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12.28.2012

the beauty in the stuck.


i've been thinking good and hard lately about blogging.

about the start of this blog.

of when it began and why it began and all of the ands in between.

of how young i was and how sad i was.
of what it meant to be honest before i realized that words could be categorized as such: honest.
of what it was before any one read it, before any ex-boyfriend or future boyfriend or in-between-boyfriend could google my name and find all. of. it.

and if i reach really hard and really far into the cloudy and muggy memory of twenty-three, well...i think my thought then--or my impulse, rather--was to remember. to record. because i was so sure of change. because i knew things would change. and i'd want some sort of record of what had come before. and if i could see how i got from there to here, well then, it'd serve as a blueprint of sorts. for the future.

and at twenty-three it felt like the future was rushing towards me. a great-wave of everything to come. an ocean on the other side of a door.

the blog itself--the whole point of it--hinged upon the notion of change. that life would change. and i would change. and i within this life would thrive. eventually. even if it took time. even if it took failure upon failure upon absolute-fuck-up to get there.

and somewhere along the way, somewhere in the space of the last few years it started to feel as though nothing would change. ever.

and a feeling is a dangerously true thing. even when it's not.

and yes, yes, i know the one constant is change and i understand this on that intellectual level where information is processed.

but it feels like i'll be this age, at this job, riding the same train to the same station, forever. walking through a turnstile towards a position for which i am overeducated and overqualified and absolutely unable to leave because it pays. the. bills.

it was okay to be twenty-three and single and failing but fighting the good fight. it was okay to be twenty-three and writing about how most days i felt more like a disaster than anything else. and it was okay to be twenty-four and twenty-five and still all those things.

somehow though, it doesn't feel okay to be twenty-seven and in this place--stuck in this metaphorical rut. or, well, actual rut.

and so there's a little embarrassment. shame, even.

and it gets harder to write.

but then i think about writing and i think about the length of a story. and about how this one's just a little bit longer than others. and i wrap myself up in that notion and keep going. because you have to. you simply have to keep going.

you know, i still think about the A train. often, i do. about how much i hated it. about how dirty it was: the dim lighting, the putrid color of the seats. and i think about how all those years on the A train, made for my experience on the F. i love the F train. absolutely adore it. i forgive it for much and often. for when it gets stuck at York street, or Jay St-Metrotech. for how it sometimes inches between Bergen and Carroll.

it is not lost on me that i love the F so much precisely because i so deeply loathed the A.

when life begins to chug it will mean more for this period in which it seemed so very stuck.

change. good change. forward movement.

and when i finally meet the man i choose to spend my life with it will mean more for each and every suitcase i trudged home for christmas, alone. it will mean more for these ambiguous years in which i learned to do everything myself: installing the air conditioning and paying the bills and moving into a fourth-floor walk up without a man in sight. it will mean more for that one night when at two in the morning i had to crush the maggots beneath my bed, one by one.  more for the time when half-asleep i rose from bed to tether the roof's door to the stairwell with little more than yellow twine because the wind was banging into it in such a way i was sure the sky was falling.

it will all mean more for these years in which i got so good at maneuvering by myself that i began to wonder if i wasn't too far gone to make room for someone else.

change. it will come. like a thief in the night. taking and bringing both good and bad.

and i do want to remember. so i'm going to try a little bit harder to be that person who believes in the beauty of all that's yet to unfold. that person who sees the beauty in this time now. the beauty in the stuck and the shame and the trudge.




32 comments:

Amy said...

This is amazing. Exactly how I am feeling, but couldn't put into words.

Krissa said...

wow. you put into words something i feel yet could never express in the same way. its nice that someone can relate. or i know someone else understands. and as hard as it is being alone and feeling stuck in this stand still routine of life while its still ever changing at the same time i know when i find that man of my dreams this will all be worth it. in the meantime i am grateful to see someone relates and understands and can express the thoughts/feelings in a way i cant.
Thanks girl!!!

jackie said...

so beautiful, as always. I do believe that it'll come for you, Meg. and I love reading your story while you wait, but I know I'll love reading it when you find him too.

Kiersten said...

This is so beautifully put. And one day you will look back on this, and better appreciate what you have because of what it took to get there.
I'm in college myself now, going into the end of my junior year, and each day I'm more terrified about the future. About what is going to happen in a year and a half when I graduate. - You're not alone. But you will make it through this.
For now, we're all loving reading the story, and I'm sure we still will when you find yourself on the other side.
<3 Kiersten

Niken said...

thank you for addressing this in words perfectly. i think no matter how old we are, we do feel this way sometimes at some point. and yes, change will come. eventually.

