Thursday, March 5, 2009

i'll return from the streets of melbourne...

an epilogue.

three different people have commented, "is that the only winter jacket you have?"

"sorry," i say, smiling, my face red and windburnt on a stark february evening in manhattan. i must look like a five year old version me on a playground, tossing off my coat and running for the slide, sweaty and oblivious. "i just came from summer, i hardly remember how to dress for weather like this."


i thought i could beat the jetlag, but almost three weeks after arriving in america, i still find it creeps up on me late at night, taps me on the shoulder to wake me up, and insists i feed it. i'm weaning myself off the sleeping pills, because i need to be up sometime before 11am so i can lend enough time to the job search. i've never had so little money in the bank and so much debt on my credit card.

"jeez," i said at dinner last night with a laugh and a glass of red wine. "makes you wonder if it was all worth it!" i knew i didn't mean it, but the red wine was talking more than i was.

"well, whatever, i think it's awesome you went for it," someone said.

"yeah, and your situation right now is temporary," someone else noted. "you'll always have that experience."


as i'm writing this, i get a phone call from an agency looking to set up an interview. times like these, i fully believe that god has a great sense of humor and an even better sense of timing.


someone asked me if it felt like i had never left.

it doesn't.


driving home from the airport, i told my parents, "jeez, australia feels so far away now!"

"yeah," my mom said, "that's how it's felt for us the last six and half months."


everyone has commented on how tan i look. that is the first time in 24 years anyone has ever said that about me.


and new york. what can i say about new york? it's how i left it and it's not. i left new york in the summer, and she's a whole different being in the winter. the people are still fantastic, though. it's incredible how things change and don't change at all, and how much of it has to do with the eyes you're observing it all with.

australia has changed me. i don't quite know how yet. i suppose writing this blog could help in understanding the answer to that question.


the questions, the questions. the latest question: "so what were you doing there?"

i always laugh and say, "i have no idea!"

it's only half true. maybe i do know, but the answer's just too personal to reveal yet.


and finally this:

my mom calls me yesterday. after talking about the latest news in the ongoing saga of "why aren't my grandparents in assisted living yet?", we get to talking about my financial situation. i'm starting to vent, frustrated with how close to desperation i've gotten to, and baffled at how i've arrived at this point. i think i'm still handling it all quite calmly (which, to help answer the previous question, is one way australia has changed me) but like anyone, i'm starting to sweat a little.

"i've had money, i haven't had money, i'm still here," my mom said.

"yeah, i guess life goes on regardless."

"exactly," she said. "you'll get through this one. and obviously, no one's going to let you starve."

"i know," i said. "but i'm avoiding having to ask for any money. i want to know that i can do this."

"i know," she said. "and i think that's great. i don't think anyone can accuse you of not having any guts."

i sighed. "well. if anything, i guess i've got that."

and maybe that's all i really want. maybe that's...why i went to australia. maybe it was just to prove to myself--above anyone else--that i had the guts to do it. i could have flourished, i could have faltered. (i did a little of both.) i could have made a lot of friends, i could have lost some friends. (did a little of both of that too.) i could have loved it, i could have hated it. (ditto, twofold.)

but right decision, wrong decision; right move, wrong move; should have, shouldn't have: who cares. i did it. i will never have to look back and wish i took the opportunity, the risk, to answer the question, "what would happen if i went back to australia?"

i had the guts to say yes, and for that, it's all worth it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

how this ends

i wish i knew what to say my last night in australia. i wish i had "the right thing" to say, that expresses my sadness about leaving behind so many great people in australia, and my excitement about reuniting with just as many great people in new york. i decided, the other night, that despite it all, i'm quite lucky; i'm leaving a place i really like, and i'm returning to a place i really like. you rarely get that double happiness.

while a final stroll down chapel st today reminded me that i won't miss the absolute war zone of pedestrians these sidewalks can be--pick a side, people!--i could say the same thing about times square, and the day will come when i'm trying to get to hell's kitchen with my sanity intact and i feel the same rage boiling up inside of me all the way to 9th avenue.

