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5.25.2011

life, as of now.


there is this consistent, persistent feeling that i'm being pulled under by the tow. 


not that i'm drowning--i've felt that before and this is certainly not that--but that i'm running out of air. and gasps are getting harder to come by.

it's getting harder to pack my life--lives, really--into two bags each morning. to carry those (three?) lives outside of me--toting them from one location to the next--zigzagging across a city that is unforgiving of such things. tennis shoes, computer and camera, black dress and high heels.

i find myself arriving home late at night. too late. crouching on my knees, spilling the contents of my bags--my lives--onto the floor in search of my keys. my keys, please, just let me find the keys. i empty out everything i own, tossing books and cards and all the receipts that need to be sorted, and there they are--bottom of the bag--fallen into some hole in the lining. and before i can pick up the now scattered content, i desperately thrust that single metal stick into the lock, and it breathes air into me. it is a gasp for air that thrust. just in time. coming home breathes in new air. and i stand there. chest heaving. alight with the panic that comes from feeling like you won't get that next breath in time. and when the lungs are just full enough and the heat of fear lines only my extremities i sink to the floor once more. pick up the contents of my life for the last time that day and cross the threshold. 

and just as this true. so is the feeling that i am buoyant. and good. and so very happy. so very lived in. 

so very in love with waking each morning to begin again. so very in love with my coffee on the windowsill and the way the sun slices through my flat, wood blinds. in love with the new stack of books piled under my makeshift bed-side table. in love with the scent and feel of a spring long-overdue in this cobbled, fragmented city.

it is always an interesting experience to operate on both ends of the spectrum. to hold two opposing ideas next to each other and say, yes, both are true. for me, these two opposing notions are true. right now. at the same time. it is electric. creates more space, actually--you know, for that air to get in.

i don't hate new york. i thought i did. turns out i'm just not entirely keen on the life i've built here. and so slowly, ever-so slowly i'm making changes. 

if there is frustration--and yes, of course there is--it comes from feeling the need to justify those changes. from feeling like i must contain this life that is desperate to barrel forward, tumble out. from having to pause and wait while every inch of me screams to continue on. 

the good news is, before long this shall pass. there may be a few meltdowns along the way. but it shall pass. 

34 comments:

emery said...

moments like these & i often think of stephen chbosky's sentiments... 'so, this is my life. and i want you to know that i am both happy and sad and i'm still trying to figure out how that could be.'

wildchild said...

but you're doing something about it. that's the important part. how sad it is to be perfectly content with not being happy. you're stronger for making changes.

Felicia said...

i think you are such a strong woman. the changes will slowly make their way into your life, and until then chin up!

Taylor Yves said...

boy, the whole 3 bags-trains-stairs-please-find-my-keys thing sounds TOO familiar! keep it up, pretty lady.

Brianna {four if by sea} said...

just keep breathing...I love how you write and what you bravely write about. never give up on the life you really want...even if you don't have all the pieces of what that really looks like yet :)

Chelsea said...

you'll be fine! you're stronger than you think...HECK, I'M stronger than I think!!!! ;) Big hugs today, & sending a special prayer your way that your heart would be encouraged!

;)

Jill said...

great writing.

and, "turns out i'm just not entirely keen on the life i've built here. and so slowly, ever-so slowly i'm making changes"...i'm [somewhere near] there too.

Laura Marie said...

wow, we're (once again) totally in sync... see: my post from yesterday--all about two opposing ideas both being true > http://www.littlethingsandcuriosities.com/2011/05/uncertainty.html

how liberating to recognize the possibility of contradictions!

look a little closer said...

this is a lovely post.

it just reminds me that we are living. you can feel great knowing that you're not walking around this city sleeping, you're a beautiful soul taking everything in and finding ways to get through it all.
even the annoying things like losing keys (which that happens to me all of the time, and i also find myself with way too many heaps of things to carry!)

new york city is so lucky to have your energy here. you add a beautiful color and voice - especially when you share your experiences.

xoxo

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i love the range of your posts. from this to the dear anonymous sassafrass and everything in between. i love it all.

D&D said...

well as a quick solution - perhaps invest in a lanyard? ;) keys around the neck are oh so chic.

Maria said...

Just key breathing, everything will be all good. This too shall pass!
Lots of love.

Jac said...

If you ever need a breath of fresh air, you're welcome to venture upstate. We have a whole lot of it.

Grace said...

Meg, this is lovely. It is so refreshingly honest in a world filled with pretenses! Thank you for sharing.

Chelsea said...

I am obsessed with the way you write.
Its so poetic and I love it. love how you appreciate the little things in life.
I am so happy I found your bloggie.
Ok I will stop sounding like a super stalker now.

xo

-Maria- said...

beautifully put....

Ana* said...

its takes strength and courage to pinpoint the little things we don't like and finally acting to making those change. It's clear you have both :)

Rachael said...

