A year ago today I wrote a blog on my livejournal about all the things I did with 23. I remember writing it, but it almost seems like another lifetime, that me another person.
What happened at 24? Jesus. How to start.
I remember leaving one week after it came, flying to Ireland and snaking my way down through the European continent like some goddamned nineteenth century French something or other. What was the point of that? So I could see gay czec sommelier slice the top off a champagne bottle with a kitchen knife? So I could go high out of my mind to a small concert in Amsterdam where they sell rich beers at cost from a cooler and Jennifer Terran sings my mind's soundtrack? So I could see the autumn leaves in Paris? So I could sit shirtless in front of the blue, blue Mediterranean? A million people have done it better, and I crossed the Atlantic for god's sake like that nineteenth century what-have-you. So I made a lot of week-long friendships. So I didn't sleep. I saw Miami and rode up to Indianapolis on a bus. So.
Then then. I moved to Boston, got a job at the Starbucks down the street. Everything was so perfect. It was cold and the snow was deep and all the sidewalks were ice. I wore my black wool coat as I walked through them. I made new friends, I went to poetry readings. I was writing.
I broke up with Thade. A five year relationship ended. It took months for him to find a new place. The house was electric with anger. I didn't sleep.
People reached out. I made instant fast deep lifelong friends. So lucky there.
In the spring haze I fell in love. Since then my heart has not stopped breaking. I lost my appetite, started smoking, stopped smoking, started eating meat, flew across the country and drank every night to forget about it. I spent late nights walking the empty streets, hearing the hard click of the heels of my boots against the sidewalk, sleeping when whiskey took me. I barely noticed the seasons change. Now it is fall and I keep thinking "Summer's coming."
I wrote poetry. I had my own feature. So many people came some got turned away. People said I did a good job. Some poems of mine got published. I finished a novel and started another one. I became a writer this year.
My brother got married. I was a bridesmaid. I danced in a red dress. John, Orestis, Dad, Russ, and I sang karaoke in a dive bar and ate 4am Taco Bell on John's last night as a single man. Some things are just perfect.
I visited Indiana, my friends and family back home. I went to LA and stayed with Amber and Maegan. I saw dolphins and ate cake. I bought a dress and the woman gave me a discount for a poem. I have met so many people this year.
And somewhere in all of this I realized I'm not afraid of death anymore. At least not as afraid -- not like I used to be. Maybe it's because I'm depressed, maybe it's because I'm past depression, maybe it's something to do with attachment, or maybe I'm actually happier than I ever have been in my life, but that Fear, that anxiety that was always omnipresent has dissipated.
Now there is only this feeling, this ache. I don't know what it is other than a tightness in my chest, a constant pain. It is both great sorrow and great joy. It is this swelling love for the people in my life, how grateful I am that I can walk down the street in grey September and breathe the air, that I am so lucky to be alive and to know these people, and at the same time it is sadness because I can never get close enough to anyone. How no one can really love anyone fully. How people hurt each other so deeply and so often. But then even as I cry about these things, and I can cry in front of people now, people are there to hug me, to take me to steak, to drive me home, to put me to bed when I've gotten so drunk I'm speaking French with a Southern accent, and how it's all the same thing, all part of the same thing, maybe even the Meaning of Life because I think if we're here for anything it's to love each other. It is too intense sometimes and I can't move, but I always get up again, always keep walking, and when I go to sleep at night I feel somewhere deep that I'm living a good life.
My mom sent me a cheesy e-card and I cried. I remember being a lonely teenager and not crying for years at at time. Now here I am tearing up writing this. I want to go back and hug fifteen-year-old me. Tell her I know it's hard, but just wait ten years and it'll be okay. You turn out pretty well, all things considered.