i guess, my point being, i want to leave melbourne on a good note, as a city that keeps bringing me back, even if i still don't quite know why, even if it seems to change each time.

jay made a point of saying that, lately, my blog posts have been sounding curiously like the first few posts when i was leaving new york. this sort of kind reverence, this gracious bowing out the door and onward to my next destination. maybe i fall in love when the drama's high, when the end is near, when the stakes are raised, when the emotions are peaking. i certainly didn't feel this way in, say, october or november. even if i was leaving early, even if february was still being tossed around, it wasn't for another few months.

much like how in the month or two before i left new york it seemed everything was gelling quite nicely, i can see that happening here. a number of people who i met on this trip have said, "you can't leave yet, i feel like we're just getting to know you." someone joked, "you'll be the one that got away."


ivy and i were talking yesterday and agreed that sometimes, people are supposed to just come into your life to show you something, to tell a certain story, to be a meaningful cameo in your story, and that's all. to go back to my bible, "eat, pray, love," liz gilbert suggests a soulmate is not necessarily meant to stay in your life forever. they're just the person who most clearly reflects you back to yourself, shows you who you absolutely are, even if that means they never really show you who they are.

i'm not suggesting anything about soulmates on this trip--who can say until it's all over who holds that kind of role in your life?--but i think to piggyback on the point of the last post, sometimes you just have to accept and let go. i find myself repeating that truism from "six feet under": everything ends.

so this trip is over. someone else last night said, "you'll never know if you should have done it one way or the other." all i've got to work with is this, and no one can say i should have stayed longer, left sooner, or never come at all. just because it's painful, just because it's sad, doesn't mean it's wrong.

before i left for australia, i had a list of hopes for this trip. i wanted it all to be worth it. i realize now you'll never know that either. now i don't know if it's worth it to leave. i don't know what direction my life will take in new york, who i'll become as a result of this trip. i've decided to just approach it all with curiosity.

i'm exhausted of hello's and goodbye's. i'm entirely relieved by the prospect of a long-term plan, however long that may be. i'm starving for a routine. i can't wait until my feet touch the ground, and i'm not flying north, south, or any direction at all. these altitudes have left me far too light-headed.

but i don't regret it. i don't regret the days when i felt like i was on mars without a spacesuit as much as i don't regret the days when it seemed i had landed somewhere with people i was destined to meet, people who made so much sense to me. much like new york, it's all about the people. some of these people i'll see again; some i won't. as my yoga instructor said, just let it go.

so i don't know what to say, but that's about all i can say right now. i don't want to try to wrap this up into too neat of a package, because the journey isn't over. it keeps going in new york. it reveals itself in the aftermath. it comes to life in the questions. since i first decided to come to australia, it's been a life of questions. first it was questions about what i was doing going to australia, then it was questions about what i was coming from when i arrived in australia, and always it was my internal questioning of the point of all this. when i get home, it'll be questions about the experience.

but i guess what i've learned is there are no right answers. there's no "right thing" to say or respond with. the point is to keep questioning, keep trying to learn more, keep trying to understand. but never to arrive at an answer.

and with that, entirely grateful, thoroughly exhausted, and intensely curious, this boy flies north.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

and i try to make this kind and clear

this is not to say in the final throes of australia, my life is coming together. but just that finally--finally!--in the eleventh hour, it's softened around the edges for real, not just all those pretend times in the past that ended up as eyes in storms. everything's not perfect--i wouldn't know what to do with perfect, except hold my breath in hopes of it not toppling over before i got a picture--but i think this is just what it's going to be. you eventually finally learn to accept reality for what it is.

