(30) and away i went

June Renew: Day 30

Weight: 233.0

Well, I made it. Here we are at the end of another month. I’ll give a full recap with how I did with the challenges, because today isn’t over yet. But my vacation just started. I’m back in Florida for the next few days, taking it all in away from the hellhole that NYC has become. I almost didn’t make it here, as I went to the entirely wrong terminal at LaGuardia before hustling it to the correct one and running through the long, extensive new expansion. A woman on the shuttle prayed with me that I’d make it to my flight, and I did. Being on the plane with no masks was a wonder to see, and it was nice that JetBlue had upgraded the flying experience, making it and overall pleasant trip to the airport. The federal mask mandate still in place for New Yorkers still wasn’t a match for people fully over all these rules that no longer need to be in place.

But when I got here, something in me just couldn’t get happy. I can’t explain it, but maybe I can through the words here on the final day of June Renew.

I’m at the same hotel I was when I was here back in September. It’s a very nice spot and I can see the Atlantic Ocean from here. But something this time around just feels so…artificial. The last hotel I stayed in was in DC and I didn’t get that feeling when I was in the room. But here in Florida, it feels different. Maybe because there’s still signs up that “if you’re unvaccinated, please continue to wear a mask” which I don’t understand. And despite my efforts to not be consumed by the news, I went by the pool and delved deep into the recesses of Twitter to see NYC is still ready to keep Covid at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

And I’m alone. I’m completely alone here until I see my friends who live down here.

This is a ‘me’ problem for sure. I should be stoked to be on vacation and away from it all. Yet I can’t tear myself away. Not yet. I keep feeling like I’m missing something. And it doesn’t help that I get text messages from my team as they’re still putting the news on every morning. I don’t know. I feel a crumbling of things around me. I could just be drama queening it to a ridiculous extent, but I was hoping to feel real down here. I haven’t gotten there yet. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been in direct sunlight yet. All I know is that it doesn’t feel like a mistake to be here. It feels like it was meant to be. Just like it was meant to be for me to do this challenge again this month.

All of it feels necessary and needed as I reflect on what was and what is. I don’t need to think anything else than that. So what if I wasn’t expecting to see these signs in the hotel? So what if I didn’t get the sunlight I was hoping for right away? I’m here. I’m not anywhere else. I’m with me. And being with me ain’t a bad place to be.

I think it’s time I start accepting that things may not actually conform to my agenda. That the artificial nature of it all will still remain whether I want it to or not. Like being in the airport today. The revamped LaGuardia looked nice, but it still had a dystopian flair to it. Like they were hand-holding little kids to their destinations. On the plane I wanted a snackbox and requested the FuelUp pack, only to be asked if that was 1, 2, 3 or 4. I said “One” and was handed just a box of food. A little too Dharma Initiative for me.

But so what? Honestly, what am I even complaining about half the time? Do I really expect everything to go my way? Like literally everything?

I think I’m learning to be okay with the concessions as long as everyone is where they need to be. Because where the world is right now is patently not where we’re supposed to be. The United States is being run by absolute morons who, if you ask me, ain’t even supposed to legally be there. And I live in a city that wants to brand itself as the Covid vax and testing capital of the world. All the nonsense is what needs to end. I’m fine with keeping some of the more cringey stuff, like waving my hand in front of a sensor so I could lock the door of the hotel lobby’s bathroom. Weird, but I can learn to work with it. As long as companies stop asking me for my personal information or at least let me opt out of it, I think we’ll be okay going forward.

Because time will march on with or without me. We’ll have to adapt and change with the times. And as long as we keep a good sense of who we are, we can’t lose. Blink and you’ll miss me, as I’m already out the door and onto new and better things. Catch me if you want.

(29) she’s still saucy

June Renew: Day 29

Weight: 233.4

I have a guttermind. It’s been that way for centuries. I think double entendres are hilarious and I always err on the side of risqué. Does this mean I’m fixin’ to go with every guy who treats me nicely? Certainly not. I’m not in college anymore. I got all that out of my system long ago. And part of me wishes I never even had that mindset in the first place.

