it’s up to you, New York

I often wonder if people are sick of New Yorkers always talking about New York City. Living here makes up such a part of who we are, that “New Yorker” often becomes a personality trait. And why wouldn’t it? This city has been hyped for years as this international hub of good cuisine, fine entertainment, and a societal grasp on the pulse of the world. Everyone came here, everyone wanted to be here, and everyone always had a fabulous time. The glitz and glamor of a city so packed with people yet remained a shining beacon of America’s heart. You could always find your place here because the opportunities of discovery never once ceased.

That is not the city of today. But many who represent it sure like to think so.

I was born in New York City. I’ve lived in the same apartment for ten years. I’ve grown here, loved here, work here, contribute here. This is my city as much as it is everyone else’s, and I feel my voice is completely lost in the sauce. And a big part of what it boils down to is my status. It’s not the correct one that complies with all of NYC’s insane pandemic-era policies they are for some reason cleaving to like a rat on a New York slice. When a policy is bad, it more often than not leads to bad outcomes. And New York City from the 2010’s onward has been nothing but one step into the proverbial manure pile after another. We cannot seem to get things going because we’re revving a long-dead generator, hoping a bit more juice gets pressed by the pressure. We’re the only city in America with still-in-place vaccine mandates for the public and private sectors, and we’re the only city in the world requiring toddlers ages two and up to mask in schools. The progressivism has seemingly crawled right back up its own behind and it feels like there’s absolutely nothing any of us can do about it. Because, more often than not, this is what the people want.

There’s just something so cruel and malicious plaguing this city. Those in charge treat the citizens like they’re stupid and cannot make choices for themselves. We have a health commissioner, who none of us voted for, threaten the city with reimplementation of vaccine passports and mask mandates, based on a completely arbitrary metric of positive tests for a multi-season virus that has dwindled to nothing more than a seasonal flu. These are protocols that did not work to begin with and would end up with even more devastating outcomes than before. At this point, this is just straight up punishment for the people who have no control in completely eradicating a virus that cannot be gotten rid of. This is not science, this is malice. And I want to know who we have to talk to in order to get our complaints to the manager seriously heard.

And the worst part about this all is the health commissioner has the gall to speak on New Yorkers’ mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. There is not even a whisper of self-reflection or reading the room with these people. The policies in place can be directly connected and correlated to the astronomical rise in crime, worker shortage, and overall holding back of a once-thriving city. When you tell a people their only chance to “end this pandemic” is to get a vaccine, get a test, and wear a mask to prevent the spread, you have failed entirely to pretend like you’re a human. Those are robotic actions to take to feel well and safe in a population-dense city. They are gaslighting us into thinking cases matter and hospitalizations are “rising,” when the numbers are nowhere near pandemic levels of panic. Yet those with celebrity status are treated ‘equal’ while the mayor blows kisses at the dissenters while on his way to another high-profile event.

This city has chosen to remain a joke with clowns at the helm, and they feel content in punishing people for reasons I still don’t understand.

This scrutiny and discrimination has done a number on my private feelings, and there’s no better place for me to get them out. I have never once in my entire thirty-six years felt like this much of a target based on something that didn’t matter then, and certainly doesn’t matter now. I’m honestly not trying to complain about it, as I choose to remain here, but things have felt so obviously wrong lately, and I have nowhere I can turn without someone telling me it’s the right thing to do. My company requires me to get a rapid test every day before entering the building, meaning a swab of unknown origin goes in both nostrils before I even take my first sip of coffee. I have not been able to smell anything since being infected with this virus seven months ago, and I don’t know how much these swabs are deterring it from coming back. I also am required to wear a mask in the control room for three hours a day, while the option is given to my “fully-vaccinated colleagues” to remove it. My status was called into question when I refused to put one on, and I was not given any kind of reassurance that going to Human Resources for a written copy of this policy change would yield any results. So I’m stuck in this strange compliance stage of my life, all because I refused a medical procedure based on concerns about my reproductive health. Which is kind of ironic to think about as many blue states are reaffirming a woman’s right to choose on a completely seperate but equal issue.

It’s all so backwards and cruel and wrong and I honestly think it’s giving me an ulcer. And it’s even more disheartening when people go along with these everyday injustices that show no signs of stopping. I got snapped at at work the other day where I felt it was unwarranted, and it was made all the more ironic considering my face was the one covered up. My mask prevented me from speaking back, to say I didn’t feel that was called for, and it caused me to shut down for the rest of the work day. I felt invisible and all-too visible, and there’s no one in the work world I can speak to about it right now.

