After work last week, I ventured down to my old neighborhood. I haven’t been since I moved out in March. An avid follower of Daily Candy, I had saved many restaurants and bar openings over the last year in anticipation of tasting a lager and sampling the risotto with my oh-so significant other. When asked where I wanted to meet some friends, I pulled out my saved restaurant bucket list. It was important to me that i head downtown to my old ‘hood and, more importantly, that my girlfriends were with me when I did. It was the only way I could pass through the familiar streets that bore many memories and were supposed to bear many more.
Upon heading home after our night out, I began listening to my ipod. Walking through the city reveling in music makes the mundane interesting. The honking, loud chatter, and general hustle and bustle are all silenced, and instead you are literally walking to a different beat. Temporarily, life feels like a movie and you have your own soundtrack.
But, after our goodbyes, I was in a contemplative state of mind as I walked the steps of my previous life. My old apartment is off limits to me – I don’t plan on it ever being possible to walk within a 4 block radius of it again. It’s as if that immediate area is surrounded by a forcefield, and the electric blue door and white trim that once made me so happy…is my Kryptonite.
Naturally, a song came on that brought it to the surface. Greg Laswell’s “Comes and Goes (in Waves)” began playing…and needless to say, as I strolled down Memory Lane, sadness heightened by fatigue and my surroundings did nothing for my emotional state. Pillar of strength, I was not.
A woman across the subway aisle averted her eyes. Her children stared at me in silence. A young couple holding hands looked at me inquisitively, as I focused on the floor, tears silently rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure they were asking themselves what is this girl, with her new expensive haircut and Brooks Brothers shirt crying about late this Friday night. It does indeed come and go in waves. Unfortunately you get pulled into the current, and the only way out is to let your body go limp, until it releases you.
Ben Franklin once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” We all do things in hope that…this time…it will be different. This time, things will work out in our favor. Everyone’s advice has been to take things day by day, find my routines, and go about my life. But I sometimes find that these patterns, this getting up everyday and trying to fill the void is not going to yield me different results. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. And I’m driving myself insane.
But that’s all any of us can do. Keep living day after day, in hopes that there will be one down the line that feels different…better…clearer…happy. So today I decorated my patio with white Christmas lights. And began planning my garden. I was not born with a green thumb…but maybe now in this new life, I am a fantastic tomato grower. Or at least basil.