For months, my life has felt like a puzzle that's been dumped into a blender and switched on without the top so all the pieces fly up in a whirling frenzy and splatter on the ceiling. Some land on the floor, others fly out the open window, and some just disintegrate into ash. Now that I'm settled in one place after ten months of moving constantly, I've spent the past few weeks trying to gather everything into one place. All the cardboard pieces are finally in one room, but I still don't have any idea how to put everything together so it forms a coherent picture.
The Year I Formed All The Good Habits Only To Systematically Dismantle Them
You know what you're not doing when you're living in a hotel and waiting for your dad to die? You're not drinking a lot of green juice. You're not going for a run every day. You're sucking up McDonald's, because it's the only place that's open and you know what tastes good bathed in the fluorescent lighting of the intensive care unit? French fries and coke.
Moving to Costa Rica for a month last summer put a few dents in my smug little routines. Moving to Amsterdam for a month poked more holes. By the time my father had his accident and the hurricane hit Staten Island while my mother was heading into the hospital to have a needle stuck in her brain, things started to unravel. If you've ever talked on the phone with your dad when he made no sense and then called your mom to find out that she wasn't making any sense either, especially if you do this while you're waiting in line to volunteer after a rather intense weather situation that caused actual death only a few miles away from you, you might be tempted to abandon a few well-intentioned life choices. Because you know what tastes good with hurricanes and hospitals? Vodka.
Now I'm trying to claw my way back to a stable life and stable routines and caring for myself in a way that makes me a good human being instead of a sugar-fueled werewolf. And all the stuff that couldn't catch me as I moved between countries and states and cities has finally landed on my head with an audible whoomph. Making salted caramel ice cream and white wine once again sound like a really good idea.
I'm trying to rewrite my story so my life begins to take the shape I want, rather than ricocheting off randomly erected barriers. There is a lot of possibility in that. But it's also tough - it requires battling the demons of depression and isolation and the sweet siren call of a warm chocolate chip cookie. It's a crash course in being kind to myself as I stagger around on wobbly little colt legs, learning what my life looks like now.