Here is Where I Am

Here is where I am.

It’s a studio apartment on the Upper East Side with a big bed and an inflatable mattress on the floor and piles of boxes lining the wall. I can hear the neighbor’s television, and it makes me so self-conscious that I’m afraid to turn mine on.  The water pressure in the shower isn’t great, but the hot water seems to last forever as I stand under the stream and get caught up in my own brain. There is a cabinet full of mismatched dishes and a stove and two pans and a fridge with enough food to fill a single shelf, even though I continue to sustain myself solely on handfuls of carrots and spoonfulls of peanut butter. It’s two blocks from a grocery store and one block from a CVS and six blocks from the synagogue where I’ve worked all year. The wi-fi works most of the time. 

Here is where I am.

It's a highway somewhere between New York and DC and it is foggy enough that in the front row of this beat up Bolt bus I can only see a couple cars ahead. The outlets only work on the left side, and the boy sitting next to me is listening to Kanye on his phone. I've got the Wombats on—I always have the Wombats on. Every seat is taken, and when I look down the aisle I can see heads bobbing, people half asleep or fully asleep or wishing they could fall asleep. I’m idly scrolling through Facebook on my phone, staring at faces of people in the place that I’m leaving and the place that I’m headed to and all the places in between. It is 2:30 in the afternoon, but time is kind of meaningless on a six hour, middle of the day bus ride, except for in how slow it passes.

Here is where I am.

It’s a bedroom that feels like it hasn’t grown up in a dozen years, even though I feel like a completely different person than who I was the last time I inhabited it. The walls are two shades of purple and there is a magnetic strip on the wall holding up photographs and awards and notes written by people who were once friends and are now just a little more than strangers. There are boxes here too, ones I shipped from Manhattan, full to nearly bursting with t-shirts and books and hair ties and blankets. My life sealed up in cardboard, waiting to be unpacked.

Here is where I am.

Somewhere in between “Here is what I have done” and “Here is what I am going to do.” The middle of “Just started” and “Almost done.” That weird stage of transition. After point A and before point B. Twenty three and confused… kind of like every twenty three year old ever.

I’ve got this strange habit of looking at my life like it’s a story. A book with a set beginning and end and chapter breaks and a cast of characters that carries all the way through.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about those chapters lately. The end of one and the beginning of another. It feels so final. So concrete.

But here is the thing about a good story. A good story flows together. Bits and pieces carry over from chapter to chapter. Past experiences shape future ones. The chapter ending doesn’t mean the book is ending. The story still goes on.

Here is where I am.

Moving, still. Developing and growing. Trying harder to do the things I couldn’t do yesterday. Being a new me, a different me than the me I used to be. 

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