Two Weeks Later

Two weeks later
and I feel trapped in reality.
I keep thinking about
that time last summer
when I saw the world was crooked
and I keep wondering
is it still?

Or was that an off kilter moment
on borrowed time?

Or was it,
an indication of times to come?

Or was it…

I find myself
in a hopeless dispair
and I keep looking for strength
to coincide my friends’
anger
frustrations
and anxieties
but my patience wears thin.

I sit by the window in my room everyday
and I stare at the house next door
that might as well blend in
with the endless gray of midwest skies.

And I don’t want to create
because this still feels
like a nightmare
I’m desperate
to wake from.

And I feel
my privilege and entitlement
in saying it that way
because even without all this
many people’s regular lives
are smaller cages
then the one I find myself in.

but truly…
I don’t want to leave my bed
anymore then this cough wants to leave me.

my thoughts oscillate
between dispair
and memories of the sun
of its warmth
the smell of salt
and long lazy days

when none of this

was real

Two Weeks Ago

Two weeks ago, I asked on my Instagram, what should I write about next? The options were change and forgiveness. Change won.

Two weeks ago, I had put in my notice at the grocery store I have worked at for the last year and a half. I was excited to begin a new chapter, to have more free time, and to feel like my hard work had begun to pay off.

Two weeks ago, I took a road trip with one of my best friends to VA.  We went to a friends wedding (this was a joyous reconciliation between the bride and myself).  I drank a lot of wine and danced like it, the whole night.

Two weeks ago Covid-19 was another weird sickness in China. It was another news reel of people in face masks that I had seen before. It was a problem for them but not for us.

According to CDC, Covid-19 was in the US back in January but I didn’t hear about it until two weeks ago when the first death was reported in Washington state.

Six days ago, positive tests for Covid-19 were found in Michigan, in the same county I live in.

Three days ago was supposed to be my last day at the grocery store but, being the economy is effectively non-existent at this point, I thought it best to stay in the industry that is imperative to continue operation. Plus I have health insurance through them.

Hours ago, Canada announces the closing of its borders. We have nurses here that are from Canada. The EU is closing its borders. San Fransisco is under lockdown until April. They closed down bars and restaurants in Michigan – what is even happening?  

Anyway, two weeks ago I wanted to write about how excited I was about the new changes in my life and how I felt so positive about the future. I wanted to write about the totally, awesome things going on in my life. I wanted to write about my hard work, the times I wanted to quit but how it got me here.

Two weeks ago it was a different world.

I’m not worried about running out of food. I mean if people keep acting psycho, yes but if we all chill out, the food is going to be just fine. I’m not specifically worried about myself getting sick. I’m young and pretty healthy. Obviously, I would prefer to not get sick.

I am concerned about my 54-year-old, diabetic father who has smoked his whole life. I am worried about my 81-year-old grandma who has beat cancer like 3 times. I am worried about my sister in law going into labor any day.

I know we will all get passed this but what does the other side look like? I’ve never known a world where I didn’t have a general idea of how tomorrow would be – until now. I am largely unprepared on how to handle the situation. Do I have enough food? Should I get water? What does going into “lock down” mean? Do I need to stockpile wood and matches? Do I need to learn how to farm?  Live off the land? How far are we going with all of this?

None of this seems real. I didn’t think anything like this would happen so fast. It’s easy to see how things unravel and control is lost. I don’t want to talk about it but it’s everywhere around me (the shelves are empty at the grocery store, it’s creepy).

It is all I’m thinking about.

I don’t want to lose control over myself because panicking will get you nowhere but I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to feeling a lot of anxiety right now. There are so many things that keep running through my head and I’m not sure how to stop them or to think of something else. I don’t want to disregard a serious situation but I don’t want to panic either.