Mindy said...

The reason you can't stop out of shame is because there are so so many of us twenty-somethings right along with you. waiting. getting so used to doing it on our own and going to jobs that pay us, but not enough, and waiting for that person who will become our partner. someone to be in this together with. and plenty of us are still waiting, wondering why it wasn't that last one. wondering if we're making enough effort to find him when staying in bed with a good book sounds so perfect on a Saturday night.

Mindy said...

and so if you admit embarrassment then mustn't we all? it gets tough and lonely but it's making for a better story. and your story is helping others not admit shame and defeat. and so it has a purpose. already it does.

and the way i think about it.. now i get the chance to really know myself. i mean really know who i am and what i want. and i'll know it so well that it can't blur and fade when i finally find something worth ending this long chapter for.

Tom said...

It's frustrating as I find myself taking one step forward to take one step back, whilst all around my friends are taking two forward.

As you said; "change. it will come. like a thief in the night. taking and bringing both good and bad." - really love what you said there.

colleen said...

i so often feel the same way - perhaps it's something about being in our late 20's. like i'm never gonna get to that next step in my career. but i look back on some changes and how things came about, good and bad, and how i never saw them coming. so i keep working and trying and doing things to make it better, because you'll never know when you're gonna need that extra effort.

Brittan said...

You're an amazing person, Meg. Truly.

You're at the age now where things change all at once, in one fell swoop, so that in a year's time you find yourself sitting in a new place, in a complete daze, wondering how you got here. I am so happy and content where I am right now, but I can't help but read this, wonder where the time, and miss being alone in New York City. Sometimes I miss the struggle more than anything.

Anyway, this is beautiful. Thanks for taking me back.

katilda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katilda said...

"it will all mean more for these years in which i got so good at maneuvering by myself that i began to wonder if i wasn't too far gone to make room for someone else." I've thought about this idea a lot lately. Isn't it ironic how life can totally force you into independence and that simultaneously seems to make it harder to mix your life with someone else's? My last boyfriend said I didn't "need" him. He was right. I did care about him but I've learned not to really NEED anyone. Need and love are two different things for me. I haven't decided yet if this is a good or a bad thing, but right now it's just...a thing. And I like the idea of finding someone who doesn't "need" me either. Someone who loves me and treasures me but can stand on his own two feet as well as I've learned to. Of course we'll be there to lean when we need to lean, but the overall NEEDING thing...I think life grew that out of me. And I think I'm grateful for that.

Joanna Rutter said...

Absolutely profound and lovely. Thanks for your openness.

Katie said...

Perfect. Utterly.

Heather said...

So much of the words here could easily have been spoken by me, you did so very eloquently!

Ruts, stops, starts, our late 20's are full of these in so many arenas of our lives, glad to see we are not alone, so many of us feel the same!

But as you stated, change will come, and it will come swift, and catch you, it truly happens just like *that*

Anonymous said...

I am 23 and single. I am sad. My future is 'an ocean waiting behind a door.' Sometimes that thought is so exciting! Oh the possibility that awaits me! Oh the good life and the good things that I know, I know, are coming.
And sometimes I feel like a fish that will not survive without the ocean. A fish that has no thumbs to turn the door.

I guess all of that was to say, this is why I am prompted, after many weeks of reading, to say thank you.
Thank you for your beautiful writing, for your beautiful exposed heart. You have made an impact on my life. I know that's not why you write, but I hope it makes you glad to know it.

- Lucy

Anonymous said...

I am 23 and single. I am sad. My future is 'an ocean waiting behind a door.' Sometimes that thought is so exciting! Oh the possibility that awaits me! Oh the good life and the good things that I know, I know, are coming.
And sometimes I feel like a fish that will not survive without the ocean. A fish that has no thumbs to turn the door.

I guess all of that was to say, this is why I am prompted, after many weeks of reading, to say thank you.
Thank you for your beautiful writing, for your beautiful exposed heart. You have made an impact on my life. I know that's not why you write, but I hope it makes you glad to know it.

- Lucy

Chantel said...

