It’s Monday. And it took me a solid hour and 45 minutes to get out of bed this morning. Somehow I actually managed to get out of the apartment not just on time — but a couple minutes early! Which is pretty damn exciting because I feel like I’m always lagging just a few minutes behind these days. By a few minutes I mean a solid 15/20, which in this damn city, can make all the difference.
So I get to the subway EARLY and the train comes almost immediately and I’m thinking HOLY SHIT IM ACTUALLY GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE OFFICE WITH TIME TO GET COFFEE! I get to the spot where I transfer trains and low and behold there is an indefinite delay due to a sick fucking passenger and there are no trains going into Manhattan.
I feel like this is a perfect metaphor for my life right now. I’m trying. I really am trying. And every time sometimes seems to be going well, the universe royally fucks me. WOE IS ME, I know.
So here I am, stuck in backpack-to-backpack foot traffic on the subway platform unable to get to work. Thank God I have Xanax with me because there are literally 800 people on this one platform. This “sick passenger” better be projectile vomiting on that damn train. God I am a horrible person for wishing ill on someone who obviously needs help. This is actual chaos. Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York” just came on my Spotify which is making me giggle. The woman behind me is muttering at the tourists who don’t understand. This is such a typical New York Monday. Just another manic Monday.
Okay update: a train just came to the station. I got on. I feel like this was not the best idea. We’re now being held at the station. Are you enjoying this? I hope you’re enjoying this because I’m about to get so frustrated that I’m going to start laughing. Thank god I wore comfortable shoes today.
I suppose since I’m stuck here and left my book at work (currently reading Middlemarch by George Eliot to attempt to balance out all of the chic lit I’ve been consuming lately) I shall keep going on here. Also may I just say I was standing basically on top of some poor man for like 5 minutes and then looked around and realized there was a ton of more space on the subway, so Sir, I apologize for engulfing you in a cloud of Le Labo’s Jazmin 17.
When I grow up I would like to make camembert on a farm in France. And grow grapes and turn them to wine on a vineyard in Tuscany. I also want to be a professional fish and chips eater in London and walk around with a fancy clear bubble umbrella. I wouldn’t mind being a scotch taster in Islay and live in a farmhouse that has a highland cow named Eilish. After that, I think I could spend some time in Finland or Norway in the winter taking care of the big fluffy dogs that pull dogsleds and admiring the Northern Lights. But I don’t want to ever clean up any poop. No dog poop for me. Then somewhere along the way, I think I’d like to get married to someone who looks and sounds like Richard Madden, preferably Richard Madden himself if possible. In a tiny church on Skye or on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean on the Amalfi Coast.
I could also be good at traveling to all of the cafes in Europe on the quest for the perfect Aperol Spritz. Or maybe I could be a painter and live in a cottage in the tulip fields of Holland.
I could move to Hollywood and become a glamorous actor, and have a rib or two removed trying to achieve the perfect hourglass figure (ouch). Or I could go to Montana to work on a ranch, which wouldn’t last for long because they’d soon figure out my fear of horses and snakes and spiders would make me quite unfit for the job. I could be a housewife in Ohio, but I’d get awfully bored and, well, no I could not be a housewife in Ohio.
I could travel to Bali and India like Julia Roberts and meditate for a year. Je pourrais appendre Francais et vais partout le pays.
I could board a train through the Russian countryside and pretend I’m a Tolstoy heroine. I could go to law school and become a barrister, or maybe run for office. I would like walking through the ivy-covered halls of a New England University, or exploring the medieval towers in a college in the countryside.
If I moved to a tiny thatched cottage on the Isle of Skye and worked at a pub or a bakery, would I go insane or would I love the solidarity and the change of scenery? I think a lot about moving to a smaller town. Let’s face it, I’m the only one holding myself back. Would I regret leaving New York? Or am I ready for the next chapter in my life? After all, New York isn’t going anywhere. It will always be here. It’s not like if I decide to leave, then I can never return.
Everything just seems like one big “What If?” right now. I want to do so many different things, but I don’t know where to start. I’m 26 and I only have one life to live. And as much as I wish I could do all of these things, I suppose I must accept that I can’t. So where do I start?
A couple years after mom was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroendocrine cancer, she told me that she’d like for her ashes to be spread in the New York harbor, while Siberian Breaks by MGMT played in the background. There’s a very specific part of the song she wanted them spread to.
I promised her, of course, if that is what you want then that is what we will do.
I can’t think of anything that is more my mother than that. I know that it’s her spirit that lives in me that makes me yearn to see the world, that gives me my wanderlust. A funny word, wanderlust.
There’s a photo of mom that I took last summer on the top of the William Vale hotel in Williamsburg. She’s looking out at the east river and Manhattan skyline as if it’s her kingdom. It was taken just a little less than a year before she died. I knew when I took the photo, that it would be a picture that I would love to look at when she is no longer here.
I started to type gone, but of course, those we love never truly leave us.
I still haven’t made it to work.
We each have two lives. The second begins when we realize we only have one.