I am changing. Small changes but meaningful in their own ways.
I’m expanding my comfort zone. Since moving into the city last April, I developed a daily routine. I get up, go to the Starbucks a thousand feet from my apartment where I spend a good couple hours reading, Facebooking, conversing, not everyday but often, almost exclusively with Rebecca.
I rarely strayed further than a few blocks from my apartment except for a walk down Wisconsin Avenue into Georgetown.
Today started out no differently, until I left Starbucks after my first cup of coffee. I walked 2.3 miles to Adams Morgan and Tryst, a coffeehouse slash bar slash lounge that has a wonderful vibe to it.
I think this is the third day in a row I’ve done so.
I listen to audiobooks when I walk. Today I finished The Nightingale, sobbing as I walked down Connecticut Avenue, one of Washington’s grand boulevards. I was a mess. The story is beautiful. The writing feels heavyhanded at times. The narrator seems compelled to make explicit that which should be gleaned.
Regardless, it is a lovely book, exciting, dangerous, and thought-provoking. It made me wonder how Germany could ever be forgiven for the atrocities of World War II, similarly to my feelings toward Japan after reading Unbroken.
On Tuesday, I had dinner with a David, an old friend from my days in pro sports. He reads the blog and experienced many of the same upheavals on his own journey.
At dinner, Dave was supportive and generous in his compliments. I noticed that I had no shame thinking he was feeling sorry for me.
That’s another change.
On Friday, I had lunch with Mel, a friend who lives in the neighborhood. A belated birthday lunch at a French bistro. It was comfortable. It was fun. At one point, I mentioned I taught myself to cook as a means of avoiding people when Caroline and I entertained over the years.
Though I’m outgoing and sociable, I was never comfortable when we had more than a couple people over. Mel was surprised. At that moment I realized it was my anxiety. I was so conscious of wanting everything to go “right” I couldn’t think about anything else.
Staying in the kitchen, cooking with a singular focus, and drinking, was my coping mechanism.
I don’t know if I can communicate how liberating this new-found knowledge is for me.
Meanwhile, I have two new blogmutt submissions I am waiting to hear about. I’m still working on other pieces, one specifically for Elephant Journal, still waiting for that breakthrough.
One downside of the changes I’m undergoing is I miss my morning Starbucks chats with Rebecca, but I’ll fix that.
As hard as my transition has been and continues to be, I honestly feel I’m making the best of it. And that’s as good as it gets.
Stay in touch. Connect.
PS Considering the last line of the post, is this a surprise?