After New York

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 / 2:12 PM

I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to talk about. 

It's December and this scene is familiar: We're sitting across from each other, recapping the year that was and talking about what possibly could come. We've been here before, there's a break of silence every other sentence – not the kind of silence we used to be comfortable with, but these large canyons of dead air that are more present than ever.

From the outside, it looks like we're two people who've simply run out of things to say.

It isn't that I'm desperate for change. In fact, there were more days in 2018 where I wished for a 'pause' button, if only to collect my thoughts.

But here's the thing I think we sometimes forget: People don't outgrow each other. They just grow at different rates, on different paths, toward different futures.

In 2016, I put Richard Linklater's Before trilogy on my "Things You Said You'd Watch But Haven't Yet" list, but only sat down to watch the films a week ago – and there is something so gripping about the pain of what aging does to a relationship. Who hasn't had a drawn-out conversation about life the way Jesse and Celine have while wandering around Vienna? Who hasn't looked back on what could've been had one event gone differently than it did? Who hasn't had to learn about love – whether it be romantic or familial or platonic – the hard way?

It was after marathoning the films that I realized what I've always known, but that had bothered me these past few weeks: I don't want to have movie 1 conversations at a movie 3 age.

And that's what that dinner was: an attempt to pick something up again that's changed so drastically the last decade – only, we've been avoiding how it's changed.

I've been so anxious the last month trying to blog again, but I always stopped myself from diving in because I wasn't sure who I was writing for or why (even though the answer has always been that this blog is for me and no other purpose). When I opened up a now-inactive blog archive last night, I was flooded with reflections of a different person – a younger and more immature one, to be honest; one who wrote pretty much whatever she was thinking or whatever she experienced the next morning – and it felt jarring to be frozen in time in such a way.

As much as I didn't sit with this before, I think that death has fucked me up a lot. And it feels selfish to think, but saying such permanent goodbyes in the last 4 years pushed my brain into thinking my broken heart was the cause of why I felt so lost.

But willingly exchanging pieces of ourselves with the people we build connections with is an important part of life, and just because those people are gone, it doesn't mean we ourselves are too. It doesn't mean we've become stunted at the age and place where we said goodbye, and it doesn't mean that that feeling of being trapped needs to extend into every other corner of our lives too.

We can grow. We will. And the people and the places and the memories we loved will still exist, even if the immediate circumstances have changed.

I don't love the DC living room or Brooklyn bar or California sidewalks, and the people in it, less either – just differently. 

And that's OK.

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