FOUR LESSONS I’VE LEARNED IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS

Over the past two months, I have had the great pleasure of being unemployed. It is a rare luxury for most (unless you work in the entertainment industry) and one that society often tells us is to be avoided.

With my free time, I pulled an “Eat Pray Love” and did a lot of self-reflection. I spent time in Utica with my mom (a place you never need to visit), journaling daily, meditating, spending hours in a dark theater and drinking heavily. In October I did a month-long yoga teacher training which was transformative. Without sounding too kumbaya, I’ve learned some things in the past two months. I learned a few lessons that I really needed. I haven’t mastered them by any means but I’m striving to remember them and allow them to inform my actions daily. Here’s what I’ve got:

  1. I am not my job.
  2. Some people are passionate about a career. Some people are passionate about creating a life they love which is supported by a career. It’s too soon to tell which category I fall into. Either one is great.
  3. Not everyone is going to like me. As long as I like me, even if some don’t, I need not be affected by them.
  4. If you practice the art of not giving a f*** (when appropriate) it gets easier and easier.

MOMENTARY THOUGHTS OR THOUGHTS ON THE MOMENT (August 24- August 30th)

(Photo by Jordan Amchin)
(Photo by Jordan Amchin)

August 24, 2017

A truck beeps as it backs up outside my window, faint but still audible. The absence of the air conditioning hum means the room is growing slowly warmer. The beeping has now been replaced with a faint siren. I am itchy. The cat walks around the room attending to things she sees, or thinks she sees. The itchiness makes me feel like there are bugs crawling on me. Folding over the coffee table I am once again keenly aware that I am not as flexible as I once was. My hips feel tight in the creases. I am growing hot and thirsty. I feel the need to look at my phone, what a stupid thing. An extra limb.

August 28, 2017

My hands cramp as I write. A low rumble underneath me, the train moving ever forward. I am uncomfortable. The seat is hard against my back but cool. Vacant stares in front of me. Surprisingly few looking at their screens. Five stops to go. My exposed toes cold from a draft of AC. A high-pitched screech now and then when the train jostles side to side. A fragrant bouquet of various perfumes. A fluorescent light inside and quickly passing tunnel light bulbs outside. Hand still cramping and now sweaty.

August 29, 2017

The air feels thick, the clouds low and swollen with rain. It is dark in this room, it seems to mirror my insides. My body feels heavy, so does my brain. Slow and sluggish. Quiet besides the barely audible ticking of a clock and a car passing by now and then. The faintest smell of nature, in my mind I believe it’s the smell of rain coming through the open window. The bench beneath me is hard as is the table I sit at, the grains of wood brushing along my wrist as I write. I feel reluctantly anticipatory about what this day and week will bring. Can I go back to bed instead?

August 30, 2017

A bird is quietly singing out of my window and the sound of my cat relentlessly scratching at the pretty blue upholstery of my chair. The tv plays in front of me but without sound. Somehow it makes me feel less lonely. The sun is shining in that glassy crisp kind of way that makes you feel like fall is near. Or do I just imagine that? Trees dance beneath the bottom of the shaded window. Breakfast is ready.

MOMENTARY THOUGHTS OR THOUGHTS ON THE MOMENT (August 21- August 23)

August 21, 2017

I sit uncomfortably on the couch feeling the mix of bread and cheese which I consumed not too long ago groaning and moving in my stomach. The air conditioner hums and the dancing trees cast ghostly shadows along the floor. The light is that of an early summer evening. The sun is lower in the sky but the heat is still capable of choking you.

August 22, 2017

My skin feels awake, tingly from the cold air of the air conditioner. The rest of me throbs. A dull underlying pain lingering and reminding me of the mistakes I made yesterday. My legs grow tired and uncomfortable in the pretzel position they are in. My body tells me I’m not as young as I imagine myself to be. The constant hum of the air conditioning occasionally spitting like it’s displacing water which has gone down the wrong pipe. The cat crouches in the hallway, eyes focused on something I cannot see. I feel as though I’m in my cool safe haven, afraid to go outside for fear that the heat will consume me.

August 23, 2017

Vivaldi plays in my ears. Actually, Joshua Bell playing Vivaldi plays in my ears. The theater feels suddenly quiet. There is a coziness to this vast space. The red velvet walls feel like they are hugging you. The work lights turn a giant room meant for dramatics into something seemingly more approachable. Sirens ring outside above the soothing music in my ears. There is a slight chill in the air, perhaps the only thing keeping me from wanting to lie down and take a nap. My body hurts in places I didn’t really know it could. The side of my right big toe and the part in my hair. A female voice… someone is on the phone in the mezzanine speaking loudly and I am reminded that not everyone is brought up with the same social rules ingrained in them. My lips tingle in that way just before they become chapped. What is that thing that I’ve heard about becoming addicted to chapstick? A prop man comes around to clean the seats and the smell is sharp and tickles my throat.

25 THOUGHTS I HAVE WHILE GETTING A CHEAP MASSAGE

1. I wonder if this massage table has bed bugs. 

2. Is a $50 hour-long massage worth bed bugs?

3. Too soon to tell. 

4. I never know how much to take off. Will the masseuse be shocked at the level of clothed/unclothed I am when they come back in?

5. Is there a camera recording my nakedness right now? I could be starring in a porno and I wouldn’t even know it. 

6. Ok, that feels like a woman’s hands, don’t think I’m starring in an adult film. 

7. Although…lady your hands are getting a little too close to my unmentionables. 

8. Ow

9. Ow

10. Ow

11. If she does that one more time I’ll tell her to be gentler. 

12. Ok she did if five more times and I still haven’t told her. 

13. Why do I always choose to suffer in silence? 

14. Am I going to walk out of here paralyzed?

15. I guess if I became paralyzed I wouldn’t walk out of here at all. 

16. Am I going to be wheeled out of here?

17. Does she have a license for this?

18. I’m going to leave this massage more tense than when I went in. 

19. Why haven’t I learned by now?

20. Ok she’s asking me to flip over, now I finally get to see the face of my potential killer. 

21. This random lady just saw my boobs. 

22. I wonder what she thought of them. 

23. I don’t think you’re supposed to press so hard on that. 

24. Yep that’s definitely a bone. 

25. Thank God that’s over, never again.