Oh, hey, hi there. Greetings from another life.
It's been a whopping 5 months since I went ahead with my life transplant, and at some point I figured it prudent to answer everyone's favorite question - how are you doing?!?! - which to be frank feels a little bit like asking water how it tastes. I'm...here? I miss my friends dearly but I'm not sure I really recognize the girl that left them? The summer humidity makes my hair look like a pom-pom, but I get to drink all this Polar seltzer so I must be living my Best Life? I still can't stop watching SVU?
I guess I knew it was going to be hard, just maybe not this uncomfortable to be in this weird in-between place for a while. To have to look in the mirror every morning and try to remind myself that square one isn't rock bottom. That I can't run until I know where I really, truly want to go, and that figuring it out might take some time. That I am happier, and lighter, and a better person than I've been in 10 years so I'm gonna have to make the rest of this be enough for just a little while longer.
And wow, does my anxiety think THAT's all a big load of horseshit, but we're gonna work on that too while we're at it, right? Right. Go team!
So I've started aerial and pole training (which boy howdy is that a fun thing to bring up at parties) to keep myself focused, and I've kind of fallen in love with it. My floppy, dopey dog waits for me at the door every afternoon when I come home from work, which is never later than 5:30 and is always without a laptop or files to go through over dinner. My mom talks more now, babbling to me about my day as soon as I walk through the door. I have time to dive back into a social life not defined by a job title. To show up at old haunts for nothing more than conversations with old friends, reliving memories I left behind for safekeeping while I was gone.
Eventually, they too ask me what's next. How I'm doing. Bracing for the worst, I tell them I don't know yet. I'm still a little lost and I'm trying to take things as they come. But instead of questions, of curious prodding and thinly veiled judgement I am met every time with knowing nods and warm smiles. As if to say how can you be lost when you're right here with us? We don't care where you're going, we're just glad you're here.
And isn't that one hell of a reminder that, even after years of leaving pieces of it all over the world, your heart still beats to the rhythm of home?
So, yeah. Five months in and you want to know how I'm doing? I'm here, squirming and searching and grateful and growing (I hope) and trying to calm the anxious twitching in my legs. Spending my nights writing love letters to the in-between and learning to embrace the ground under my feet before reaching impatiently for the horizon. Occasionally throwing middle fingers at thunderstorms from a bedroom closet (that one's not a metaphor, fuck thunderstorms) and still drinking one or two too many Sam Adams.
And, for all of the uncertainty, my friends are right. I'm glad I'm here, too.