When I was on the cusp of womanhood, Sex and the City was just starting to take hold in the cultural conversation. All four women and their exploits became something to look up to an emulate, especially as my friends were starting to be with boys in ways I had always desired. Something in me became obsessed with racking up my numbers, especially when I heard someone’s announcement of hooking up, whether a recent dealing or one of many previous stories. I kept trying to be one who’d never say no, something I can say with confidence as I look back at my exploits that I am explicitly not. I still like being flirty and teasy and on the cusp of it all the time, but I think I took things too far too quickly, only because I thought it was what the other party wanted. It was never about my desires or, I was just doing enough so they would somewhat like me. And now, here I am, thirty-six without a mans, wondering if I screwed myself beyond repair.

I’m not trying to sound sexist or misogynistic here. I’m not judging, I’m just explaining a perception of other women as a woman myself. I think there’s some females we see who look like they, in so many words, ‘belong to the streets.’ Like they’ll go with anyone because the drive is so strong within them. I wonder about that sometimes, as my drive doesn’t usually come from the physical. Again, not a judgment, just something I don’t wish to be perceived as. I’m sure people have seen me as that, and I know that I’ve made myself act like that a lot. But at this age, the leadup to the final act is a much more desirable and satisfying journey than the crescendo that takes me over the edge. And I just want someone who understands that side of me and sees me as whole instead of just a hole.

Sexuality makes up a big part of humanity, as we need it in order to create more of us. I just wish I had treated it with far more respect than I have, because it deserves a lot more. I know men and women view it differently, I just wish I hadn’t modeled myself over what I thought men wanted. I know whoever ends up with me will get to see all sorts of things meant for just us and whoever may want to join in. You can turn a fake ho into a housewife, can’t you?

(28) past it all

June Renew: Day 28

Weight: 234.4

I’d just rather focus on the good things for now. There’s far too much attention being put on all that’s evil and dark in this world, and I know I’m partially to blame for that. If we all create our own realities, then mine has certainly been more focused on what’s wrong with the world rather than what’s right in it. It’s very difficult to move past and I’m not saying I’ve mastered this by any stretch of the imagination. I’m saying it’s high time for me to actively try and change my perspective, because what’s happening now is just making me sick.

A few entries ago I spoke of people living in their own bubbles. I still see that going on. And I’m finding there’s less of a need to try and change hearts and minds. I just want to be left alone by these people and not let them bother me. Yet they still do. I still let the hardheadedness and outright insanity eat away at me. It’s baffling sometimes because I feel I’m seeing things clearer than most, especially from the area I’m currently living in. You may call that arrogant and haughty on my part and you’re free to do so. But things seem so weird and backward here, it’s hard to believe people find comfort in it. I knew something was wrong with it from the getgo, and I made it my mission to look past the curtain to see what they were trying to keep from us. And now I can’t unsee it.

We’re being fed distractions, farces, falsities, and cannon fodder all day long. They’re trying to pit us against one another, making it so we’re angry and spiteful at someone we perceive is on the “other side.” They have to do it so we don’t discover the actual enemy was them all along. I can’t let myself be shrouded in their game anymore. Therefore, I shall play my own. I can do more for myself and by extension the world if I just stop playing into the gotchas and doom and gloom talk. I’m not exactly sure what that all entails, but I’m sure I’ll find it if I let myself. We’re fighting the battle of our lives out here. It’s up to us to decide if we want that armor to help us, or let it weigh us down.

I know what side I’m on. I’d rather there be sunlight on the other side of the blinds rather than an apocalyptic landscape. I’m only now realizing it’s a choice on which one I see.

(27) ouch

June Renew: Day 27

Weight: 234.4

I hate where we’re at right now. It feels like the whole world is saying things that I just don’t understand. Literally can’t relate to a dang ol’ thing. It even showed up at work when I didn’t even mean for it to. One of my co-workers said I looked sad and I looked like I was going through it. And I’m not even sure exactly what it’s about. But I know that it hurts, and will continue to do so until further notice. Until conditions change. Until the world unfucks itself from the utter craziness it just loves stewing in.