i spent so much time in australia thinking, "if i just get a job or start traveling or go see this play or go to that class or meet those people, all of this is just going to come together!" and i don't think it's that nothing came together, but i had no idea what i meant. i think sometimes i was hoping that all of these very different ingredients would create the same life i left in new york, or would create some fantasy life that just wasn't possible. why not? i don't know, because it wasn't meant to be. because i wasn't meant to stay here.

i always said, "i'm supposed to come to australia for some reason." god, i know, if i get into one more discussion of "why am i here?" you're going to throttle me, but i guess i just want to say that i still believe that. i've been here six months, and they were exhausting. i think it was just a lot of me being pushed out of my comfort zone. working at jobs i knew i was better than, meeting so many new people all the time, being foreign and feeling sometimes alien, and just having no routine. i realize now, i exist so much better in a routine.

appropriate, though, that i took up bikram yoga in my six months of having no comfort zone. though it turned on me yesterday. i took a 9:30am class, because, well, i can. i knew i didn't drink enough water before the class, but i figured i'd get by and drink water during the class. it was with one of the instructors i really like (he remembers my name and points out when i do a good job; my ego soars) so i guess i was really keen on a good class. until about halfway through when, despite frequent water breaks, i was feeling intensely dehydrated, dizzy and faint. i started sitting out of more and more postures--or more, laying out, collapsed on my towel, gasping and staring up at the ceiling trying not to panic. the instructor even came over to ask if i was okay--yes, because he's in love with me. or because i looked like hell.

the ultimate goal of these classes is to not leave the room, and finally, i had to break this rule for the first time and run out. but i didn't stop there. i ran to the bathroom and just barely made it to the toilet before throwing up so much i thought my intestines were going to snake out. i'm sure the class heard me.

so i guess the instructor isn't in love with me anymore, though he did check on me again while i was sitting out in the lobby, and then we chit-chatted about it after the class. he said, "oh well, just let it go." and the point of this story is not to talk about the bikram yoga instructor who fell in love with his sweaty, nauseous student who refuses to do the class topless like all the other boys, but that last sentiment. it was all kind of symbolic really. it was six months to the day since i arrived in australia and had that first feeling of intense groundlessness, and i spent so much time trying to figure out how to deal with that feeling, and more so, make it go away.

finally, i learned to just let it go.

another symbolic end to my end in oz was finally finishing "six feet under." michael and i have been watching it since october, and due to a few breaks here and there, finally got to the end this weekend. two of his friends have also been watching and got to the same point, so we all got together for the finale, which i knew to be infamously devastating.

well, let's just say...holy shit. it was just the emotional gut-punch i needed. since i was with people, i tried to hold it together, but i kept having to walk around and lose it when no one was looking. it wasn't just a cheap "grey's anatomy" cry. i couldn't get over it. i watched it again the next day and of course, lost my shit again. i think, of course, most of that has to do with the sheer brilliance of the show, and everyone i know who's seen the last five minutes has walked away with their heart in their hands, but i think what really moved me, particularly the second time i watched it, was this feeling that everything goes on and everything ends.

and i was thinking, "what if i stayed? what would happen next, how would life progress? or what if i never left new york?" it just came down to the fact that life would go on either way. it could get better, it could get worse. i could stay here and my fantasy life would suddenly appear. i could go back to new york and feel an entirely new sense of groundlessness and exhaustion. but either way, life's just going to keep going on.

and you only live once, so don't fuck it up.

so in my final days here in australia, it's not about leaving something difficult or returning to something better. it's just a matter of, "this is all i've got to work with." and i might as well do it my way. it's going to work out however it's supposed to. and i've got to just accept that.

and just let it go.