The truth is sometimes change is a process that happens through dedication and hard work to a greater goal that you believe in but sometimes change is forced upon you. I want all of this to be over and I want life to go back to normal but I think this is going to get worse before it get’s better.  I think I’ll get sick because I didn’t quit the grocery store but mostly people are keeping their distances and they’re not speaking much to anyone. It’s weird. I actively avoid getting close to anyone. My hands are raw from washing so much, I’m obsessive about everything being sanitized especially at the grocery store. The various food bars are shut down. I bought brownie mix today because I guess my ovaries are panicking too and saying – IDK JUST BAKE SOMETHING! PEOPLE LIKE CHOCOLATE! 

This shit is getting very real, very fast. I guess at this point the only thing you can do is hang on tight. In Florida they say – Hunker down

Whatever that means.

What will two weeks from today look like? 

hi 2020

I’m not sure how to begin or rather, where I should begin. I keep listening to my 2019 Spotify playlist that replays the soundtrack to my highs and lows of the entire year. I can look through my Instagram and see a catalog of my best moments. I can read through my public and private journals and feel the sadness of my worst moments as if the wound were fresh.

I consider where I was, and re-read last year’s reflection piece and wonder if I’ve made any progress. January seems like another lifetime ago, even the summer feels like an eternity from where I sit right now.

2019 became a year of intensity, at least in my version of reality. A year ago I was a cook, living with my dad and doing anything to feel some level of control over my life. It’s a challenge to move back in with your parents, particularly when they aren’t sure of who you became. The roles change and I think for parents it’s hard to accept that kids don’t always need you. I moved out.

Everything comes with a price, including the freedom to be your own person. In my case, it means I never have any money for anything at all. I moved in with strangers in an area I have been wanting to live in for a long time. It seems weird probably to live with people you met off the internet, but I’ve only been screwed over by 1 out of like 10 which is pretty good odds. This hasn’t been that 1 time.

I almost fell in love and maybe to a point I did, with smooth guitar riffs and empty words. I also learned how hard the concrete feels when you smack into it at full speed and don’t die. It was a lesson in manipulation, egos, and personal boundaries. I spent a long time being very sad about the level of disrespect I had received and wondered at length, what was wrong with me to have been so unlucky in love? The truth of the matter is that it wasn’t my fault and I’ve effectively been relieved of what would have likely been an excessively toxic relationship. I’m angry still at the amount of time I wasted on it all but not all lessons are easy to learn. This relationship taught me the importance of listening to my gut and not to compromise my personal boundaries at the expense of myself and, for the comfort of someone else. If something doesn’t feel right or a person’s words don’t add up, you’re probably right.

New York City stole my heart as I spent an entire week with old friends, wondering around that dirty, smelly city. I was fortunate enough to get pinkeye while I was on vacation in the City. It should be advised to not touch your face in NYC unless you’re in your own home and you’ve literally just washed your hands. Never touch your face after riding the subway. You can also walk down the street in a brightly colored, plastic poncho in the middle of a rainstorm and no one will pay attention to you. However, if you buy wine, the employees will be amused and ask to take a picture. I’m obsessed with the City and I replay the memories we created over and over, in my head and I scroll through hundreds of pictures that tell the story of the trip in frozen moments.

I turned 30 this year and John fucking Mayer played a concert in Detroit on my literal day of birth. It was too serendipitous to not go. No one wanted to go with me though which is the story of my life for birthday shenanigans but my best friend finally came around and agreed to go. Even though John didn’t propose to me, I still thought it was nice of him to play a concert for my birthday. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to and I honestly didn’t even listen to John Mayer that much before the concert. I spent $45 on a Hanes t-shirt though, just because I deeply enjoyed the show and wanted John’s face on my body when I slept.

Anyway, it’s getting weird now. I changed jobs a few times this past year and I’ll probably do it again next year. Life is a weird journey and I think about how much can happen in a year and how sometimes it doesn’t seem like time moves it all. 2019 challenged me for the better. I don’t know how 12 months can be an eternity ago, but I feel more sure of myself now than I have in a long time.

When I began writing about the past year, I was under the impression it had been stressful, full of heartache and depression but as I began to think back to it, the years been pretty kick-ass overall. I’m stoked for 2020, it’s probably going to be some Mercury retrograde bullshit but: bring it on bitch.

 – Neptune