This is quite possibly the most miserable time in my life, although I have every comfort I could possibly ask for. I own a home. I make over six figures. I have the world’s cutest cat. I have everything going for me. And yet there’s one thing I’m constantly striving for that these circumstances are taking away from me: a place I can call home.

The rallying cry of the ‘right’ people online has become “Get out of cities.” And I’d love nothing more than to do that right now. But there’s still a fight in me here. Maybe it drives to the point that I really am a New Yorker at heart, though my soul will always be in New Jersey. Either way, I want to make sure this place is at its best quality before I go. I can’t just abandon a place that’s crying out for guidance and proper standards. I can’t just run away from the myriad testing tents I see every day, to which people justify them by saying “We need tests.” I know I alone can’t fix it, but I can at least do something. Maybe just presenting you the reality of what it’s like living as a singular woman in 2022’s New York City is enough for right now. It’s a unique perspective I’m not sure enough people talk about. I’ve been documenting a lot of it as I’m just so incredulous to the moment in time I’m currently living.

I’ll bring you on a tour sometime of my reality here in the city. A city I’ll always love, even if it’s not sure it loves me back.

the happy homemaker

I spent all day in the kitchen. I cooked two separate meals. Three if you want to include a quick two scrambled eggs for breakfast. I don’t know what came over me. I decided early I’d cook something for lunch, then do the same for dinner. I had two new recipes and laid out a plan for when I’d start cooking and what time I’d eat. It actually didn’t go as planned, but somehow I now have lunch and dinner for the next three nights. What I cooked wasn’t pretty, and the kitchen looks like a bomb hit it, but it was all actually pretty tasty stuff.

It was a rare moment for me to feel so domestic, and it made me wonder who’ll be the one who gets to see it later on. I wonder who can help me do all those dishes, because I sure don’t want to do them. But I know I’d like to fall asleep with whoever wants to do them with me. That much was apparent today. And I like chasing this feeling, even if there’s no specific person in mind.

There’s a lot of things going on right now. I think we’re going to see a lot of interesting news coming up. And maybe I’ll actually make some personal progress this time around. Learn how to spice things up for myself and keep it going for once.

I’m looking forward to what other concoctions I can come up with. Aren’t you?

(30) everything at dusk

April Awakening: Day 30

Well, that’s it, I guess. April went by in the blink of an eye, but somehow was also the longest month of my life. I think I felt the changes. I’m officially another year older and certainly on a much brighter path. Or perhaps I’ve just illuminated already-in-motion walk. Something has to light my way as the sun sets on another month.

Either way, I set seven rules for myself for this month. Some were simple, others saw struggles. So let’s take a look at how I did.

1: Write an entry every day

Well, obviously I succeeded. But it wasn’t easy. There were some days I felt I had absolutely no idea what to say. I barely could go back and copyedit because I felt so embarrassed by what I’d consider shoddy entries. I feel like I contradicted myself and there was no cohesion to anything I wrote. I usually like to tie these entries together with a theme, but I feel like I missed the mark this month. I think I had better entries during December to Remember overall. However, I’m still glad I wrote something each day. I did my best. I just want the creative juices to flow so I can work on other creative projects. I’m my own worst critic as many in the field are. I don’t even know how other people perceived my writings because…

2. No social media

I said I’d only go on Twitter to post entries. Other than that, I have not checked notifications, no tweets, no retweets, no likes, nothing like that. But I did not stay off the site. I wasn’t checking it regularly, which was a little difficult considering all the Elon news coming down. But once in a while, I was scrolling through a couple of accounts to combat my boredom. Mostly food-related accounts like Food Insider or Tasty. Some appealed to my more conspiracy-minded fandom. I had to scroll. I just had to see. Some days, I needed the assurance in a world gone mad. But my usage was much lower than it has been. And I didn’t even check Reddit once.

I may not go right back to putting Twitter on my phone or even my favorites bar. I was fine without it. I didn’t have a whole lot I wanted to share. And toward the end of the month, I began looking at my feed just to see if things really had change. I do feel a significant shift in the internet. Things are giving me early 20-teens vibes again. But through a lens where we don’t have to take anyone seriously. We can find our own spaces and have our own fun with no one policing anyone else. I think we’re going to get there and I wouldn’t mind jumping in on that conversation every so often. But it doesn’t need to happen as much as it was, and I realize I can step away easier should things get too much for me. There’s no point in losing my head over a bunch of bullshit said online.

