Lately, I’ve felt a little clogged. And I think it stems from me having not sat down any time recently to write. I say what’s going on. I’ve meant to, but as I love my life in the constant rush and business, I haven’t made time. But now is the time.

 

Just a year ago I got back to NY, in retrospect, in shambles. I don’t think I have ever been so low in my life. It wasn’t just an unexpected breakup and an unwanted and then lost pregnancy. It was moving back to a place I never planned to live again in my life. To a place I had no friends and back to my family that I am oddly not close with (still). And then I started a new job that was all kind of pressure. It was terrible and it took me months to unwind from it all.

 

I’d say most of the fall I just stewed in my own shit. I was miserable and unable to get out of the funk I was in. I was heartbroken to begin with, but I tried to make the most of it. I dated but nothing stuck because obviously I wasn’t ready. I dove into my job at full force and gave myself anxiety for it. I put myself out there trying new things and making new friends, most of which I also have not stayed in touch with either. And I traveled, my only solace in it all.

 

My family was no help; I don’t know why I’m so surprised. My sisters, try as they might, judged me and continually try to fit me into a box. They’ve told me that they think I have seasonal depression and that I put too much emphasis on finding (romantic) love. And forget about my mother. I always knew I kind of ran away from her, but now it is all to obvious. There is nothing I do that she doesn’t try to compete with me about or put down. She is truly my biggest demon, and I try to stay away from her as much as possible. Of course deep down I love them wholly, but we just are not meant to be close contacts. This breaks my heart a bit. But there is nothing I can really do about it.

 

Probably after my trip to Brazil, and a bout on antidepressants, I finally took like into my own hands and started to seek out ways to heal. They are all kind of alternative, but the regular Western psychologist and meds just weren’t working. I started going for acupuncture as a way to calm down and help with my insomnia. There my acupuncturist turned me onto a book that speaks about the chemicals in your brain that control emotions. When you deplete them, you often turn into a mess of all sorts of things. Mine was depression and anxiety. And the way to fix it is through better nutrition and possible supplements. It worked for me, and by the spring I had really come around.

 

Being in control of my emotions a bit and recognizing where they come from and how to fix them was a real growth for me. I’m not anti-Western medicine, but I do like to be able to take care of myself. It was a self-healing and it has been empowering.

 

In the meantime, I have taken this year to really figure myself out. I am more the person I have always wanted to be, and shamelessly at that. I don’t do anything I don’t feel like doing, only keep friendships that are truly beneficial and mutual, entertain my real interests, and get myself into situations that others may deem frivolous or unusual but I like them.

 

In coming into myself I have attracted the best of people. It really is how they say: what you put out there is what you attract. I have a few very close friends who are not exactly like me, but they love me and view me through a lens that sees the authentic me.

 

After a rough start at my job, I now really love it. I get to create the curriculum in such a real way that lets myself and my personality come into the classroom. I’m good at it. Something my boss lets be known to me and my superiors have rewarded me with a hefty bonus. There was no way I wasn’t going to sign on for another year. And I have.

 

This summer has been beautiful, I have taken NYC by storm and travel/camped around the US East Coast as well. I love that after a year here, my friends and sisters who have lived here forever turn to me for where to go and what to eat. They know that I have eaten up NYC from food to parks to nightlife and free concerts. I’ve even hosted some travelers and shown them around. I don’t think there is a way to know NYC inside and out being it so big and ever changing. But I have a good handle on it. And I’m loving it, something I never expected.

 

A good part of my comfort lately has been my bonding with a guy named Francesco. We are an unlikely pair, him 18 years older than me, retired living off a fortune he made in photography in the 90’s. But somehow we mesh. It started off as a simple attraction with no real intentions and unbeknownst to the both of us, we are bound and making plans for Miami in for Rosh Hashanah in Sept and Italy (where he’s from) in Dec for Xmas. I think most of our coming together has to do with our odd but similar goals in life.

 

Over the past year I have come to terms more with what I want as big things in my life. Others have told me I’m delusional or that I will ultimately change my mind, and maybe I will. But right now I am certain I don’t want a wedding/marriage and I don’t see motherhood as something I crave. That doesn’t mean I plan for loneliness. I want to meet my person. I want to meet someone that loves me as I am, without trying to pressure me into someone I’m not. I want someone to invest in and share myself with. I want someone to share the burden of life with. For now that’s Francesco.

 

He wants the same things. We have conversations about politics and psychology and technology. We question life and our existence and idealistically think about what is in hold for us both. We take it day by day without more than minor commitments to each other and the grand scheme. And it works for the I am right now.

 

I’m still me. I still get up in the morning and want to put on a cute outfit, talk in Hebrew to my Ecu-puppy, Lorenzo, browse food blogs in my free time, and try and do something Instagram worthy everyday.

For now NYC feels at home for the me I am. It still has a lot to be discovered. Though I think inevitably I will move on from here too. I crave novelty and change too much to really settle down anywhere for too long unless it changes with me. I think it’ll be interesting to see where this year takes me among the big things: friendships, romance, and interests. I hope NYC keeps serving it up. But if it doesn’t, I’m not afraid to pick up and move. I know I’ll survive. If I made it through this whirlwind of destruction I think I can make it through the next.

 

Lately people have been telling me how fierce and strong I am. I may just beginning to believe them.

I have wanted to write and say something happy. Mostly because my days usually are lately just that. But today is not one of them. I heard from Marco and it swung my day into an incredible abyss of incontrollable emotions and a flood of tears I couldn’t stop. I actually don’t know if he triggered it or if it would have happened anyway. I am all sorts of changing meds and doses lately that it could have been anything. It’s been weird, a slow numbness to my life so that I feel like I’m living it again. But also the notion that my emotions are all sort of dulled. The pain and the joy so that everything seems good. And I know it’s all rather fake and artificial. I dunno. But it’s making my days a little easier.

So things are actually good and uneventful if not busy. Job is good. I was already asked back for next year. And I got accepted to the masters program I had applied to which I’ll start in February. I had waivered back and forth for a while about whether or not to stay in NY because I have been so unhappy here. But getting accepted to the masters has helped the case to stay. So I will. For now anyway.

Dating has been the usual ups and downs and ridiculous stories that never stop. It has included:

The butcher I met at my friend’s wedding who told me over our date that if a girl swallows you put a ring on it. Yep, those words came out of his mouth.

The guy I dated in Israel prior to Ron who I also went to high school with. I should have known I didn’t like him the first round.

A Brasilian I met at a dance club who tried to seduce me with his guitar playing.

My neighbor who asked me out and I didn’t realize was a date until it was too late.

And a Ukranian dinner at my co-workers in NJ to meet her ex-husband’s old friend.

They were all duds. The have been only 2 that have struck a chord with me. One was Leandro’s visit to NY from Brasil during Thanksgiving. After keeping in touch for months he finally made it. It was perfect. I was still attracted to him. And had a really good time hanging out in the evenings with him. I’m excited to leave now for Brasil in a week.

The other was even more a random a set up. A co-worker of mine decided i’m perfect for her husband’s best friend who just got back from Israel. She put us in touch. But he’s living in DC. We chatted a bit but we weren’t sure when we’d see each other. I got in touch with Kim and she told me about her baby shower. So I decided to go to her baby shower and go on a date with this guy Matt in the same weekend. It was so much fun. I had missed Kim. And I like her friends a lot. A few live up in Brooklyn, so more girlfriends for me!! Yay. And my date with Matt went on for about 24 hours. Hes beautiful and smart and sexy and everything i’d like to meet in a guy. Really. But it’s awkward long distance. I think he likes me. But I’m not sure if it’s enough to really pursue me from DC. And you know me. i fall hard and fast. I could easily take the lead and try to make it happen. But the truth is I don’t feel like being the leader. I want to be pursued by him. So either it will happen or it won’t And that’s just that.

So Marco wrote today to tell me his misses me and is bummed because his plans to the Galapagos Islands that he had planned (with a girl he was dating) are now going to solo. And he’s sad having to spend the holidays and new years and his bday all alone. He was thinking how we spent it together the last few years. I didn’t even respond. I have nothing to say. I don’t miss him. i wasn’t even upset when I found out via a Facebook post a few weeks ago that he was going on vacation with a girl, obviously something romantic. But something in him contacting me always puts me over the edge.

So this is life lately. Grinning through it. Trying to hope that I’ll make my mundane life mean something to me. I’m honestly bored with myself. i have created a nice circle of friends. I know what dating is like here and I hate it. My job has become pretty easy. And I’m going to start studying again to move up in my career. It’s fine. But its not exciting. I want someone meaningful to share it with.

My sisters were whining at me recently telling me how I have always had a bf and I need to work on myself. And I get that perspective. And I’m doing that. But I really don’t think my wanting to be with someone is about it being a crutch or a way to not focus on myself. It’s just who I am. I like sharing myself with someone else. I like creating that special relationship with someone. It has always been what has lead me in life. And I am happy with the decisions I have made surrounding all my relationships. Sacrifices I’ve made and probably follies too.

I also miss the physical closeness to someone. Not the sexual kind. Just the proximity. The sleeping next to someone. The touching and the affection. I got it from Leandro while he was here. And it made me feel human again. i felt good, desired and like I felt my own body again. Sometimes I feel like a ghost floating through my life. The physical interaction helps me remember what I’m made of and that I need to be touched to feel like me.

Anyway, I am just counting down til my upcoming vacation. I don’t have any real plans after that. Maybe I’ll see Leandro again. Maybe Matt will tell me he’s coming up to NY. Maybe nothing.

But that’s all. A whole lot of nothing but maybes and wishing for more in 2015.

So I don’t even know where to start anymore with my ramblings. When I sit down to try to recollect and organize how I feel about everything going on about the nothing in my life, it is cathartic. Which is why it often takes me weeks to gather myself and overanalyze my life.

My move into Brooklyn was uneventful. I needed it. The commute was psychologically draining. And I needed to feel like I had some space of my own. To be able to say I live on my own again and not with my mom when I met new people and they asked. My bedroom is small, but it’s mine. And I live with 3 other people, so that means all the typical roomie issues times 3. But it’s good for me. Ironically, I have gone home every weekend since I’ve moved in because I have doctor’s appointments and weddings and other arrangements previously scheduled. And I like it. I like spending that time with my mom and relaxing there. It’s the balance I needed–life in the city and leisure at home with my mom. Not living with her, I actually miss her. And our relationship has improved immensely.

Boys keep coming and going. Went from the Italian to a Peruvian for a few weeks. Heard from another person from high school and Israel. And was set up on a terrible date. Plus a gay co-worker asked me out. It’s all awkward and every week is a new story. If you ever wonder where all the fodder for shows like “Girls” comes from, just live and work in NY apparently. Or in any big city. I watched an episode of “Sex and the City” yesterday and caught glimpses of my life there. Yes, sad but true. The more I date the more lost I feel I am in figuring out what it is I want. Some days I want someone to whisk me off my feet and wake up with me on lazy Sundays. Other times I revel in my independence and want a distant random fuck buddy. I suppose that indecision says it all. That I’m not ready or that I haven’t met that person that fits into this life of mine. I’ll know when I know, like with everything.

I’m scared to admit that I am looking into a psychiatrist at the moment. I have been uncontrollably upset more often than I’d like to admit. And my family all thinks its time. I have transitioned enough into my NY life that this probably isn’t going to go away on its own. The last 2 weeks have been the worst–I even took a personal day because I couldn’t stop crying last week. This morning I think it finally reached a breaking point. I went to an emergency care center to get a prescription for antibiotics because I have some sort of flu (yay for working for 8-year-olds) and my mom came with me. While in the room she spoke up out of nowhere to the doctor and asked if he could recommend someone because she was scared for me.

I think I have been so wound up with all the little things that I haven’t seen the big picture. My mom pointed out things I hadn’t even noticed like my sleep patterns and my lack of appetite and other things. For now the doctor prescribed me something light until I can have a more formal examination. I’m hoping it will help me kick some of my anxiety in the butt.

In the meantime I’m thinking of canceling my trip to Brazil in December. I think it’s too much and I am not even excited about it. Instead of being happy thinking about it, I get nervous. I’ll just reschedule a South American adventure for this summer or something. I haven’t called up yet though because I want to tell Leandro. We’ve been making the plans for so long. But I need to get better first. He’s coming to visit in 3 weeks, so this should be interesting.

It’s funny, sometimes I am entirely OK with things and how I’m transitioning. I think I actually like it. And other days I am so distraught over it that I can barely function or move. I can spend 2 hours in my bed heaving and crying and I don’t even know why or how to make a change so that I feel better. Eventually I calm down. And I do something. But I don’t know how to explain it.

My job has calmed down for the most part. I have found the balance mostly. I am no longer scared of it. I’m not great at it but I’m doing my best. It’s chaotic and my boss, while I love her as a person, is not very good at her roll. She’s disorganized and has unrealistic expectations. She is all theory and not a lot of practice. On top of the fact that our team has been missing a person since the first week of school when they fired someone. And she hasn’t helped at all.

My commute to work is kind of a lot for me. I think it’s more psychological than anything. I get down thinking about going home on the suburban railroad. I hate driving. And I get anxiety in my mother’s presence. My relief is sometimes coming home knowing she won’t be there. I just have so much going on in my own head, that when I get home and she fires a shit storm of non sense at my face about such inconsequential I nearly explode. It’s like an mind overload. So I started looking for a place of my own.

I had thought I would take my time and save money by living at home, but I have become to look at everything differently lately. The more I try to look at NY as some sort of concealed time capsule, trying to just get through the next 3 years here, the more I hate it here. I hate wishing it would be over with. And because I don’t really know what is going to happen next, putting it in a 3 year time frame doesn’t really help me. Instead I’m trying to accept the fact that I’m here and make a real life here in the meantime.

That said, I stopped worrying about trying to save money and make myself happy. Being on Long Island and feeling in transition isn’t helping. So I am moving out. What the hell am I saving for anyway? I may as well enjoy the present even if I have to reevaluate things in the future because I have less $$$. I just put money down on this awkward room in apartment in Brooklyn. It’s in an “up and coming” neighborhood. i like it. I’ll have my own space. And I’ll see how I get along with the other 3 roommates. More than anything, it’s a place to go home to and that I can close my door and be by myself if I want to in my free time. Or I can more easily meet up with friends. Or just take Lorenzo out to a cute cafe or a dog park, neither of which exist here in the suburbs.

In the meantime I am also applying for my masters which is stressful. Because my degree is from abroad they consider me as an international student. They’re making me take a TESOL exam to prove I know English! Ack. I just hate forms and filling things out and paper work. I’ll feel better once I’ve been accepted, which is likely. I spoke to the advisors the other week and they were happy with my transcripts and things.

On the boy front, nothing is new. I see the Italian on occasion. Though I am already getting bored of him. He’s cute. I meet late at night for a romp and then we watch a movie. He’s studying film and works late at a restaurant to pay the bills. But sometimes I’m too lazy to meet him or he’s too tired after a long shift. And since it’s not meant to go anywhere with the expectations we have both set up, I dunno if I muster up enough interest to keep it going. We’ll see.

For a while now I have been keeping in touch long distance both with Leandro, the Brazilian, and Shir, from Norman. I was nervous for a while because Shir said he would visit during Sukot and Leandro is coming in November. Both had wanted me to visit in December during X-mas/New Years and I didn’t know who to choose. But recently Shir dropped off. We just kind of faded out with all our Whatssup messaging. And I assume he’s not coming in another 2 weeks to NY. All the better. Because Leandro is definitely coming–he sent me all his hotel reservations and things so I know where I’m staying when he’s visiting. And he kept talking more and more about Brazil during New Years. He even started sending me links to hotels on the beach of which I was meant to pick from for when I am there. He was serious. So I booked my flight.

I have to say, I’m still doubtful about it. I mean let’s not be disillusioned here. I met this guy a few nights in a row as a Tinder fuck with no other intention besides sex. I am not really sure why or how we stayed in touch. But we have weekly Skype dates on Sundays and chat on Whatssup incessantly. Not that any of that means ANYTHING. I could see him in November when he’s in NY and be like “Who is this Idiot?” So needless to say, I was hesitant to buy a $2000 ticket to Brazil. And yes it is that expensive because of the time of year. But I rationalized it in 2 ways: 1) The ticket price keeps going up so it’s either buy now and pay the price to change the ticket if I don’t want to go or otherwise buy the ticket in November when the price is more expensive anyway. 2) Even if I don’t go to see Le because we don’t like each other, I can still go to Brazil and have fun on my own. So I booked it because I needed to have a vacation looming in my near future. My life is not complete unless I have sometime real to look forward to.

And then there is always Marco still mixed in my life. I’m still dealing with that. He begged me to write him after I started work to tell him how it was. It took a lot to find the words to write to him and tell him how I’m doing. The good and the bad. But I did it, and I felt better about it. I felt complete because i had finally gotten the packages he mailed me from Barcelona and unpacked them with all my early memories of Marco and I. It was sad. So writing to him afterwards felt like closure. And then he wrote me back about his small life in Quito lately, and I was so turned off by his mundane life and him talking about his uninteresting self that I was purely satisfied. I knew right then that I didn’t need him any more and I was happier with my fucked up and confusing mess of a life right now than I would be with him. So I didn’t even respond to some of his questions and I told myself that was it.

But it never is. He wrote me a sappy message on Facebook on Wednesday before going to a co-worker/friend’s for Rosh HaShanah. He was heading back to Italy again for his brother’s wedding and he must have been thinking of me. I tried not to get worked up about it. I just said have a nice flight and that I wished his family a happy celebration. But that just made him rant more about how I should be there and that he was so envious of me moving into NYC (I had posted on FB that I was looking for a place and he must have seen). I didn’t respond but I did get upset. I had to go to the bathroom and cry a little and then blot my face. He still gets to me.

That’s about it for now. Just trying to get through all my own mini battles. My sisters are my core right now. They listen and let me vent. And now with a new apartment to move into come Wednesday, I can obsess about something else. I officially have a bed for guests to sleep on now. All welcome!

Every time it happens, it’s the same. It’s like fighting with with a 15-year-old and then nothing is every resolved. She’s not a parent.

I wish I could tell her how much it hurts.

That when she self-proclaims that she sucks at being a mother, the proclamation doesn’t make me feel better. It only gets worse. Because I’m still here, a product of her misconduct.

How do I explain that I’m just like her and I hate myself for it? I fight hot and hurtful like her, I interrupt people incessantly like her, I fall in love face-first like her, I suffer from my own extremely distorted body image just like her. I am aware of these flaws and have worked so hard over the years to dull them in my personality. Psychologists to fix my eating habits and endless broken hearts to absolve the way I put myself out there. I have had to learn in my 20’s how to really listen and when to speak, it sounds ridiculous but it’s true and I have made the conscious effort. And I have a long way to go at fixing a lot of it.

What scares me is being around her, because I don’t want to regress. But I feel it already happening. She pushes buttons and even when I mean to be calm, I break down and my temper rises so that I become her. I can’t go food shopping with her or eat around her because she destroys all the work I have put into eating healthy and understanding when I’m full or hungry. I can’t have a normal conversation with her because the way she interjects in the dialogue makes me feel defeated. I can’t even have simple discussions without getting attacked.

I’m scared too because I don’t know what I want from myself in the long run. I’m lonely and I want to meet someone. I like being in relationships because I like to have a confidant, a companion, someone with which to share all of myself. At my age, relationships mean marriage and kids and I don’t know what to tell men because I don’t think I want kids. For all my progress, I’m still just like her. I can’t bare the thought of bringing another human being into this world to a person like myself because I know what it’s like to be the kid.

I’m trying so hard to stay put, but I want to be away again. It’s the only way I feel safe from myself and from her. For a very long time I didn’t have a reason for why I left and stayed away. And I don’t often say it out loud. But deep down I think it has always been this. That being around her makes me hate myself. It is like looking in a mirror with the urge to grab something quickly, toss it, and shatter it.

