Tonight I felt something I haven’t felt in a while. It was tiny at first, almost going unnoticed, but gradually it got bigger and bigger. I could feel it in my chest, swelling, pulling down my breast bone and pushing my shoulders out, a concave shape radiating from my core.
It was a hole in my heart.
It’s not that there’s anything to complain about – in fact, quite the contrary as you can see here in this space. The city is hotter than Hades, but it’s not like humidity in the summer is something new to a Midwestern girl like me. Work is going well all things considered. I’m getting settled into grown-up apartment renting and 401K contributing life. And I have lunch at the MoMA sometimes. I go to Mets games and sorority happy hours after work. I eat fantastic food, I sit on rooftops and admire the skyline, and sometimes I even run a couple miles or do yoga in a beautiful park. And I may even – dare I say it? – be getting a handle on who I am these days and what I want to work on becoming.
Most excitingly, I’m developing relationships with people – really good relationships with truly exceptional people – and I’m finding myself a home with them. I’m getting to the point where my friends here don’t leave much to be desired. When you move to any new place, you break into the social scene by putting in a lot of work, making a lot of conversation about sports or shoes, and then calling your best friends at home to talk about your real feelings. It’s not fake, it’s not bad, it’s just the awkwardness of getting to know someone who is not already infinitely familiar with your soul. When you tell them you’re crazy, they don’t know what you mean. Are you always this happy-go-lucky? they ask. You have to tell them your parents had cancer. You haven’t told them yet that Dylan did. They’ve never seen you angry, or ecstatic, or naked in a lake. You’re getting there with them, and they’re getting there with you. And we are getting there, and I’m feeling blessed and lucky and content.
But this evening I couldn’t sleep, (Probably because it’s an oven in my bedroom) so I did what any normal human being does in a situation like this – I went on Facebook. I started clicking through pages to pass the time, and I stumbled onto some of my own favorite albums. Like Mascara on Prince It’s On, anyone? It’s the End of the World as We Know It? Even classics like creeper. I clicked through and laughed, because how can you not when you look at pictures of conga lines in your kitchen and your male friends swimming in sparkles, but I also felt a twinge of sadness. These are incredible people too. Incredible people who are doing amazing things with their lives – they’re exploring new cities, taking risks, working hard, falling in love, growing up, being happy – exactly where they’re supposed to be. Like you are. Just not in the same place.
So cheers to you, my friends. My family. My loves. May your lives be as epic and fantastic as mine has been lately, and may whatever you are doing, whoever you are doing it with, and wherever you are bring you great joy.
[I still miss you]
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
not fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) -e.e.cummings