But I have no idea how to do that. I have no idea what to do anymore. My father made a disturbing comment tonight that we have to deal with “a God whose turned his back on us.” It’s because my mother seems to be having a harder and harder time. We don’t know how to help her and she doesn’t know how to help herself. My father called me six times telling me she kept trying to leave the house and was cussing him out because he was trying to stop her. I barely got this entry done because I was on ‘calm down’ duty, and that didn’t even work tonight. I literally don’t know what else to do besides tell him to consider other options, and even I don’t want him to have to go to the outside to help. So we’re all down bad. We’ve been picked up and dropped from a great height with no one around to save us.

This feels twofold for me. I don’t know what it’s like being in my mom’s head, not knowing who you are and having no way to express yourself. And I don’t know what it’s like being my dad, watching the love of your life slowly deteriorate in front of you, all while dealing with an unresolved mean streak that she can’t communicate about. Some wounds run deep, and maybe they’ll never heal. Perhaps it’s time I accept that.

It’s okay to admit you’re hurting sometimes. I think that’s step one in mending what broke. It may not be able to go back to where it was pre-injury, but we can look to repair as best as we can. And I believe this nation is going to have a lot of healing to do when it all comes crashing down. My problems will feel small in comparison. Doesn’t mean they aren’t real. But sometimes we need to put the focus elsewhere in order to get us to where we all need to be.

(26) the ultimate getaway

June Renew: Day 26

Weight: Forgot again this morning despite me saying I need to weigh myself before breakfast

I wish I was granted just one day alone. Really, truly, utterly alone. Like I had the knowledge that I was the sole person on the earth just for twenty-four hours. No one would be hurt, no one would have to die, they would just be elsewhere while I was able to experience pure and complete solitude. It’s like I need that. I’m fed up with all the noise I’m being fed daily. And it’s equally annoying that it’s my job to digest the noise and report it to the masses. I’m just tired. I just want to actually feel alone again.

It’s strange to me that even as I spend a lot of time by myself, I never really feel alone. I know I’m surrounded at all times, and not in the ‘conspiracy’ way of ‘they’re recording us all the time’ (even though they are). I just know there’s a great big world out there, and it doesn’t care if I live or die. So what’s it to them if I feel like shutting them off once in a while?

And it’s not like I feel like people don’t care about me. I know they do. But I just need the ultimate moment to myself. I feel like I can’t come up for air for one moment. I’m drowning in peoples’ temper tantrums and overabundance of emotion and I haven’t even had a second to check in with myself and ask myself if I’m doing okay. Can’t I be adrift just for one single day? Why get lost in the mire of people who want to freak out over things that haven’t even happened yet?

Just let me have one single day of solitude to see where I’m at. Just me and God. Then you can return to yelling at me. Crucial times call for crucial measures. Adrift away with me.

(25) cat scratch baby fever

June Renew: Day 25

Weight: 233.4

I love my cat. She’s my baby girl. I adopted her seven years ago and I’m very glad I did. She’s an affectionate little cat. She snuggles up next to me when I’m on the couch, if I’m just sitting writing or taking an after-work catnap. She reaches her paws out after waking up from a nap and will sprawl out when she sees me approach from the safety of her cat tree. I ask her to jump up on my bed as I’m going to sleep and she does, often times staying put until I wake up. When I walk toward her to pick her up, she’ll put both paws up to give me easier access to her underarms and cuddle up so tight as she holds onto my shoulder. I love this little girl. You really couldn’t ask for a better cat.

But she’s a cat. Not a child. And I know the difference, and still want the latter.

I have to take good care of my pet as I would a and loved baby. I have to make sure she’s fed and cleaned and that she always has a safe space to poop. But it’s not the same thing, and I won’t pretend that it is. The cat is an animal, not a human. And all this talk about babies and life and terminating pregnancies has got me in a bad spot lately.

I saw my extended family today. We all had a little get together mainly so they could see my mom. I hadn’t seen some of them in years. It was good to catch up and a good day with them all. But before I took off for New Jersey, I just couldn’t stop crying. I feel as though I heard my biological clock tick away for the first time ever. Things occurred, which I won’t get into, that made me realize my fertility window is in fact fininte, and it could be on the way to closing quicker than I ever thought.

I look at my cat and am glad to have her, but she doesn’t replace the feeeling I get holding my cousin’s teeny tiny beautiful six-month old baby girl; watching her smile up at me, her eyes taking me in, giving her back all the love and affection the littlest among us deserve. It makes me sad that I’m thirty-six and childless, with seemingly no prospects in sight, even though I think I’m forming the perfect candidate in my mind.

