You know you’re a writer when it feels like a homecoming.
Last night’s post felt boring and for the most part uneventful.
But it felt like home :)
This morning I write from a coffee shop in Greenpoint. A man misidentifies the playlist choice as Neil Diamond. I promptly correct him. ‘Making Love Out of Nothing at All’ is Air Supply and for a second I want to say I was there when Air Supply was there and it was amazing, but instead I keep typing. Then a song by Phil Collins comes on and after that, Scorpions’ Dust in the Wind.
Now it’s Hungry Eyes and I am complete.
I am also in between apartments. In between decisions. In between coasts, mentally at least. I have learned that at 41 it is possible to be somewhat untethered, but not a failure.
The untethering happened somehow by accident. A move from Chelsea to the UES exactly two years ago that resulted in — surprise! — a bug and rodent infested apartment building. My swift lawyering up and exodus. A subsequent series of sublets. Hi Chelsea, hi LES, hi Downtown Brooklyn, and then…hi Mom and Dad…wow.
Now, Hi Greenpoint…next month Hi Two Bridges … and then TBD.
More instability from a living standpoint in two years than in the last ten.
Unemployed? No. Never. Although I did leave a salaried position in management at a luxury gym one year ago to pursue my actor + writer career more fully. With zero savings for the leap I leapt and had a vision. I saw the vision! I wrote the vision, was ready to manifest that shit, read all the quotes, did all the things, believed, dreamed, felt it, went after it, took the actions I could afford to take and one year later, I can’t really say I’ve done anything in this last year that I couldn’t have done were I still a salaried employee at a luxury gym.
I am still glad I left. It had been almost four years as a manager. I am glad I left the same way I am glad I left my executive assistant position at BBC America after five years.
You are allowed to leave. You have your reasons. You don’t even have to know why you’re leaving or if what is coming will be better. It will be different. You can leave one thing and commit to something else. Maybe your soul craves change and that is enough to honor.
My presence in this world has gone through so many incarnations, and the way I feel best and most needed is still to be determined. Better title forthcoming. I am so shocked by the way things have changed through the social media explosion. If I was there for Air Supply, I was also there for the internet emerging while I was a college freshman, for flip phones and MySpace, Friendster and what is this EMAIL thing you want me to use to send you my paper?! To going on BlogTalk Radio and writing on Blogspot dot Com and why exactly are you putting your cats on this YouTube thing and what exactly is OTT because I was down with OPP and the rest becomes the rest.
I still work in the fitness industry as an instructor. My first class was 2009, so I am approaching a decade now (with breaks along the way to deal with an eating disorder and number of ankle and knee surgeries). The last four years teaching cycling, booty, barre and dance workouts have been pretty stellar. To anyone who knows me, manages me or takes my classes, the success I have in the room is irrefutable and I am very proud. I have put my body, heart and soul into this work without ever planning on having this work in the first place. Part of the magical mystery tour of life, I guess.
Have I leveraged this to a massive social or digital or promotional or commercial or influencer status presence? No, not really, nope. I teach twelve classes a week and do my thing on Instagram, knowing that my work is happening in the room to powerful and positive effect, and some people also enjoy what I share on social media. Dayenu.
So this is a nod, one I did not plan on writing, to my fellow teachers and humans who do excellent work in the world without necessarily having a huge Instagram following. You exist. You matter. You are special.
You are valuable!
The world has gotten very glossy again. I’m going way back here but in the 90s, we rejected the wall street-moneyed up-slicked back-madison avenue-early trump-fantasy culture of the 80s. We went grunge.
And a cold November Rain.
These days we really like things to be pretty. Does it all make us feel better, to be looking at pretty people and pretty things on apps? I’m not just asking because I don’t fit into that mold and never did. I am not asking because I remember the John Berger (author of “Ways of Seeing,” excellent book if you like to think about pop culture) quote that stuck, “The definition of glamour is happiness being envied.”
I am asking because I am curious. Is it because there is so much ugliness right now? Is the filtered beauty we are consuming helping us cope with decay? I know I need something to ease my soul after seeing a baby tear gassed by US troops, innocent migrants put in cages, voter suppression, massive gun violence, and a country that elects racists and white supremacists to high offices. I need something to ease my anger, emotion against he that will not be named, something to mollify or pacify or convert my hateful energy to hope. That one day hatred will dissipate and he who rose to become leader of the free world will be gone, poof. Orange haze.
Maybe we all just need to look away sometimes. To feel better.
“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.” ~Francis Bacon