Friday, January 23, 2009

we'll find a cathedral city

i have a little over three weeks left to go before i fly north, and i've officially started my hunt for a home in new york city. it's something everyone should do once: try to find a decent, affordable place to live in new york. sort through all of the offers to sleep in the living room, or worse, in the same bed. dodge other-shoes-dropping like "railroad apartment," "no window," and "i hope you like cats." often, the craigslist post from your potential roommate will tip you off if this is someone who might end up eating all your food, smoking crack in the living room, or walking in on you in the shower a few too many times to get away with calling it an "accident." you start to get an ear for it.

i suppose this is universal. while i had extraordinary luck in finding a place in melbourne (and a flatmate i would marry), i think we've all experienced at least once the terror of realizing how many headcases are looking for someone to sleep in their spare bedroom.

but i think anyone who's done the apartment hunt in new york can agree that the sheer volume of people, and the general level of insanity present in the city, yields a higher rate of fearing for your life while getting a tour of the place.

to say nothing of the job hunt. while the process of getting employment in melbourne was "let's throw shit on the wall and see what sticks," the process of getting employment in new york is like "let's throw shit in the fan and see what doesn't come back to hit me in the face." i have started tugging at the connections i have in the city, but i haven't quite leapt into the hunt yet. maybe it's denial, but i keep expecting, perhaps after all the bullshit in finding a job here, that i'll get back to new york and ease right into something in the first week. i'd like to think life will reward me at some point for my troubles.

obviously, i am looking ahead and always keeping at least one eye on post-february 15th life, but mostly because i'm not doing a hell of a lot here. and that's kind of by choice. i could have kept working a few more weeks. i could be out absorbing everything there is to absorb in melbourne, so i can toddle home overstuffed with stories and pictures and experiences.

but for once, i want to be allowed to do absolutely nothing. i'd like to think that's a genuine feeling, and not just laziness or some sort of strange depression about being so groundless and purposeless setting in. essentially, i think i'm relaxing, but the more i think about it, the more i worry that i'm not relaxing. and i think it's quite obvious the snake begins to devour its tail here.

i go to the gym and go to yoga and go to the beach and read and i think i will be writing more, i'm getting my inspiration back. i finished "prozac nation" and found it entirely depressing. i'm going away for the weekend, where i have no intention of doing much of anything other than more reading, sitting on the beach, and not having a single responsibility.

i miss having a life though. i know australia will go down as this experience i didn't appreciate as much as i should have at the time, but to be honest, i don't even think i care anymore. who's to say what i was supposed to do here? when people ask me now why i came to australia, i laugh and say, "oh, i don't know!" and that's that.

you can get caught up in owing people a good story about your life. that dinner party panic of "what will i talk about with strangers?" the truth of the matter is that if you just told people, "i just hung out," they'd accept it. they'd still be a little jealous, because i think we all wonder what it's like to have no accountability in the day to day workings of life. so long as i pay my rent and don't push anyone in front of a bus, i'm basically free to roam. to go from a life in new york where thousands and thousands of dollars in advertising money relied on me getting my shit together every day, to a life where i could lay on my bedroom floor all day and not make a huge dent in the world, is a lucky opportunity really.

but i miss being relied on, to be honest. it's all fine and good to lay on your bedroom floor all day, except it gets incredibly boring. maybe that's my bigger concern. not that i'm not relaxing, but that i'm getting bored of relaxing. you get hungry for a little bit of stress. the only thing i need to do today is go to yoga at 7:45. or maybe 6. that's the big decision i need to make. i should also probably go to the supermarket and do some laundry. i ought to finally get back to work on my play. but it's a quarter to noon on a friday right now, and if instead i thought, "nah, i'm going to youtube movie trailers for three hours and then order chinese food," that would be okay too.

new york would hardly recognize me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

and panel by panel and piece by piece this all fits together but its not what you think

where have i been?

no "new years resolution" post? no reflection on where i was a year ago, as 2007, a year that was the rockiest of roads, finally came to a close? no thoughts on how 2008 had panned out, how it peaked mid-year like a heartbeat after something of an across-the-board flatlining (how wonderfully melodramatic! i'll explain why in a moment) before what was unfortunately a total heart attack in the second half of the year? (really? yeah, maybe a little bit) no thoughts on what 2009 could bring? (because it's gonna be a really interesting year, i can tell you that)

i guess not.

