Tuesday, December 13, 2016

the Capitol

I know, I know, it's been over 4 months now since I have last written.   Most of you who have been following me know that I have a tendency to fall off the face of the earth when I go through any major changes, and so I totally forgive you for not sending out a rescue party, but for those who don't know that, all I have to say is...gee, thanks alot....just kidding (not really).  Truth be told, I have been procrastinating this post now for quite sometime.  Partly because life in NY has been super busy, partly because I have been a little uninspired, and mostly because I haven't really had the strength to allow myself to feel the sadness that surrounds me with life on land.  We are currently living in Queens with my parents, working away, desperately trying to save money so that we can continue this adventure.  

Before we had even left Grenada, I found the idea of NYC to be so incredibly enticing and I couldn't wait to get home and spend some quality time with my family, friends, and estranged lover, New York.  I couldn't wait to feel at home again, getting back to my "city-girl" roots, and being surrounded by culture once again.  I had longed for the fast paced, have-anything-you-could-ever-desire energy that  NY so plainly offers, that I forgotten just how much I had idealized it.  Upon arriving within the first few weeks did I realize that New York no longer represented all things familiar and homely, and for the first time, I feel so completely out of place.  This has been a difficult transition as I don't know if I have ever felt this way before about my beloved city... but the feeling is much like "a fish out of water" (pun intended)...

When I first arrived, all I could do was adamantly compare NYC to "the Capitol" in The Hunger Games.  I know, I know, it is not fair for me assume that the majority of our readers are 13 yr-old teenage girls (although I do secretly wish to be an inspirational figurehead for all post-pubescent teens out there), and so I'll go into detail a bit here as to what literary reference I'm making.  In the book/movie, the Capitol (according to wikipedia) is a "technogically advanced, utopian city where the nation's most wealthy and powerful live....[it is] known for its fashion and food....and [residents] are extremely shallow, always looking for ways to be noticed...In order to have a good time at a party and eat as much as they want, Capitol residents drink a liquid that causes them to vomit, thus providing enough room in their stomachs for more food.  [They] seem oblivious to the fact that many of the residents are starving..." Though this may be an extremist point of view about this city, I can't tell you how often this rang true when I first started to regain my land legs.  I would go out and try to enjoy myself after a long week of working doubles bartending, and all I would think was, man, this is so indulgent.....look at those girls decked out in Chanel, rocking killer heels, drinking $15 cosmos, and eating foie gras melted over Waygu steak tartare.  Sounds glamorous,  right? Until you realize that a night out on the town equals one week out on the ocean, a pair of Chanel boots equals a couple months out, and damn, look at all the homeless people sprawled about the city.  While the elite get caught up with who the coolest designer currently is, where the next "in" rooftop bar is going to be, and what drug to snort to help lose weight, the rest of us are trudging through life, packed like sardines into the subway, living life like its some sad Groundhog Day, making ends meet so that we could live the same godforsaken day over and over again.  I know, I'm sounding a little dark, but this epiphany has never rung so true.  

Initially, I had every intention of documenting these feelings and getting it on paper so that there would be some tangibility to all I was feeling and all I had realized, but alas, we must realize that we are humans, and as humans, we are highly adaptable.  All things that initially seem so foreign and strange, slowly wiggles its way into your life until it starts to feel commonplace.  The life that you once saw as absurd, starts to feel a little more normal, and the life you dream of becomes just that....a flitting dream.  I can't tell you how many times I have cried and reminisced over the mere thought of a night watch with Moitessier gliding through the water, with the warm salt air caressing my skin.....all the while sipping on my $15 Cosmo in some fancy new, hip place.  Whereas the idea of sleeping in a rocking boat on anchor in the middle of nowhere was once so normal and mundane now seems so incredibly far away.   I can't tell you how often my heart aches for that.  I can't even imagine what it's like to freedive anymore and I often find myself sounding like a senile old lady asking Frank if I actually know how to freedive or sail a boat.  Whereas once upon a time, our daily worries revolved around whether or not we caught a fish for dinner, now our worries are dominated by how long we will be stuck in traffic for, and when we will finally have the money to start a new adventure. This has been completely eye opening, and I can't deny that getting caught in the quicksand of life is not exhausting.  I find myself telling myself that this is not real.  That this only seems all too real because of the pain of suffering for the greater good.  

Still, though, telling myself this isn't enough sometimes....and I find myself being completely inundated by the notion that life will always find a way to catch up.  And then I think, what about the people who aren't suffering for the greater good?  What about the people who don't have a dream to live towards?  What about them?  How are they able to get through this?  I have these thoughts often and often times these same thoughts coexist with the contradictory questions of what the fuck am I doing with my life,  When I'm sitting down at a fancy restaurant eating fresh shucked Kumumoto oysters doused in a champagne mignonette with my successful fashion designer friends, (all the while wondering if this meal is really worth it) as they talk about their careers and apartments they own in Brooklyn, and my friends with families that own houses in Queens, these thoughts haunt me and make me wonder if what I am doing is the right thing.  In these moments, I think to myself, I should be preparing for the race, the finish line, keep one step ahead of Life.  Luckily (and perhaps unluckily) for me, I am still not convinced (famous last words).  There is a part of me that worries about the future.  A very large part of me that I'd hate to admit to or recognize. These thoughts haunt me and I have an overwhelming amount of guilt and fear for living the life that I strive to live.  There is a feeling of frivolity that goes along with this lifestyle, and I fear that it is perhaps a little wreckless. I liken it to feeling like the nototorious hare, you know, the one in that story that takes a nap in the middle of the race overconfident in his abilities, only to find that the tortoise has slowly and steadily reached the finish line.  

And through all of this, I find it ironic that New York was the lover that initially enticed me into this secret love affair with the Ocean.  Without New York and all the oppourtinutieus it has afforded me, perhaps I wouldn't have had the gumption and foresight to live the way that I do.  Without New York pushing me past myself, making me live my life like I'm in a constant mid-life crisis (which mind you, I have been doing since I was 16), perhaps I would've just kept on living this other mundane career driven life and perhaps I would not have tried to live the life thus far that so many older people have told me to be grateful for.  I'm not sure what the right answer is, but my gut tells me that I am not yet done with the ocean and all the lessons it has yet to teach me.  My gut is also telling me that the road that lies ahead is not gonna be an easy one and to prepare for never feeling like I'm at home until I figure out just what that means.  Until then, I will leave you with knowing that no, Poseiden and Mother Nature, I have not yet written you off.  I have not forgotten about you though at times it seems I may have.  You are always on my mind, and no matter what, I promise I will find  a way back into your arms again.  

The view outside my job
World Trade Center Transportation hub
Still my favorite building in NY…
The lovely Chelsea
View from the Highline
The east village, my favorate underdog
This is me looking up at the bright side….
….while being stuck in traffic for 2 hours
Good ol' Williamsburg Bridge
Ferry rides

1 comment:

  1. I suspected that you were experiencing the kind of angst you detailed in your post. It's been another 6 months since you wrote & I hope you're closer to getting back to the life you love. You need the sea, and the sea needs you.

    The dream you speak of, when reduced to it's essentials, is about hope, purpose and meaning. Some find meaning in killer heels & $15 drinks. Others, in enjoying God's good earth, the sea, and all that is in them. I hope you find your way back to Moitessier soon.