Back in March, I decided I needed to take a vacation.
I was excited to leave, but as the time drew closer, I couldn't combat the mounting dread in my system for this trip. Leaving just felt like the wrong thing to do. I chocked it up to travel anxiety, and have officially been in New York almost two weeks.
The thing I'm realizing, is that I don't think it was just travel anxiety.
Before I left, everyone kept telling me: have a blast! You're going to have a great time! Don't come back here, stay there! Get a different job! Go have fun!
Thinking about everyone's expectations of my trip has been exhausting.
Since I've been gone, the following things have happened:
- I've been in a coma not once, but TWICE. Caused by my different eating habits, and messing with the dosage of my long acting insulin incorrectly.
- I almost broke my ankle falling down the subway steps at Canal street. I'm still in a bit of pain, but it's not broken. (Thankfully.)
- I should have budgeted about $300 more for this trip than I did. I'm trying not to be down on myself about spending money, but I hate not being at work sometimes.
- My bird died.
I can't help but think I wished this on myself. I hoped before I left that I wouldn't become so vacation drunk that I would forget about what life is ~actually like in NYC. (Where "actually like" = super stressful and all about hustle 24/7.) The thing is, I'm just as taken with it as I was when I was a college student.
Maybe even moreso now, because a lot of my favorite things about Portland (namely artisanal coffee!) have made their way east. When I was in school, New York was practically barren with the cafés I'd grown so fond of back home. There were few places that I could go to get work done, and I memorized their locations, menus, and costs.
It's weird being here without purpose though, I will say. My friend Charlotte reminded me that my purpose was to take a break from work and recharge my batteries. She's right.
Trying to "have a blast" has been such an emotionally taxing experience. I can take a vacation from work, but I realized that I can't take a vacation from chronic illness or my plethora of anxieties. I can't help but feel like I'm being a burden on everyone I've been staying with, even though each of them has said that hasn't been the case at all; and even though I have plenty of money saved for this trip, I'm still having a category 9723894723894 freak out that I'm going to be totally broke when I get home.
I've been able to see a lot of the people who I've been totally missing while living in Portland, which has been a total blast, but I'm having premature FoMo anxiety. "What am I missing while I'm gone? What am I going to miss here when I leave?" It's paralyzing, and it's awful.
I keep sitting around, thinking things like: "AM I HAVING A BLAST YET? SHOULD I STAY AND NOT GO HOME? WHY AM I NOT HAVING THE BEST TIME EVER—THIS IS NEW YORK CITY! I PROBABLY WON'T COME BACK FOR ANOTHER ZILLION YEARS SO I'D BETTER ENJOY THINGS WHILE I'M HERE AND NOT THINK ABOUT GOING HOME EARLY, RIGHT? HOW ABOUT NOW, AM I HAVING A BLAST NOW?"
Trying to keep everything in perspective and not get stuck in a perpetual anxiety bubble has been EXTREMELY hard. Also being surrounded by things I know I'll never have is a total drag. (I'm looking at you, cute Greenwich Village brownstones...You too, Kalliste ankle oxfords!)
I've been rage-texting Hannah the entire time I've been here, and she's been a very gracious listener. Trying to figure out what I need to be doing, or what I feel like I need to be doing has been such a problem for me because recently I've been so busy and so bogged down with work that I have completely had my blinders on. I can't wrap my head around doing nothing for nothing's sake for awhile. Or just not having a plan, and being ok with it.
Maybe I'll feel like I've blasted off before my adventure's over, but who knows. My hope at least, is that I'll be ok with things either way— and maybe that my ankle doesn't hurt anymore. That's another thing I'd be really happy about.
I'd like to return to Portland with a little more perspective on my life, and a rejuvenated energy for work. I really needed a little break, and this has been super great in that respect. Maybe things will get better in the interim.
Hello from the road, hopefully your lives are going better than mine right now!
PS...here's another photo diary entry of my escapades: