5 min read
Hello friends and neighbors!
I know I’ve been gone for a minute. I haven’t written much lately for a few reasons:
- I’ve felt blocked creatively. Additionally, I’m filled with self-doubt about my writing skills, as well as frustrated that despite how much work I put into building a writing / blogging career, I feel like I’m not progressing.
- I’m still quite depressed and don’t want to share yet another sad post.
- Being depressed means I barely have energy to do much more than the necessities of each day.
- I don’t want to give satisfaction to anyone secretly hoping my New York move won’t work out.
I’m tired. I’ve lived here for 5.5 months now. Months which have flown by, but during which almost each day dragged. Reminds of a phrase my friend shared with me:
I didn’t think moving to New York would be easy. However, I didn’t expect to feel like life is punishing me at every step, and that some unseen omnipotent power is having a great laugh fucking with me.
Logically, I understand that, of course, life isn’t punishing me. I have some control over my circumstances. The reality is, however, that I don’t think I have much control. I’ve encountered setback after setback to the point where it’s hard for me to believe circumstances will ever improve. It begins to feel like, “why bother?” If they do improve, is it worth it?
I keep returning to the question, “what’s the point of being here [in this life]?” I’ve mostly given up and have simply been going through the motions. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post that the idea of having to live for another few decades of ups and downs fills me with dread.
My new therapist told me that when I feel like I’m heading down the depressive rabbit hole I should focus on trying to stay present, to not spend so much time fixated on the bleak future I forecast. Further, I should do things that bring me joy, and work on appreciating my surroundings and the good in my life.
With pessimism, I replied that I find myself jealous of the birds and squirrels I pass each day. How simple their lives are. They fly, scurry, search for food, eat the food, communicate with their fellow species, procreate, and all without the emotional turmoil humans endure.
I came across this tweet last week, which I identify with more than I’d like.
“I just keep losing. Are some people supposed to lose…here to make it easier for the winners?” I felt this so many times. #AtlantaFX
— Jamilah Isoké (@JamilahLemieux) September 7, 2016
I still don’t have a place of my own. It almost seems like a dream that I used to have my own apartment, rather than staying in other people’s residences. For a few months I’d been subletting a great 1-bedroom apartment and finally felt a bit of stillness. However, as the lease occupants preferred to have someone take over their lease, I had to move out at the end of last month since I plan to live with one of my sisters.
I tried Craigslist and Airbnb, but couldn’t find another temporary place to stay, so I’ve moved in with my mom. Today makes almost two weeks that I’ve crashed at her place on the air mattress I purchased for this new phase.
This is absolutely not where I thought I’d be at this age and stage in my life. I worked hard to take care of myself all these years and now here I am, feeling like I’m starting over again as when I moved to Los Angeles in my early 20s. But I’m not 23 anymore; I’m closer to 40. This feels like a regression.
To make matters even less joyful, my cat’s kidney disease has progressed quite quickly these past few months. Yesterday, the vet and I discussed euthanasia for when the time comes to let him go. The tears flowed down with a vengeance during this conversation.
Fluffy raccoontail and I have grown up together. I adopted him when he was 4 months old, shortly after I moved to L.A. He’s been a constant, loving furry companion for nearly 15 years. Figures this would all go down when I’m still trying to find a place to live, as well as rebuild my depleted savings from this move, because that’s how life works.
My therapist asked, attempting to work me through the negative self-talk, “What evidence do you have to show that your life will always be difficult?” The negative Nyesha in me answered, “Let’s see, there was the time this bad thing happened, the other time that horrible thing happened, then there was the other other terrible thing…I could do this all day.” She encouraged me to consider the positives in my life, and when I do, I recall ephemeral moments which cumulatively do not convince me that being a human in this world is worth it.
To add to that, there’s the constant stream of bullshit going on in the world that reminds me just how unfair and messed up it all is. There’s so much hate in the world, and too little empathy and attempts to understand each other.
That someone would call for murdering people who refuse to pledge allegiance to a piece of fabric or sing a song with racist lyrics, written by a slave owner, galls me. That Black people are continually gaslighted and/or ignored when we protest our inequitable treatment in this country is maddening.
Will this country ever get its shit together and learn to actually treat everyone equally? Or will I be 75 years old still hearing people try to justify why a Black person doing nothing but being Black deserves get shot by a police officer; or made to feel uncomfortable in their own neighborhood; removed from a wine train for enjoying themselves; or should get punished for wearing their hair the way it grows out of their head?
This is a country where rapists get minimal sentences while their victims have to deal with the aftermath for the duration of their lives. Where gay people are targeted and slaughtered while enjoying a night out. Where people of Muslim faith get attacked by the xenophobic. A land where indigenous people – the original Americans – protesting the destruction of sacred burial ground are met with vicious dogs and pepper spray. Where greedy corporations profit from the incarceration of citizens, treat them like modern-day slaves, and focus more on their punishment than rehabilitation.
It’s hard to see the good with all the bad that’s happening.
A few bright spots have poked their way through this blanket of doom:
- Do you remember the job that I originally wanted, interviewed for back in March, and then subsequently did not get because of a hiring freeze? I got a call in June that a position opened up and asked if I was still interested in the role. Yes! Ironically, for someone who doesn’t like working in an office and is disinterested in continuing on this career path, work is one aspect of my life that provides me with some degree of content. My new co-workers embraced me with enthusiasm almost from day one. It’s refreshing to once again work in an environment where I’m seen, appreciated, and people actually want to get to know me. This experience could not be more different from the coldness and dysfunction I experienced in San Francisco.
- I’m not doing this all alone. My middle sister and I still plan to live together. So, we’re in a similar boat with the frustration of home-hopping.
- I also have been spending time with my youngest sister, my mom (not the one in Texas), and a host of other relatives I’m getting to know. For once, I’m not navigating difficulties on my own.
To my family and friends who may have reached out to me, I apologize if you’ve felt/feel slighted or neglected. It’s not you, it’s me.
I’ve not lost ALL hope. There’s a sliver of me who still thinks things might return to good. Then the negative thoughts creep in and I revert to “And if they do? How long ’til the next batch of shit drops on my head?”
Sorry for all the gloom. Perhaps things will improve and I’ll return with an upbeat, carefree post. Only time – maddeningly slow time – will tell.
Update May 2017
Things are much, much better now. Almost like a 180 from how they were this time last year. I am in much better spirits and feel optimistic about the future. New York can be a tough city, but as the saying goes: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” and I surely believe that’s true. Thank you to everyone who reached out with kind words of support. It truly means/meant a lot to me. I hope to return to blogging soon. In the meantime, I hope you are all living your best lives!