me. False. It was a long journey, but I came to find that my ex-boyfriend was more similar in cognitive ability and maturity to the children he teaches than to me, and shallow enough to make anyone hope that someone can actually drown in just one inch of water.
Then of course, there’s work. It takes up a lot more time than I expected it would. It’s fun and I have a great time, but I wish that my schedule was structured more like the one I had in school. And maybe it will. I start Phase 2 of the Management Trainee program at the beginning of December and my role (as well as my hours) change. We’ll see how it goes. I’m very excited for the change of pace!
In these two tumultuous months, my refuge has been my family. Never before have I appreciated my mother and my sister so much. On my days off, I make a concentrated effort to visit my mom. I’m glad that I do. I laugh when I spend time with them. I feel happy. And I learn new things and see connections with them that I didn’t see living my entire life living with them. For example, I never quite understood that my passion for politics comes from MY MOTHER! I don’t know how I never saw it, but one night over dinner we were talking over the proposals for the upcoming election and a single thought hit me while listening to my mom talk. “Holy shit, I get it from her.” I am very thankful to have the family that I do. They remind me that I am indeed a good person and that I have strong roots.
The world is changing. There are some who are trying with all their might to fight it, but this is not a battle they can win.
It’s chilly on my balcony this morning. The fact that I’ve even got this big balcony still throws me off. This is my place? Surely, I don’t live here, do I? But it is and I do. Though if you could see the mess in my bedroom, you might question my use of the word, “live.” It’s pretty obvious that the person sleeping in that room is still moving.
I think that’s a good way to sum up where I am in life. Just as all my odds and ends are in boxes in my bedroom, all of my memories, thoughts and dreams are scattered in boxes in my head. I had my whole life to dream about the things that I wanted to do, and I came up with a lot. I experienced a lot! I’ve been doing my best to sort through the mess, but it’s tough. Part of me doesn’t want to. But enough time has passed that I can recognize that I need to throw away all of the junk and organize my life. This is that time. I’m starting the, ‘rest of my life,’ as they say.
That’s probably why it doesn’t feel like my life. I’m single. I have a college degree. I have a job. And a place. Not to mention all of the bills and responsibilities that come along with those things.
Ultimately, the positives outweigh the negatives in these circumstances. I am twenty-two. I’m handsome. I’m fairly smart. And I have the opportunity to shape my life in such absolute detail like never before. Just think about how many people don’t have that! It would be silly not to appreciate it. It would be even sillier to not act upon such an opportunity.
So it’s time to hit the gym, start jumping out of airplanes, and find more challenging things to overcome. I made a huge list of things that I want to do with my life, but I’ve got to keep them in the forefront of my mind, lest they slip away. I will never be one of those people who says that they wanted to live, and that they wished they had done things. No. I’m more than that.
For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.