Okay, I confess. I did like only one tweet. Today. This one:

It just felt right.

3. No booze

This one was interesting. I ended up not drinking whatsoever and it wasn’t a big deal. Whenever I informed people about my plans, I just said “I’m trying something” when they inquired why. I even got a “What’s wrong with you?!” from two different people when I declined a mimosa at 9:30 AM. But nobody said a word. No one seemed to care. At this point in my life, I can take or leave alcohol. In my 20s, I used to think it would be impossible for me not to have a drink when it’s time for me to get pregnant. Nine months without booze? Inconceivable. But now I don’t feel that. I could go the rest of my life without alcohol and think nothing of it. I don’t think I will, mind you, but if it came down to it, I could. Either way, I didn’t see this one as a problem to begin with. However…

4. No pot

I am proud to report I have not had a single ounce of THC this entire month. Just a dime bag. No, I’m kidding. I didn’t get high once over the past thirty days. I also didn’t ingest my “loophole” Delta 8, which is a much milder version of THC. You get a high like with weed, but it lasts much shorter and is not as strong. So I was entirely clear this month. I’m happy to have done it. I even told my dad about it, to which he said, “You can always revisit if you want, and take as many breaks as you need.” I may do that. I won’t need to tell anyone about it. But this break felt extra imperative to take at this point in my life. There were so many times I wanted to cave, but didn’t. I fulfilled the promise to myself, and I know what it’s like to be extra clear. Like I said, this was the longest stretch I’ve gone since October 2020, and perhaps I’ll keep on the path of limiting my usage. Well see.

5. No food deliveries

Unfortunately I didn’t do very well with this. The first half of the month went great. I was cooking for myself and if I did want something outside, I’d order then go pick it up. But there was one Saturday after barre where I was just entirely wiped so I ordered Chick-Fil-A. It was not tasty. A majority of the things I ordered this month were not great. So I may go back to this being a once-in-a-while thing. I’ve discovered some sharp new recipes that I’m excited to cook, and rediscovered the joy and satisfaction that comes from making one’s own meal. I just wish I had a sense of smell to go along with tasting my creations. Maybe it’ll come back one day.

6. No soda

No problemo. I’ll keep without it. I just bought myself a Zero Water filter and absolutely love it. Nothing like fresh, crisp, clean water. Much better than soda. Though I did have a dream last night that I drank a Pepsi while sitting on an NYC sidewalk. I remember not being happy with myself when I woke up.

7. No ‘self-play’

No comment. See for yourself.

Oh well.

Conclusion

And that’s it. What did I learn? Anything? Well, lots. Lots of things. I continue to learn things about myself and what I’m capable of. That was to be expected. However, what I didn’t expect was how I see other people. The clearer, fuller picture came into effect this month. I see things for what they are now. I see people for who they are. And I find it’s entirely okay for that to change. You may wake up one day and not know someone. Or you could wake up to realize who you simply cannot live without. What rings true at the end of the day is knowing thyself and sticking to your guns. I’m not here to cut the throat of another to get myself ahead. I just know what is right and what is wrong. And as the sun sets on another month and I get all the more closer to who I am, I can feel proud of the station I’m in, and confident in the foothold I’ve come to stand in.

Thanks for listening. Good night.

(29) of course i do

April Awakening: Day 29

I told someone I loved them today. And I sincerely meant it. I felt it rising within me and I just wanted to let it all out. I didn’t feel cringey or weird about it like I normally would. It was just something I needed to say in that moment. I’m glad I did. And she was glad to hear it. Even if she’s “only” my co-worker, I had to let her know just how much I appreciate her and who she is to me. It felt good. Perhaps I should start doing it more. Only when the moment is right, of course.

I feel as though I’m a series of contradictions. I’m highly emotional person but have a lot of trouble showing it. I want to talk to people but don’t know how to reach out. I want to love so badly but I push everyone away who tries to get close to me. I’m still in the process of trying to figure those parts of myself out. It’s starting to get there. I think it ties into my rebellious streak and contrarian nature. But maybe it’s time to stop cleaving to that, so I can finally let my true self out. Only when the moment is right, of course.

I’ve always been taught to keep things close to the vest and not share everything. So when I find someone I can share with, I find that to be a special and unique thing. I want to cherish that and hold that, even if we go long gaps without speaking. I love feeling like no time has passed when we reconnect, as if we pick up right where we left off. That’s how I know it’s real. I know life gets in the way and we can’t always speak with our loved ones every second of the day. But it’s comforting knowing we always have a way to find one another. Only when the moment is right, of course.