Perhaps I’m just impatient, but it would be nice to at least be on that road to Babyland for once. All I seem to be is stuck at the Sex-Crazed rest stop, because someone threw my keys deep into the nearby woods. And now, the whole world is talking about ending pregnancies. Companies would rather reimburse you for getting one than give you adequate maternity leave. And some insane extremists say that yes, they do in fact want to “kill babies.” There are some hairballs that desperately need hocking up by society if we ever want to be clear about choices again. I guess it was my choice to wait this long to really ramp up my babymaking abilities, but I still have hope that one day the veil will lift. In the meantime, I’m hugging my baby cat close until she can meet the one I help create out of love. I just hope I’m not too late. Why waste any more of my nine lives just sitting around waiting?

(24) oh baby, it’s changing

June Renew: Day 24

Weight: 235 ugh

I’m not about to give you my thoughts on abortion. I did that three years ago and I still stand by what I said. So I’m going to make this brief today regarding the historic SCOTUS ruling that has officially kicked abortion laws back down to the states.

I saw the banner on TV mere moments after discussing my annual salary increase with my boss. We talked about how the whole world was changing and how I was looking forward to keeping our winning streak going. When I saw the news, I was smiling ear to ear. Not because I was particularly excited about the ruling, but because I knew this was the watershed moment to show literally everything around us was growing, morphing, and ready to change. But other than that, I had no reaction whatsoever. My life didn’t feel different or changed or anything. It was just as it has always been. And I took note of that, because one little look at Twitter and you could see a lot of people having a hard time more so than not.

And you know something? I’m not about to offer anything more than that. I’m not going to tell people how to feel about this. I’m not all of a sudden going to turn into a Constitutional expert based on a few articles I’ve read. No, this is an emotional moment in time for everyone, whether they’re for or against what happened today. There are some things people need to process for themselves. They need to be able to really listen to the arguments they’re making and discover why it is they’re fighting so hard for the side they’ve chosen. And that’s simply not my job to make happen. My life is going to be exactly the same as it was when I woke up this morning. You can’t force me to feel one way or the other, just like I can’t do the same to you. You fight your own fight, and I’ll do the same. That’s it.

Tomorrow is a new day in a new era. I’m pro-choosing to make the best of it.

(23) toiled and troubled

June Renew: Day 23

Weight: 234.2

I don’t pretend to know it all, but there’s a lot of things I simply don’t understand. “I don’t get it” has become sort of my catchphrase around the office. People get a kick out of it, since there’s so much of our daily routine that just defies logic. But we press on, doing what we need to do in order to let the people know what else is going on outside of their own little bubbles. It’s a struggle, but we do a good job to tell the news fairly and to the point.

And the great thing is everyone on my team is on the same page, at least when it comes to the show. I don’t know in depth anyone else’s personal politics, but we know what matters most to our host, and we do what s/he wants done. Even if there’s somehow a moral disagreement here or there with stories, we can step outside our own emotional shells and get the job done. It’s a good skill to have. The rest of America hasn’t really been able to crack that thin veneer that’s keeping a lid on the exceptional worldview.

Just look at the news that came down today. The Supreme Court of the United States overturned a century-old New York law that made NYers seek “proper cause” in order to conceal carry a lawfully-obtained firearm. I’ve been a years-long process in order to even get a license in New York City (a long and expensive process) and I didn’t even feel like jumping through the alternate hoop that would have granted me a conceal carry. Either way, the ruling sounds good for those who wish to, again, lawfully carry in the state. But by the way the Mayor, the Governor, and even the President himself acted, you’d think SCOTUS just allowed mandatory biweekly baby seal clubbing.

But then it hit me: These people are simply in an alternate reality. And it’s just not my job to pop their worldview.

This is becoming the ultimate “live and let live” scenario for me. I’ve always maintained to just go with my gut and do what I believe is right. And I’ve played the game for long enough. I’ve scrubbed away all the tears and shame and grime and anger that’s built up over the past couple of years. Now, I no longer wish to live in the world they’re trying to tell me is best for me. I’d rather chase the one God put here for us. If you don’t, that’s fine. That’s not my globe to sit and spin in.

