Tuesday, January 12, 2016

sydney to NYC//turtle

last year at this time was one of the most stressful, scary, sad, and... exciting times in my life.  jan 9th the movers came; jan 10-11th were the going away parties for roxie and i; the 12-14th were finish EVERYthing up days; and jan 15 matt boarded a plane with roxie and i to fly to LA. i took a few days in LA to decompress and see besties there (holla, laurel/LYDIA!). and then, on jan 20th, roxie and i flew to NYC and met anthony's welcoming arms.

two weeks ago my dean at the school of public health asked me if i thought i made the right decision in accepting the job here in NYC.  i didn't really think too much about it when he asked; i just replied with how happy i was working for him, which is true.  but that transition has been hellish at times.  and i definitely didn't take the decision-making process lightly.  one year on, i can hardly believe that i'm here, on the other side of the transition.

the main thing i know is that i definitely have two homes.  i still feel at home in sydney, even though i'm not there.  i feel at home here, and laugh at myself when i think about how scared i was of NYC.  but i don't feel so much like i have one foot on each continent any more.  i feel settled here.  i feel like i know the groove of work, the yoga peeps, how to navigate the commutes (except when i trip and fall on my face), and where to go for the best bagels or brunch.  it's comforting to know i can be at my parents' house after only a few short hours on amtrak; it's heartwarming to know i've already spent time with my new nephew three times since his birth less than 10 months ago.

as someone who has spent her entire childhood moving, i know what it's like to have to pack up.  feeling at home in a certain community or city is something that is less familiar to me.  sydney was the first place i really remember feeling that, and i think it's kind of like letting go of a first love to admit that i feel at home here now.  it took me about six years to fully let go of my first love, and that relationship was less than a year.  so i don't expect to be able to let go of the heartbreak of loving another city just yet.

last night adi asked me why i was so upset about a fight with a friend.  i thought for a moment, and came up with two reasons: i don't like giving up on people; and i've spent my life losing friends--i'm not interested in losing more.  i was kind of shocked when i heard myself say it, but i know it's true.  i've left behind more best friends than most people have in their entire lives.  writing hand-written letters as a child was hard to keep up with.  i would always do it for a few months and then eventually lose contact.  sure, online social networks have helped me reconnect with some, but it's not the same as having a continuous long-term friendship.

i know i'm also lucky; i can visit friends in most states and continents.  but i think this is also why leaving sydney was the hardest.  i had been there so long that i felt at home in the city and in my friendships.  i know that i haven't "lost" sydney, or the friendships there.  but they change. and this girl that was so used to moving away didn't want to have to be used to it anymore.

but after the last 8 years, i'm now used to something else: making my home through non-traditional methods.  my friends and family that i hold in my heart are there most often through Facebook, Instagram, Skype, email, texts, Twitter, FaceTime, Snapchat, Tumblr, WhatsApp, shared photo clouds, etc.

and so i'm home here now.  my virtual home surrounds me and all of my best friends live in my heart; regardless of their physical location.  just call me a turtle: i'm carrying it all with me, it all constantly swirls in and around me, and that is how i feel at home.

so to everyone who keeps asking how i feel here: home, i feel home.  if you're not here physically, i am excited to be in the same place as you soon.  if you are here, thank you for helping make this my home.

Friday, January 1, 2016

eating. sitting. being.

on a day when most of the western world recommits to being healthy by starting exercise programs, i chose the same goal, but by doing the opposite.  today i: ate food, sat still, and took a day off. 

doing that was really hard for me.  i had planned it over the past week: make sure i get in all the running and yoga i wanted to do in advance so i could start my year off with resting my body.  maybe that was cheating; maybe i should've committed to taking a day off no matter what.  cheating or not, it was still hard.

the reason it was hard was because it was breaking my routine--the same reason that starting an on-going exercise program is hard for a majority of people.

at brunch this morning i actually panicked about the day.  i said to PR: "um, can you plan my day for me?  what am i going to do if i don't have to spend the afternoon exercising?" he brainstormed for me, and i went home, rather unconfidently.  once home i panicked again and ended up talking to a long-distance bestie for a few hours. 

the call was an overdue catch-up that lasted until late afternoon.  once it was over i needed another meal, and it was almost dark.  i felt relieved in a way: this meant i wouldn't really need to try to invent more excuses for myself not to run.  and as i got up to feed myself and cat, i thought, "today hasn't been so terrible; in fact, i feel happy."

i don't like making resolutions--i like trying to live healthfully, heartfully, and happily.  if i made resolutions, one might include trying to live more like today.

--enter the point where i considered ending this blog post--

ok.  there's another confession.  there was something else i did in the past few days getting ready to take a day off.  this wasn't an intentional plan.  it was one that got subtly implanted by a friend and that the remnants of my eating disorder fed (ironically) quite rapidly.

i considered not writing about this; not even talking about it.  and that is a sure sign that i needed to post it. 

three nights ago a friend suggested we didn't need a whole dinner; we just needed a light snack.  two nights ago we kind of slipped into that pattern together again.  last night i chose to deepen the groove of the pattern by skipping dinner before going out to a NYE party. 

i told PR i was going to skip dinner, and he fought me, but i rationalized i had had a late brunch and didn't feel hungry. afterward i had a lovely night--i didn't feel anxious about calories, and i didn't feel anxious about the new year's day off.

and then in the middle of the night, at 5am, lying in bed, i thought "oh. my. god.  i skipped dinner three nights in a row.  that is not healthy behavior."

i'm not a meal skipper.  i've never been a meal skipper.  this morning i was horrified to realize how quickly this had felt normal.  i was also horrified to post about this; to have my parents potentially worry about me, to have my loved ones potentially worry about things they say to me over potential ramifications.

but i recognized it.  i stopped the pattern.  i told my closest friends about it for support.  i put it here. 

even deeply-ingrained patterns, eating disordered choices that have circled though my mind for years, can change. i know this.  i live this.  i choose this life. 

so whatever choice you want to make today, and the next day, and the next day, is possible.  it doesn't have to be a resolution.  it doesn't have to even be a promise or a commitment.  it's just a choice each time.  and a little faith in yourself for trusting that inner self to know which choice is the right one.