I feel so similar about living in SF. People look at me like I'm scum (apparently you're less than human if you don't enjoy living in S.F.). I just feel... like I can't quite breath as long as I'm outside. I feel anxious, unsafe and unhappy). As soon as I leave, I feel like I can breathe again.

Keiko said...

you give me hope.
beautiful hope that i can't express. and your words sink right into the depths of my soul. they heal me. they help me heal. and then, then they allow me to dream. and make those dreams into reality.



"there are better things ahead than any we leave behind." -C.S. Lewis

magdalena said...

I really understand what you're talking about here.

I had the same situation here in London. I didn't hate London, but I wasn't always happy with the life I built here. I'm learning. It's working.

Stay strong and positive xx

Erin said...

Ohh, this really hits home. I have wanted for so long to move on, to move away. I have this itching feeling that if I move to another state far from here, my life will somehow be better. But husband? He doesn't want to move far away. So it has been a struggle for me to see myself doing this forever. And yet, what you said here makes me rethink the whole mindset.

"turns out i'm just not entirely keen on the life i've built here. and so slowly, ever-so slowly i'm making changes."

THANKS! :)

Sera said...

you are truly brilliant with words, meg.

and i think i know exactly what you're talking about.

colleen said...

nyc definitely makes life more hectic. getting to work, going to the gym, trying to do my laundry, get my nails done, finish my book, write my blog, plan a bridal shower for a friend. and on and on. at the end of the day i am desperate to go home and just be. but it's also such a full life in that sense, and it can feel very satisfying. i'm glad you're making changes to live life the way you see fit. i'm sure once this all passes it will be everything you've wanted.

jenny said...

that has been one of the things I have treasured this past year... the saying.. "this too shall pass." Thank you for your precious comment on my "cancer" post. It meant a lot to me, friend.

Monica said...

"the good news is, before long this shall pass. there may be a few meltdowns along the way. but it shall pass." THANK YOU for this.

viktorija said...

I must admit, I had to go to your "About Me" page to figure out why you'd need to leave your apartment with all those different items! Loved your post and I'm sorry. I can commiserate...I know the feeling of just wanting to be home and not anywhere else.

Mackenzie said...

so so so beautifully put. as much as i hate these moments of inbetweenness, they really do make the light and airy i-could-just-sing-from-the-mountains-to-small-woodland-creatures moments all the sweeter. that's what i always tell myself. darkness is necessary to appreciate light.

Rachel said...

We're totally on the same page, scattered purse contents mid-key search and all! (Once I heard a woman describe a New Yorker's purse as her "the trunk of her car" since all we have is what we can carry; i think it's fitting.)

And New York may seem like a bit of a flakey boy at times, stringing you a long, neglecting your feelings, staying cold; but it can also be the most inspiring, welcoming, enchanting place ever. The good and the bad go together. But we will come out on top.

Jennifer Rod said...

it shall pass... you are right. meltdowns and all, will get you through this. im cheering you on.

Anna said...

I know both ends of the spectrum well. Being human, it happens. :)

I think the most desperate feeling is sensing yourself move from one to the next and wanting to cling to the one end so badly.

BrightEyedWashingtonian said...

I promise you with every ounce of my being...that you will be just fine in life. You are too beautiful, intelligent, and well-spoken for it not to be. Now, enjoy every second and every breath you take in the present moment. ;) wishing you the best from DC!

Bridget said...

meg, you are such a lovely writer. i love the details of the contents of your purse (mine is similar) - things getting lost in the lining, the key in the lock...

patience, my friend... those changes you're making will come slowly and will be good :)

Jandy xx said...

I'm a long time reader of your blog, hands down my favorite. Sometimes you seem to be saying the words that are in my head. I love your writting and how it truly makes us feel the way you are. And most of all, I love your honesty and how everytime I come here I say to myself "Me too!!!".

I thought it was time I left a real comment, and I wanted to tell you how much the lines "the way the sun slices through my flat, wood blinds" and if there is frustration--and yes, of course there is--it comes from feeling the need to justify those changes" touched me.

Jennifer M. said...

I know this feeling. I remember a few years back when I was working a job I hated, going to a school that just didn't feel quite right, and also had some family turmoil going on. With so much swirling emotions, I found myself wanting to drop everything and hide under the covers in bed.

Instead I did what it sounds like you're doing - I took a mental step back and took a look at each area of my life. Was each thing necessary? Was it serving to get me where I wanted to be in life? Did I even know where I wanted to be in life?

It's been a long journey, but I feel like I've finally found sure footing again. Life isn't perfect yet, but I've got a plan and a direction and I feel good about that. And I've learned that I only have one life, and I can't spend it justifying my decisions to anyone - even family. I just have to reconcile it between me and God and then take a step forward into those plans. The rest will fall where it may.