How do I . . .
. . . return to my day-to-day life after a fantastic eight days in Manhattan? I was held close, coddled, treated like a long absent family member or celebrity, heralded, feted, loved, and — most essentially and like a healing balm to life-altering effect — seen and liked and appreciated by a glory of dear ones, some of whom I’d hugged in human form before, some who’d been virtual acquaintances, some I met only after arrival.
. . . describe those eight days? I realize I promised to and have not. Well, here’s the thing, I’m not going to. My interactions were intimate. Private. I’m not talking only about the chorus boy from The Lion King with whom I spent my first night in the city or the illegal-Russian-immigrant dancer with whom I spent a few nights (and afternoons and mornings) and asked to marry me, I’m talking about the people who I came to know through Twitter who invited me into their real lives, and the friends from decades past with whom I reconnected; I made different kinds of love with all these people and those moments were variously profound, profane, hilarious, revelatory, deep, surface, terrifying, comforting, careful, carefree, careless, and soul-level. They were personal, shared experiences, and it would feel like betrayal to write about them, and, too, they are my treasures — those people and those moments — and I am holding them close to me, safe in me, with me, talismans of the best of me, the possibilities of joy. Because . . .
. . . describe how I was really and truly Charlie in Manhattan during that visit? I was free to be me in a way I have not been since I was a child. When I was little Charlie, playing in the empty rooms of my dear aunt Sissie’s home, Libertytown, fantasizing about the future, that chimerical adulthood was one in which I lived the high-life in New York, supping with the literati, taking in (being on?) Broadway, strolling through parks and museums, window shopping, city glamour and sophistication, being part of it, feeling at home and at ease and completely grounded in me. My visit was all of that. I never had to fight against feeling that thing I feel here, every day: failed and not enough, somehow less than. During my New York trip, everywhere I was felt like it was where I was supposed to be, and everyone I was with felt like the exact right person with whom to be in that moment, the person who saw me, who knew me, who liked me, who wanted me to be the one with whom they were in that moment. It was perfect. So again . . .
. . . return to my day-to-day life, here in Frederick, Maryland, after that eight days of being in love, loved, feeling sexy and seen and totally at ease and at home? Well, I’m reading and writing and interrupting any sorrow or pity with the treasures from my time there. Listen, if I could feel that way, so at ease and so full of joy for those eight days, then that energy exists. It’s a matter of living in it, no matter my geographical location. Because . . .
. . . explain that I learned about being happy from someone (well, a couple of someones) during those eight days. A man I fell in love with and asked to marry me who said, “You need to go home. You are a too easy mark. Too, I think you say here, opened up. You believe too much of stuff.” Yes. I do. And a woman who reminded me of so many people in my life from whom I’ve learned, to whom I might better have listened when she said, “I don’t think you see yourself like other people see you. I think the dislike you think you feel from others is in your imagination, it’s coming from you — not anyone else, because who — if they knew you — wouldn’t love you?” I decided in that moment, with that sentence, not to ever allow unhappy to be my guiding emotion again.
. . . communicate then, that this is not a blog about being unhappy here — because I am not unhappy here — but rather, a blog about finding the Manhattan Charlie, the playful-Libertytown-child-fantasy Charlie, in this day-to-day Charlie life I’m living now?
. . . keep the no-walls, open-heart, soul-sharing “believe too much of stuff” Charlie alive and in charge? I am not sure of the HOW, but I am sure of the CAN.
Much love to all of you.
This post has been brought to you by Random Hows.