I left his apartment and it was still drizzling. I looked for a cab, slightly annoyed but determined. Me, the perpetual commuter, always en route: new destination, home base, spontaneous adventure, dutiful visits, home base, next destination, etc.
Spring is playing hard to catch and I’m just sick of it. I march on everyday stubbornly in my colorful palate of spring skirts, jackets and accessories in rebellion of the gloom, rain and cold hoping to seduce the sun. The same time last year, flowers were in full bloom and outdoor patios for bars and restaurants were buzzing with life and excitement for even warmer months ahead. I’m not sure who to blame for this year’s lack of re-birth. The recent tsunamis? The patterns of global earthquakes? Has our atmosphere abandoned celebration of the changing seasons? This concerns me but I am not shaken. I am working on trying not to place blame.
I get into the cab and order them to my neighborhood over the 59th Street Bridge. On little sleep but, satisfied after a long night of fun and conversation, I decided to take this cab ride as a mental prep for the day ahead of me. Another mundane day in this life which has become stagnant but, this day just as any day, could be the beginning of the rest of it all. We cross Times Square and I wince at the thought of rushing back here for my morning meeting in less than two hours. The deli workers and breakfast shops are well into their day, moving effortlessly through the early morning mist. A little Jewish boy adorned with yamaka and all, was blowing bubbles at an intersection. (He might have belonged to one of the deli workers.) After each large bubble he blew he screamed, “GOODBYE, I LOVE YOU!” And repeated this happily. He too, understood transcendence at this early age.
We drive past Will Ryman’s larger than life flower sculptures scattered across Park Avenue uptown and this electrifies me inside. The size and ardor of Ryman’s roses rising into the city fog halted me for a minute and suspended me in my dreamlike state as I was transported between my present and my future in a New York City cab. I tried to roll down the windows and snap a picture but the lights changed and I wished it goodbye and thought, I love you. I intend to visit these roses again.
Melting back into my thoughts I felt the churning again. For a long time now, I’ve felt a deep, powerful churning within the pit of my stomach that radiated outwards to my bones until my entire body was trembling and begging for metamorphosis. The process continues and the evolution will be steady and paced, I’m sure, but inevitable. This yearning has manifested itself upwards towards my thoughts and outwards in my speech until every action and opinion of mine projected large dosages of transformation unto the world around me; changing my perspectives on routine, hobbies, people, diet, destinations, ideas. A steel rose blossoming from a concrete garden; my world is changing.
I had a nightmare the night before. I was among my best girlfriends and all of a sudden, as I stood a dumbfounded bystander, a massive assault ensued as each one wielded a weapon and preyed on the next. The victim would die and to my bewilderment, before I could digest the trauma they came back to life and continued to pursue whoever was still standing. Now if you ask them they might find this hysterical coming from my mind that they know so well but, of course to outsiders this insinuates a twisted, violent subconscious at bay. In my defense, after reflecting on it consciously, I realized the randomness of the massacre was formed by my mind trying to grab at anything it could to interpret what lay heavy on my shoulders each day behind layers of distraction: impending change.
At this point in our lives, our days were ripe with engagements, weddings, pregnancies and new families. Massive changes were taking place in our midst and as intertwined as our lives were, one friend’s life change affected each of us and we were all moving forward en masse, closing chapters of our friendship behind us and letting us each grow into the next chapter, together. Hence the systematic “killing” of each other and the people we once were, to the reincarnation of each and their newfound paths. This, coupled with my deep sense of unrest confirmed my readiness to tear down all that I knew and rebuild from ashes. Successful change results from sacrificing ways of life you have always known. As a Scorpio and a master of adaptation, I was ready for the challenge. Rise, Phoenix, rise.
After these recent years spent living for reaction, living for someone, living to fall into something whether it be love, wealth, happiness or stardom, I’ve realized with sadness (but empowerment) that these were years lost and along with the years were all the identities I had assumed until now. I am no longer an undergrad, a dancer, a sorority sister, a girlfriend or whatever else I once proclaimed so confidently. But I recognize this as the perfect opportunity for me to shed the shells of these images like old scabs and be reborn in an amplified form of myself. (Recognition is an understated and powerful weapon in life.) For this, I am very excited. Massive, determined action executed with conviction will surely propel me forward. I’ll take any path as long as it’s a new path and I will carry my vulnerabilities within me.
How will I keep composure with my weaknesses embraced, you wonder? I will examine myself closely; physically and psychologically. I will know all of my strengths and shortcomings. I will admit them to the world and be free of judgment and vanity. And if I should waver, I will pray: Dear Lord I pray, these three things you’ll take away, my envy, doubt and fear so I may gain peace and insight here, in the darkness and underwater, to think freely, breathe deeply, walk slowly, live surely again. Amen. Like a house, I will build first then fill the rooms. With the right pieces adorning the insides and outsides, hopefully I will attract the right energies and people who will admire it. If I ask I shall receive, and if I believe my dreams will be conceived.
Looking back, in the darker times of my 26 years, I desperately searched for light, no matter how dull or small the beams were. It wasn’t until I learned (rather recently) that in those times I was the light, filled with light, made of light that I was delivered from my fear and doubt. Life begins again slowly, blossoms surely and everything everywhere now is brand new once more. I got out of the cab and walked up to my apartment. I still need to confirm my 9:15 meeting on this wretched work day. I will lead with my best pedicured foot forward and march towards my deliverance in my finest metallic italian leather stilettos.
- The Roses on Park Avenue by Will Ryman (laughingsquid.com)
- Park Avenue Flowers (homedesign.marthastewart.com)
- explaining ‘Brave to Be’ (callendrellist.wordpress.com)