Wow. Geez. First of all, I always come to your blog because you WRITE. You actually WRITE. Not just jot half-hearted, random thoughts down. (Which is fine, because blogging gives people any sort of writing freedom they want). But I love that you write with feeling, eloquence, and passion. It's SO refreshing. And your writing connects so many together. I am honestly impressed every single time, and feel no sort of exaggeration in saying this is my top favorite blog.

Anyway, back to the post. Thank you. I can relate. It's nearly empowering to be apart of a that group of women who HAD to become self-sufficient before we were yoked with another. We HAD to take care of ourselves and become ourselves first. And eventually, when the change comes.. we will be SO grateful that we discovered our own beauty first.

Thank you. Seriously.

Diana said...

I agree with everyone--wow! I understand your train of thought because I am there too. Sometimes I feel guilty for wishing time would move ahead and whisk me away from my rut, but then I feel guilty because like you said, I'll enjoy where I am going all the more if I embrace where I am right now. So, that said, I agree with the person who said this is profound. It certainly is. You have such a way with words, with embracing life, and it is so inspiring. Thank you.

Emily said...

such incredible words. this is exactly how i felt when my husband and i were going through fertility treatments and trying so very hard to have a baby. we adopted our baby girl three years ago, and every moment is a treasure, and i know it means so much more to me because of the past....of the periods where i thought the pain was going to absolutely kill me. there is ALWAYS a future, no matter how slow the present seems.

Chicago girl moves on said...

Amen. Amen to the moon, Meg. You have no idea how many nerves you've hit, and not just with me.

-Rhiannon

smallasamustardseed said...

At first I thought you were going to say you we're quitting the blog. Thank The Lord you're not! In a world where all my old college friends are getting married I'm so glad you're here. I feel that it's ok to be single when I read your blog.
Thank you for your words. Thank you for your honesty.

Nicole said...

I needed these words today more than I can express. The change is coming, and nothing brings it out better than a new year. May yours bring change, good music, interesting people, and wonderful words to be written.

Natalie said...

Meg, I wrote about this period of life for myself a few months back. Thought you might like my take on things. Chin up girl, everything will be alright in the end. As they say, if it's not alright, it's not the end. http://amomentofwonderful.blogspot.com/2012/09/falling-into-fall.html

Anonymous said...

I'm proud to be your friend!

Anonymous said...
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Shawnee said...

so beautiful. thank you for sharing stories of your life - you've helped so many with your ability to put feelings into words.

Sheiloves said...

Thank you for so fervently expressing what I and so many others also feel. You are one of my daily inspirations, thank you thank you thank you.

Julia said...

Thanks for being so honest. I love reading your words. Change will come. Whether it is of your own device or someone else's. Please don't be embarassed of your stuck-ness (although speaking from experience, I know how hard that can be sometimes). We all have been stuck. All of us. Each and every single one of us. It is the brave person who can take that stuck-ness and move through it, work through it, keep on paying the bills through it. And if I am guessing you are the brave person you seem to be then you will make a change. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even in a year, maybe not even in a few years. But you will. And guess what? It will be the hardest damn thing you'll do. You'll look back and sometimes that stuck-ness will be fondly remembered as a phase of comfort and routine. But you'll have made a change in order to fight so desperately for what you want your life to be and that, THAT, is what counts. So keep on keepin' on, girl. You can do it.

Anonymous said...

There should be no embarrassment or shame in your current situation because you are not the only one there. I'm at your same age and though I have a job that makes good use of my education and skills, it is still one that stretches distantly into the future- a life of walking to work, of working, of coming home and being alone, of fixing things myself, of learning to do things I never thought I would have to. There is value and strength in these experiences. And you should feel no shame because it is at least encouraging to me to know that someone out there is in the same/a similar place.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this- and can relate on many levels. I, too, feel stuck. I believe that I should have been more settled by now (at 26)--I have no financial freedom (I am in nursing school with debt up to my eyeballs), which then leads to no freedom at all (moving back home with my parents), no husband, no nothing. But then I think that it's meant to be this way- that I was meant to travel, be unemployed, be single, be slightly overweight, all at 26. Perhaps at 28, 29, or 30 a new chapter in my life will start. Perhaps my crappy early & mid-twenties will make my late twenties or early thirties that much more wonderful. But maybe not- who knows? I love that I can relate to you on levels like this. Know that you're not alone in your journey <3

Anonymous said...

I hate that I don't speak English well enough to express how and why I smile while reading your blog. I've been reading it for a while and I think I can see the change. And you're changing (growing, maturing, learning) by yourself, for yourself and you're brave enough to share it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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