well, to sum it up, i was in new york last year thinking, "i don't know how much more of this i can bear," but with nowhere to go, i just threw myself into my vices and managed to distract myself a little bit longer. this year, i was in australia thinking, "i don't know how much more of this i can bear," and secretly, i knew that in fact i was going somewhere else soon. as for those vices...well, other than a couple civilized glasses of champagne, they were nowhere to be found.

okay, maybe that's not fair to australia. let me cut to the chase, and then explain: i'm leaving. it's official. and as i had flirted with originally, i'll be leaving on february 15th. (i'm very particular about dates.) i know maybe this should be announced with a bit more fanfare, but the fact of the matter is, i'm torn on how i should act about it. to set the record straight, this is not because i can't bear to be in australia anymore. it's the opposite. i want to be back in new york. six of one, half a dozen of the other? not so much.

there's a certain guilt, there's always been a certain guilt, about volleying between australia and new york. when i was leaving last year, i was excited to come over and reconnect with old friends, make new ones, experience a whole other version of my own life, etc. and so forth. but by choosing australia, i was not choosing to stay in new york, to stay with the friends i'd made, the life i'd created, the possibilities of my future there at that time. the day i told my boss i was quitting, i remembered recently, was the same day she was broaching the topic of "where do you want to go from here?" and what my next steps would be in the company. our conversation essentially went like this:

"where do you want to go from here?"
"i'm leaving."

and we've been through it all before, the scores of fantastic people i had to say goodbye to, the way the glue in my life had finally dried and everything had really, truly, come together, all the romance of july. going to australia went from the easiest rabbit hole to slip down to a sort of obstacle course to the other side.

so leaving australia means i'm choosing new york again. and i'll admit, i'm entirely excited about going back. going home. i've missed new york since the day i got here, which is like a dirty little secret, i know, but i think you can miss one thing and still experience another fully. but it's hard to be so outwardly excited here, when it feels like you're dumping everyone and saying, "it's not you, it's me. and it's a little bit you. but it's mostly me with you."

anyway, i'm trying to lighten up a little, because i know things can get heavy sometimes on this blog (i have been told directly, this is not just me judging me), but that's been slightly hampered by my latest endeavor in reading, elizabeth wurtzel's "prozac nation," a memoir about, as she puts it, being "young and depressed in america." it's basically like the beginning of "eat, pray, love," where liz gilbert loses her shit over and over and can not pull it together no matter what she does or who she fucks, except, so far, halfway through the book, there is no petition, no food fest in italy, yoga in india, or may-december canoodling with a hot brazilian sugar daddy in bali. the book literally starts with her crying on the bathroom floor, but unlike liz gilbert, she never gets up.

now, those who know me, or even read this blog every once in a while (even just skimming the paragraphs for anything interesting to jump in on) know that i love crying on the bathroom floor, crying in the supermarket, crying on public transportation, crying just about anywhere. not me literally--i can't cry in front of people--but i love reading about it, watching it in a movie, hearing a story about it. i take heart that oscar-nominee julianne moore (the nom gives her street cred, y'know?), in an interview about a classic "women losing their shit" movie, "the hours," said something along the lines of, "i hate having to cry in movies. but i'll run to a movie with women crying in it." amen, jules.

but lizzy wurtzel needs to get her shit together.

i am only halfway through, but this is already the singlemost melodramatic book i have ever read. she doesn't just cry in this book; she wails, sobs, bawls, heaves on the floor in great, aching distress. her sobs can crescendo into screams; in one key scene, a fight with her mother descends into something that would put greek tragedy to shame for not reaching the trenches of despair that these two women hit. the book is crying scene after crying scene, often accompanied by cheap booze, hard drugs, and terrible decisions made the night before, but really, anything can make this girl cry.