I never feel like it’s too late or that I’ve missed my chance. There’s always another right around the corner, even if it manifests in a way I didn’t expect. I have to stay open to love and being loved, so I can figure out how to make it known that I do too. It’s one thing to have feelings. It’s another thing entirely to be able to express them.

Only when the moment is right, of course.

(27) sweet and sour lies

April Awakening: Day 27

I honestly don’t get how people think they can get away with anything anymore. It eventually all comes out in the wash. It may not happen right away. It could take days, weeks, months, years, even decades before it all gets found out. And when the crime is just that great, the cover up cannot last forever. One has to assemble lie after lie in order to keep the deception going, and eventually, one of those webs will snap.

It’s inevitable. It just seems so obvious to me. And yet the fix continues to be in.

I’ve been so entrenched in the news cycle for more than a decade at this point, I often forget that not everyone follows all the stories I do. It’s impossible to care about everything, and it’s impossible to know everything. But what I do know is that the pieces are starting to click, and things I’ve suspected over the years are finally being affirmed. Yet those in power just do not want to admit the truth.

And I just think that’s sad. I can’t wrap my head around actively knowing something is bullshit and still going along with the charade. I can’t do that. I won’t do that. Maybe it’s as simple as it just not being in my nature. But when something is wrong, I’m not just going to sit here nod along with it. You’ll at least know how I feel about it, even if I know it’s in my best interest to eventually play the game. Still, I’ll kick and scream as you drag me down the hall, especially when I know in my soul something just isn’t right. And hopefully I stick around a little longer, because I have a feeling the biggest bullshit bomb of them all is about to go off.

And you know something? I won’t even care when the truth comes out. I know a lot of people will feel betrayed, shocked, dismayed, inconsolable even. But I’ll just be over here. I’ll keep on truckin’. I’ll have no care whatsoever. I’ll only hold in my feelings of saying “I told you so” over and over again. Because what good will that do? I don’t need to put on airs like I’m better than anyone simply because my bullshit detector is turned all the way up to eleven. I just know how not to get played at this point in my life. And I’d rather find a way to instill this knowledge and help people find the intuition to go with your gut when you know something is off.

Don’t worry. They know it too. That’s why they’re scrambling so hard to convince you otherwise.

(26) bouncing off the walls

April Awakening: Day 26

So Elon Musk is all set to acquire Twitter. $44 billion. Must be nice to have that kind of cheddar to spend. Either way, people have been ultra divided over this. Some think this is a return to freedom of speech. Others say it’s a threat to democracy. People are so worried about things that haven’t even happened yet, they’re willing to go full-on drama queen and actively hope for the worst. I don’t know why anyone would do that. Maybe to appease some kind of baser instinct that thinks all hope is lost and affirm they were right. Me? I don’t really care either way. I haven’t tweeted anything this month, apart from sharing these entries. I’ve scrolled a couple times here and there, but even that got old after a few minutes. I just don’t care to see anyone else’s thoughts at the moment. And it doesn’t matter either way, those tweets will exist whether I look or not. What I can’t wrap my head around is why someone would want to make sure those “wrong” thoughts don’t exist whatsoever.

Too many online have outed themselves recently as pro-censorship, saying it’s a good thing when certain accounts get banned, or applauding when some failed streaming site gets ‘canceled.’ If your side is allowed to speak, then the other side is as well. If I had to put a dumb label on myself, I’d call myself a free speech absolutist. Everyone should be able to say and think whatever they please, and ideally be prepared to back up what they say. I don’t condone canceling, mob overthrow, life ruination, or threats. I encourage discourse, disagreement, discussions, and open-mindedness. And it’s just weird to me that there’s people out there who don’t. They’d rather live in an echo chamber, hearing only agreement right back at them. It never made sense to me. It’s the one thing I think I can safely say I’ve been consistent on in all my years online. I may have made jokes or critiques on why certain pieces of media should be thrown into the fiery pits of Hell, but I never ever thought they shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Not everything has to be for everyone. What’s it to me if some weirdos out in Weirdoland want to hold and harbor beliefs I have absolutely no desire to adhere to?

It seems to me some want to create a perfect world where only a certain faction of person can live in. Those who step out of line with any form of dissent may not enter the building. I don’t know how we got here in 2022, and I don’t exactly know how much more we can even take before the whole thing breaks. While I don’t think freedom’s return rests on just one guy’s shoulders, it’s entirely possible for it to contribute to a breaking of barriers put up by those absolutists who don’t want to play fair for everybody.