I’ve found a good comfortable spot to be. I see the writing on the wall. When one bubble pops, I always seem to land in another. And this one seems far more long-lasting than before. But a lot of people are left flailing when their film runs out. Some people deserve it. Most don’t. I’ll pray for those who feel lost when out of their comfort zone, as the collective bubble that’s been hanging on by a thread for years finally explodes. Because it’s coming. How could it not, at this point? Do you see it all falling apart in front of you? How much longer can this conceivably go?

If you need me, I’ll be blowing in the wind.

(22) time to talk my big game

June Renew: Day 22

Weight: I plum forgot to weigh myself this morning.

I got my work review back today, and I don’t agree with the assessment. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but just know that I’ve been rehearsing what I’m going to say. I think I’m making some salient points as to why I think what was put forth is not representative of who I am as a worker, and my words are about to win hearts and minds.

Yet I know the moment I actually get my chance at the podium, I’ll freeze. I’ll let another drive the conversation and all my prepared talking points will go flying out of my head. And I’ll just end up relenting to the opposition, unable to argue the topic, and go home disappointed at myself once again. This has been part of ongoing issues in my life, both work and personal, and I have yet to find a resolution that can satisfy all participants.

I feel like I bring a lot to the debate stage, but I never seem to win it. It’s like when there’s a specific person who ‘comes back’ into my life. I always think of things I can say that will adequately express just what I’ve been going through for years. Yet when the opportunity is right in front of me, I act like nothing happened, and all the previous feelings of hurt and pain just evaporate in the wind. And I’m just getting to the point where it’s not worth it putting my energy into this anymore. I can’t expect to wait for a chance anymore, and if I see no opportunity to make my own, then maybe it’s time to close the book forever. I’ve taken enough notes and seen enough to know that this may just be a losing battle. Perhaps it’s time to focus on where I can win.

This world makes it hard to get your voice known, especially if you’re one of those dang dirty dissenters. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel who does her own thing, so I get it. My ilk can be annoying. But I’m still valid. I’m still here. I still have debate skills that I hope one day can actually benefit me. I can’t fear losing. As long as I get my point across, that’s at least step one.

(21) the only one

June Renew: Day 21

Weight: 234.6

I’ve always maintained I’m a wide-eyed idealist. There’s a level of optimism I hold that things will always work out, no matter how impossible they may seem. Even in the face of 40-year-high inflation, an out-of-control border crisis, a looming recession, and general dumbassery of those ‘in charge,’ I somehow think all the wrongs in the world will be righted. I don’t know who can grant us that, and frankly I think it’ll come from a higher power, but I do know it’s coming, true as the North Star.

The one thing I still don’t know about is what ‘the one’ has in store for me.

I’m obviously single, so it’s clear I haven’t linked up with my ‘one’ yet. I once resented those who’ve found their person, but I don’t feel that anymore. I just think how incredibly lucky they are for getting to that point in their lives. It’s not an easy thing, even if some people make it look easy. But conditions have to be perfect. The path ahead has to be so clear in order to link up and join one another on the same journey. Every time I think I’ve gotten there, I’m proven incorrect. Is that what “the one” would do? I honestly don’t know. My blueprint for relationships has been nothing but ongoing dysfunction so part of me thinks this is all part of the design anyway. The one set of schematics set up for me long ago that can’t be destroyed, no matter how many times I think I’ve put it to bed for good.

But I’m not getting any younger. I cry at stories I see about women who’ve “put off” having children for their careers. I’m wanting more and more to be a mommy one of these days, and I want to have all the sorts of fun that could result in me getting knocked up. But only with the right person. The one and only. I wouldn’t do all the things that are rattling around in my brain with just anyone. Not everyone deserves to see that side of me. Only one person; the person who is for me. It still seems so attainable, even as each minute ticks by, bringing me closer and closer to the end of it all.

I won’t stop chasing this goal. Something aligned in the stars for me long ago, to where I see and know my heart. I’ll simply know when it meets its mate. All I can be is this one person forever. That’ll never change. I still have hope. Polaris is shining brighter than ever before. Why wouldn’t I want to follow that star?