Good almost afternoon, Thursday. There's a chill in the air, and my jazz-filled taxi ride uptown today gave me a sweet moment of pause. I do so love the Fall. It's my favorite.
But yea, about that headline up there.
I feel like I'm 25 again, but not in the way you're thinking. Lately, there's been a lot of stress-provoking challenges around me- nothing life-threatening in any way, so don't worry. Just things that make you think about how you navigate change when you're faced with it, and how toxic situations can really do a number on you.
When I was in my 20s, I'm not ashamed to say I suffered from a tremendous amount of anxiety. I was living in New York and working really hard but incredibly scattered. If you've ever suffered from anxiety, you know how it is- everything feels daunting and freaky, and your nerve endings are firing and frayed. I feel those feelings creeping up on me again, but as someone who is almost 25 x 2, I feel more equipped to handle them. How much of the anxiety is PMS/hormonal? Some. That absolutely gets worse as you get older, I'm not gonna lie. But right now there's some stuff I need to handle that feels toxic, like if you were handling toxic chemicals but didn't know how to touch them. I'm getting there, and though I know the feeling is situational, it still kind of sucks.
For the past few months, I've been feeling absolutely fabulous. Truly. There's blips and blops when I lack the luster but for the most part, so good. And then a few weeks ago after I got robbed I started feeling not so fabulous. It wasn't about the stuff per se, it just caused a lot of primordial yuck in my life and made me really uncomfortable. As a proud Cancerian crab lady, my home is my sanity and my sanctuary. So that all felt awful and started overshadowing all the good stuff that was happening. And then just like that- I'm a 20something angsty woman trapped in an almost 50something grown-up body. Weird, right?
My point is- I've been so relieved in this thing called life to get to feel as healthy and happy and confident as I do, even though as a woman I'm told my value is declining as I age by society. There is no way you could pay me to go back to my 20s. Or even my 30s. I'm so damn happy to be where I am that when something fucks with that, I don't like it. At all. PS- I can hear some of my more stoic friends muttering under their breath as they're reading this saying "yea, but that's life." Yea. No kidding.
But anxiety is not a state I want to live in. I'm feeling a great need for some softness. The difference between anxiety then and anxiety now is I think I'm better situated to cope and also know what I need. And right now a little warm and fuzzy with all the sharp angles would be just ducky. Truly.
This morning as I was dropping off Khan's breakfast because I screwed up the days I would be boarding him (another anxiety-producing moment), I saw an older man throwing up on the street, which, let's be honest, is pretty gross. But so many people walked by him, and not one asked him if he was ok. He was crouched down by the garbage on the street, and I locked eyes with him and asked him if he needed some help. He told me he would be fine and suffers from acid reflux, and he "never knows when it's going to happen like this." Poor guy. I felt for him. I usually would feel sick to my stomach watching someone puke in public, but something about the tough few weeks I had made me want to be compassionate to someone else. It made me feel better to ask. Because at that moment, even though I was stressed trying to get my dog his breakfast, this guy was in much worse shape than me.
Like my friend with the reflux, nobody knows what's coming. That's the fun of life and the scary part, too. It's essential to feel all the feels, though. This much I know. And I find that actually talking about this stuff with other people helps (imagine that). I really used to be a girl who liked to keep it all in. I didn't want people to see my vulnerabilities because I was so busy trying to be tough. Right now, I'm a little raw. And I'm good with that. I'm eternally grateful for moments that make me remember that everything is going to be ok. Like jazz-filled cab rides at 7 am up Sixth Avenue. Or early morning chats with a friend and coworker about whether Murphy beds are appropriate at this stage in the game (I don't think they are, or at least not for me). Or simple things like little Khan letting me spoon him when I can't sleep.
I'll be honest- I'm a woman who fears change. It seems counter to who I am, but I genuinely do, and I've talked about it here many times. It's not so much the change itself, it's more the anxiety around the who, what, why, when, and how. That'll do me in if I let it. But for now, as I sit here sharing this with all of you, I'm feeling ok. I'm not gonna let that 25-year-old back into my head. I'm grown enough to know that everything is generally solvable. I just felt the need to connect with you all here as I've been busy working and haven't had a lot of time to write my own stuff of late. Look for a retool of this blog coming very soon- on a bit of a delay, but it's a change I'm actually excited about.
Cause that's what's up this I'm ok, you're ok kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in bigger, better, and onward. XO