It has been a week and a half of learning and growing. First, visiting my family in DC, I learned that I can sail! -- or at least be on a small sailboat for an entire afternoon without throwing up. This is remarkable, friends. I retain vivid memories of that time we went "whale watching" one stormy New Hampshire morning and I lasted about twenty minutes on the open seas before I found myself exiled to the boat's inner sanctum. There, lying on my back on a narrow wooden bench, it was my responsibility to contemplate whether life was truly worth living as, over and over, sea water rose to fill the porthole and then recede. Fill, recede, fill, recede. Conclusion: Nyet.
Nothing transforms someone into a Medieval philosopher faster than nausea.
And see how far I've come? I got on the boat with little to no trepidation, even thinking of the delicious sandwiches my mother had prepared for our three-hour tour. It was only when, two hours from shore, we hit some sustained turbulence generated by tugboats, ferries, and mammoth freight carriers, that I realized I was no longer enjoying being me. At least the sun was shining.
Soon after I returned to New York, however, autumn burst out with all the subtlety and grace of Steve Carrell in the Office. Rain, wind; everything howled; degrees dripped away. That combined with a friend's promotion made me all quarter-lifey. Where was I going? What was I doing? What did I aim for? Aspire to be? How happy was I supposed to be? What was my plan? Ye gods, was I supposed to have a plan, other than to make enough money to afford a Netflix subscription and a pair of shoes every once in a while?
The funk lasted off and on for a bit. Several things however have contributed to the return of my joie de vivre:
- an UWS walking tour that including one of my the city's only gated communities, Paumander Walk, a one-block stretch of beautiful, tiny, Tudor houses complete with rose gardens and free roaming housecats
- the makeover episode of America's Next Top Model
- a sleepover in Washington Heights
- learning that Myla Goldberg and Michael Cunningham are both teaching in the MFA fiction program at Brooklyn College
- Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton, a badly titled movie that's nonetheless worth seeing, if you like dark, gritty, gripping sorts of things
- The prospect of Persepolis soon
- ETA: agreeing to look stupid on camera for the internets.