it amazes me that anyone would call "eat, pray, love" self-indulgent. liz gilbert may spend night after night crying on the bathroom floor, but she manages to step back and say, "okay, i know, i'm totally losing my shit, it's kind of bananas, but bear with me, okay?" she has a sense of humor about it all. once again, i think she and i are the same woman, because we both have a habit of romanticizing the past, even if it was pretty terrible.

but ms. wurtzel is a mess, and if elizabeth gilbert and i had a tree house, we would not let her in.

the point of all this, other than that i just wanted to talk about "prozac nation" for a while, and will probably continue to do so in future posts, is that i'm making efforts these days to not be that mordant. in fact, that was my new year's resolution, in case you were wondering. it came to me only minutes before midnight, as i sipped champagne and thought, "yeesh, i can't believe i don't have a resolution. not even to lose weight!" i stopped trying to think of one, actually, gave in and thought, "ah, fuck it, i don't need a promise i won't keep." it slid into my mind quite gently, though, and i said, "well, okay, that i could do."

my resolution picked me.

"be happier."

i think going back to new york on february 15th is a big step towards that resolution. i think australia revealed to me to a lot of ways in which i'm not happier, in which i don't pursue my happiness more. of course, these revelations, in and of themselves, were somewhat unhappy, but totally invaluable. michael said recently, "i haven't been keeping up with your blog. it's just been all 'i don't like melbourne' lately." and i thought, "yeesh, maybe, yeah."

well, let it be known, i don't hate melbourne. i just fucking love new york. and when you know you've got true love, you don't let 10,000 measly miles stand in your way of being together. you do what you have to do to be happy.

to be happier.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

but you're still the one pool where i'd happily drown

i think maybe a year ago, if i'd found this song, it would have hit every nerve on my body. yet i'm glad i didn't find it until i'd fallen in love with new york and then left it to have an affair with australia.

and i love the title. "new york i love you but you're bringing me down," by lcd soundsystem. don't worry, jay, this isn't another music post, i know how you love to skip them, but i am entirely in love with this song, and the handful of "video tours around midtown" clips on youtube that accompany it, like this one:

it reminds me of the truth, that yes, of course, i do love new york, but like any good marriage, there are days where i don't know how we ended up together. it's not a good relationship if you wonder, "how did we ever become so unhappy in each other's company?" but it's something more entirely to know that, even if you are questioning the entire sociopolitical practice of monogamy, you're in this one together. i think that's what new york and i have together.

i miss the old girl, even if i've never been fond of her times square tourism, or the wet garbage on the subway tracks (why should i care? except that i have to stare at it when waiting for a c train to finally come), or the teeming douchebaggery of the meatpacking district or bleecker st on a friday night. it is what it is, because there's always cedar hill, unlimited mimosas at brunch, the ray's pizza on 8th, and a new issue of "time out" in the mail every wednesday. we have fights, but we never go to bed angry.

back in august, i questioned leaving my good marriage with new york for the one who that wouldn't go away, australia. and as i've started talking about coming back, hopscotching around ideas like, "why did i come to australia?" or "should i have just stayed in new york?" the resounding response from an assortment of supportive friends has been the same, essentially: i came here to find out what could happen.

for the record, despite the life crises that have met me along the way--and maybe this is a speech i should be saving for some post at the end of this chronicle, but it's christmas and it's a time to be grateful--i absolutely had to come to australia. i'm writing this play right now--would i have done this if i stayed in new york? maybe not--and there's this resounding theme of just "sitting with it." i found a lot of ways to avoid my pain in new york, and then i figured out a plan to flush out my pain. but i always had somewhere to go, something to do, some way to tend to whatever wounds.

in australia, with little to no work to distract me, not a whole lot of people to run off with, and a lot less noise to block out the silence, i finally learned how to just sit with everything. to sit in my life and do absolutely nothing about it but let it be.

in australia, i stopped running.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

how can i catch up when i don't want to?