I’ve believed for years that there’s got to be something that can help raise society’s morality bar. We’ve set it far too low for a very long time. It’s so far in the ground, we’ve forgotten how to be human to one another. It’s much easier to demonize than it is to realize another’s differences. I think that by talking it out, we can get there. Even if it’s just a little online talk. You can’t live in an echo chamber forever. That’s the easiest way to get the walls closing in.

(25) betting season

April Awakening: Day 25

For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’ve got the upper hand here. I feel like the ball is in my court, when for so long it simply was not. I’m the one holding the cards this time. Advantage, Gina. Not only do I know what my worth is, I feel it within me. I want to live it. I don’t just want to see the hand on the table, never playing my hand because I know the house always wins. No, I have a real shot here this time. And I’ve got to be careful with this impending jackpot.

I do find myself to be a very emotional person, but over the years I’ve not let it show as much. People who know me may disagree, as I do wear my heart on my sleeve, especially when tensions run high in the control room. But when it comes to the real depth of what’s inside, that always stays close to the vest. It’s the Ace in my pocket, meant only for the realest moment of them all. Which I know is coming. Somehow, someday I’ll get dealt the perfect hand, knowing the coldness will melt when it’s time to ante up.

I worry sometimes I’m too aloof or too mysterious, not letting anyone in or know exactly what I’m thinking, even if the moment calls for it. But I think the first step is admitting this power I have. It’s the power over myself, knowing I can choose one way to be over another after I split the deck. I’d rather choose warmth and understanding this time, rather than play my hand too early and give it all away.

I’ll get it one day. I’d put money on it.

(24) break the lock

April Awakening: Day 24

Tomorrow is the last day I took off of work. I haven’t been inside a newsroom in nine days, which can feel like forever in newstime. I don’t necessarily want to get back to work, but at least it’s something to do. Otherwise you can find me just on the couch. Or playing a video game that has no bearing on my life as a whole. Not going out, not hanging out. I don’t even have the “no vax pass” excuse anymore. I’m sincerely torn between wanting to do something and not wanting to do anything. And I’m focusing more on the latter these days. Because when the calendar clicked over to thirty six, it became less important to seek anything out. And I’m starting to wonder if this city has ran out of things to even offer me.

Pretty much.

I dream of my own home, a space I can call mine where I don’t have to see anyone I’m not actively seeking out. It’s not like I dislike anyone who lives in my building or have any problems with them. But it does sometimes sink in that I’m surrounded by people all the time. It’s almost like I can’t be myself without wondering if anyone else can hear me doing anything. It feels much easier to stay locked away inside, pretending I’m all by myself, but knowing I’m not. And it’s not like anyone out there sincerely cares for me. They can be my friend and have a liking to me, but I mean really truly care. The way family is supposed to. It feels less plausible I’ll find it in Manhattan. Not this version of it, anyway.

But on the other hand, when I do go out and do something, I usually enjoy it. It’s the anticipation of doing something that always bothers me. It’s like I get mad I signed up for an event or a class or a spot in the pool, but when I’m doing it, it’s not so bad. It may actually be better than I expected. I guess the best thing I can do is force myself to get out and do things I know will be good for me. Like working out, or expanding my knowledge bank further. It has to become a focus, an obsession even, to unfasten this hold I have on myself. It may be time to change for the better. Because I don’t feel like fusing with the couch for the rest of my life, as appealing and as easy as that may be.

Things can look up if I want them to. I know I get morose and emo a lot of the time, but maybe I can stop seeing just ‘one day’ as the turning point for it all. It may only take a moment to break the chain around my ankle, but the leadup to doing so can take much longer than that. I just have to be willing to make the effort when the time comes to swing the axe.

(23) the system goes down

April Awakening: Day 23

I went to a spy museum today in NYC. I had wanted to go for a while. It was fun. Interesting stuff. They really drive it home how much we’re being watched at all times. It took you through a series of how people have ‘cracked the code’ for decades now, beginning with the Enigma and Alan Turing, the betrayal of FBI Agent Robert Hanssen, and Edward Snowden’s exposure of government surveillance. I had fun. It was interactive as well, as you played games all throughout the exhibits to ultimately determine what kind of spy you’d be. That happened through personality test questions, to surveillance observations, and a game where you’d crack the Enigma code to help an official safely get through Nazi-occupied France. Me? I’d be a surveillance officer. “Have you ever considered working for the FBI?” one game asked me, as I laughed. Because yes, yes I have. If only to bring some much-needed clarity to an organization I once thought was the be all, end all for justice in this country.

