The addicts say “Wherever you go, there you are.” I say thank goodness for that.
Right now, in my new room, I feel like I’ve been running to me, not away from myself. My goal was, and is, to fully inhabit my body, as my best friend, to listen to it, and follow its cues to new community that is marked by the quality of respect. Consideration and warmth may follow, or not. I want those things, and will have to learn how to get them.
But my first night was restless, and it wasn’t the elevated 3 Train rumbling by. It’s because I don’t need Janet anymore. Or, not as my only companion and home in this whole, wide world. That famous scene in Castaway is based on a real thing. It felt deeper than grief, but change is a form of loss, and I grieved. But she’s just outside the front door, and I have to tend to her at least twice a week so I don’t get a parking ticket. Not sure how that’s going to work.
There are three of us women here, and we all seem to be extremely different from one another. I am the oldest, and the only white person in the house, and it seems, the neighborhood. One young woman is from near here, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and the other youngish woman is from Nigeria. I do not feel unsafe. I’m prepared to make the best of it in a different way than I would have in the past. My landlord has been kind and helpful, and immediately and graciously agreed to speak and text in French with me when I asked. I was nervous! I have a lot to learn, which is the opposite of being bored, but that’s rarely been a problem. I’ve started allowing myself to imagine, and even say, what I most want–from a person, a situation, myself. If I don’t get it, I want to believe it doesn’t mean I’m unworthy.
The season will change soon, but today is mild and sunny. I had a panicked moment of claustrophobia as I sipped my coffee, and then remembered I chose the room with the back door for a reason. This is like taming a wild creature, only it’s my soul that I’m teaching to have peace. There are so many imperfections in this apartment, as there are in most everything, and yet it seems that it will work for now.
I’m here, living in New York. I did it.