in lorrie moore's brilliant collection, "birds of america", a series of stories all about people whose lives have somehow veered off the road, she's got a story called "real estate," about a woman who, regarding the mess she's in, recognizes somehow how funny it is too. maybe i'm not remembering it correctly, i don't have the book with me and can't quote it words for word, except that for the next two and a half pages, she can't help but just laugh. i mean "ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!" over and over, until it looks less like lines of a story and more a brick wall of hysteria. maybe that's the point.

i certainly get it.

now i think i've indulged myself enough in past posts with the dire dramatics, so we're gonna try to not hunker down and sniffle and cry about this. maybe it's the yoga, but i'm not that fussed anymore. you see, for the past few weeks, i was banking on a job that, by all intents and purposes, was perfect. and i had, it seemed, a really good chance of getting it. i put all my energy towards the belief that i could get it, that it was coming my way, that the job was, essentially, mine. these would be the tried and supposedly true tricks of some of those self-help books, once they get around to ideas like "the power of positive thinking" or "the law of attraction." yes, i sort of believe in all that stuff, because it doesn't hurt not to.

i also recently read this book called "the wishing year," only because it vaguely resembled "eat, pray, love." it was, ostensibly, nonfiction chick lit, but that hasn't stopped me in the past. the short of it is this woman decides to turn to wishing and, to whatever extent, greater forces outside of herself, to draw things into her life that had, in the last few years, fallen away or never appeared, for one reason or another. for the most part, i just liked the idea of this working, i liked the possibility of it. i can't entirely shake my skepticism, but "the artist's way" had some basis in these ideas as well, so i had some experience in giving it a go anyway.

lest we forget my petition, which was answered, so i also have some experience in it working.

anyway, one of the points the author made, which sticks with me particularly now as, much of what i, let's say, "wished for," has not really come true, is that when our wishes are not granted, it is often illuminating of what we really want in life. apparently, i didn't really want this job. i hardly wanted to believe that. of course i wanted this job! i wanted the money, so i could take classes and see theatre and travel and...and...

well, so i could stay. so i could make australia "work." (put in quotes because who knows what the hell that means.)

i'd also decided that if i did not get this job, then it was a sign. i do fully believe in getting signs. maybe i'm less of a skeptic than i claim. maybe i just don't want to sound like a total kook. before you know it, i'm running away with a rogue group of crystal therapy practitioners i met at the "mind, body, spirit" festival, to play the triangle in their new age jam band, "amethyst dawn."

i guess i consider these signs to be something of a comfort. no one wants to feel totally untethered in life. that seems to be a great appeal of religion. i totally get that. it's nice to feel like someone's got the map, even if you don't.

i didn't want to show my cards too early about this, because you never know when the universe is going to throw you a bone, and i suppose there are still a few employment leads out there, but the point is, i've thrown in the towel when it comes to actively pursuing a job any better than sumo salad. if some of these other opportunities come through, fantastic. i'll gladly take them. but not for classes, not for traveling, not for much else other than saving.

my heart's not here. it hasn't been for a while. the truth of it is, it really is funny how little has gone according to plan. then again, i never had a plan. i never wanted a plan. i just wanted to figure it out as i go. i think i needed to have that untethered feeling for a while. i remember saying the very first day i got here, "no one's looking for me here. no one has any expectations. i could do anything i want." that freaked me out, and the next few months i spent learning how to live with so few borders.

so that decision i mentioned in the last post is put on slight hold till i find out what's happening with these other opportunities, but if nothing comes of them, i'm buying a plane ticket home. it means i'd be back in the states sometime in early february. this gives ivy (flatmate of dreams) a chance to find a replacement, and me a chance to do a few last things there. it gives me a chance to make peace, much in the way that i did before coming here, so i return home with as little baggage as possible.

it gives me a chance to say goodbye.

so it'll be interesting to see where we go from here. i could come back in a few days with great news, and hopes of returning to new york with a sizable financial shield against the awful job market, or i could come back with a return date and dusted hands.

i'd sigh myself to sleep if it wasn't so fucking funny...