I said once before I’d never be blackpilled, but I’ve definitely lost a lot of faith in government institutions that are supposed to work for the people. It’s been a slow burn, but the more I thought about it, the more I feel there’s such wastefulness going on. There’s myriad departments within departments within departments that they don’t even tell you about; people who are unelected by the people and basically control the entirety of the world. Who knows what kind of knowledge they have on everyone, and what kinds of nefarious deeds they can get up to. When they have unfettered clearance, they can practically do anything to anyone and everyone. They may even set up events to siphon our energy and make us fight for causes they think will lead to the betterment of a new world. It frustrates me to think about, because if I were part of that system, I’d want to be on the side of righteousness rather than deceit.

But I am part of the system. I’m on the inside of the news media. And recently, it dawned on me just how much I’ve been part of the problem. Now, I hope to change things around, and this time be part of the solution, too.

I say “the problem” not as I’m peddling misinformation. I’m speaking broadly in the sense of sensationalism. I rip on the DailyMail all the time for it, but I’ve definitely written scripts in ways I knew that were overblown. We’ve gone with stories that I knew were mere distractions from a bigger issue. And sometimes the position we took was just flat out insane. But I went with it. I can scribe my name to it. And you can be damn sure I push back every chance I get. Because that’s all I can do. I’m not an executive producer nor a senior. I don’t have full authority, but I have a voice. And that’s all I want to do; be someone from within who can help institute change. Real change. I just want to do what’s right. I just want to get to the truth. I want to be accurate and tell the people what’s going on. I don’t want to benefit by stepping on other people’s necks. I have my role to play and that’s all I can do. Even if I were an FBI agent, I’d like to think I’d help put an end to the corruption that has had no problem gaining a foothold in our institutions for centuries.

I know I’m self-aggrandizing. I know I’m looking at life through rosy-colored glasses. I know I’m just one person. But I see a lot of dishonesty from my vantage point. Journalists have to piece things together in order to break a story, and I see the biggest one of them all coming. I can’t tell you what it is yet because I don’t know either. But I see a crumbling from within that may wipe the whole dirty system right off the map.

At least that’s what I hope. I’m only one lady, I can’t do it all myself. But I suppose I can be the hero in my own little spy movie. If I ever get around to writing it, that is.

(22) slightly stranded

April Awakening: Day 22

My dad told me today that I’m not a quitter and I’m not lazy. That was incredibly surprising to me, considering I see myself as both those things. Maybe not a “quitter” per se, but definitely someone who doesn’t follow through on absolutely anything she begins. What else would you call that? And lazy? I’m not lazy? Me, the person who comes home after work and sits on the couch until it’s time to go to bed. Unless the mood strikes me to go to the gym, but even that’s starting to run aground.

I told him today I can’t put my finger on what’s got me down, but I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out. I’m just more isolated these days, on my own little island where I’m finding it less plausible that someone will ever swim out to see me. Not just someone, anyone. I’ve put up enough hazards in the water surrounding me, making it damn near impossible for anyone to get close. Yet I complain internally that I can’t find anyone who wants to stop by. It’s maddening, and worse yet, it’s all self-inflicted. I know how to navigate my way out of it, but I’m choosing not to. I’m too comfortable crisping out in the sun, lounging and eating because I haven’t found anything better to do. I can’t even be bothered to take a swim anymore. I just don’t see a point.

I really don’t want to be a quitter. I do want to change and make things different for myself. But it still feels like the only way I’ll get there is if I send up a rescue flair and let someone save me first. As if a person needs to be the catalyst in order to get me to change. And if that were to happen, it’d fall in the face of everything I’ve been espousing all these years. “You don’t need to rely on someone else for your happiness.” But having at least one more soul in your lifeboat can’t hurt, can it?

I’m rapidly approaching the point of no return, where I’ll be lost in my own Bermuda Triangle if I don’t set a new course soon. I have to be unafraid of the uncharted territory out in front of me, rather than retreating back into the uncomfortable. Because what I’ve been doing all these years isn’t working. I’ve grown and learned things, but I always slide right back into my old ways. And no one is answering my distress call. So I have to forage to find a way off this island myself. Cobble something together. I can do it. I know I can. I can be a captain if I so choose. Even if I have to be my own first mate, too.