As I’m writing this I am suffering from a self induced NY pizza belly ache. I had a slice before my 2:53AM drunk train back to Long Island last night. I went out with Lauren and her bf Aaron to one of her friends birthday parties. It was cliche–full of pre-gaming and waiting on a long line for a place I could care less to enter. It was one of my second outings with Lauren and her friends and every time I have to ask before I get dressed if I can wear what I’m wearing because apparently you can get excluded form entry just for being in flats. Yes, every NY woman owns a pair of towering strappy mega platforms to be worn horrendously and tastelessly with either pajama-esque shorts or dresses so tight they waddle in them. And then there is me in my high top sneakers which I wear almost intentionally just to say FU. Or more because in these dance bars with girls in super-shoes, my toes are in for beating so I wanted protection.

Everyone keeps writing me asking me how I am, how my new jobs is, if I’ve gone out on dates, etc. And it’s so hard to give any quick response back that seems genuine. The truth is so much and so little has happened all at the same time. I could give a quick quip that sums it up in 20 words. Or I could take my time to process it and write it all out like this. All my observations and everything I am really thinking.

So my last week of vacation before starting work was terrible. I was miserable being home because I felt paralyzed unable to really do anything reasonably responsible. I couldn’t read the books my boss has mailed me, I couldn’t do laundry, I could barely take care of Lorenzo. I hated the thought of being here and everything just felt so uncomfortable.

My resolved has been my sisters. I have seen a ton of them lately. We meet several times a week and gab, go to the beach, eat out, go to the gym, etc. I feel so lucky having them. Especially since it’s been entirely unexpected. We have never been close in the past. And I was honestly ready to hold a bit of grudge since they didn’t really communicate with me when I was going through all my shit in Quito. But they have been here now, which is more than I could ever ask. We don’t all entirely get each other, but it doesn’t matter. They understand at bottom of it all is that I feel out of place and they’ve been holding my hand through it. And sharing in the Ima-Venting, because my mother’s cray-cray is my largest impediment at the moment.

They thing is that it isn’t just about moving home and being a 29-year-old in her mother’s house. My mother has some serious illnesses and psychological issues, aside from an unfiltered mouth (which I must have gotten from her) that makes living with her a constant battle. Her bulimia has taken over life and spread itself into everything. Eating around her makes me uncomfortable and nauseous because her habits are altogether grotesque. What is worse though is that she is entirely unaware of it and the comments she makes otherwise to me. And because of her food obsession, nothing else gets taken care of in the house. She doesn’t clean regularly, she doesn’t put anything back in it’s place, the house is chock full of garbage because she has no capacity to sort or get rid of anything. She just hoards. It makes being here feel like being in a mental hospital. I just keep everything that is mine in my room in order to have to do as little integration with her domestic disorder.

I saw that strange boy, Michael, that grew up in my hometown 2 more times. After our epic weird date, nothing really happened. There was no cute banter and I figured he had dropped off the face of planet. I wanted to see him again for more story fodder, but I also was not interested in chasing him at all. After nearly a week of silence he wrote me “I’m having ppl over tn”. Well, I didn’t make it out there that night because I had other plans, but we made plans for the following week.

After him having planned the last meeting, I had wanted to plan the date. So I came over with a bottle of Maredsous and Chimay to teach the wine snob about Belgian beer. I rushed to catch the train, and on my way he texted that he was running late. I had an hour to kill in a random up and coming neighborhood in Brooklyn. Yay. I sat in bar and downed a tequila and then headed up to his place. He still wasn’t ready, but he was wearing the same over the top things. I had tried to “dress-up” more by wearing a blouse instead of a tank, but it didn’t compete. He had on black slacks and slipped on dress shoes with the shoe horn. Fancy. Then he put on another stark white polo shirt and a funny beige tweed blazer. I still don’t really understand his odd style. It was all sophistication, but also really mismatched. Who wears a polo shirt and blazer? Wear a button down shirt or otherwise a collarless shirt under the blazer. But nevermind. Panana hat and dark rim glasses.

He went around his apartment prattling on about all our options for the night–these friends were in this place and those ones were in that one. So apparently, I was going to meet friends. Okkkaaay. We chose to stay in the neighborhood and meet some of his college buddies. Meeting them explained everything. They were just a bunch of casual guys from California (Michael went to UCLA) in sports shirts and jeans. I began to understand that Michael’s dress code and peculiar speech were part of some sort of facade he puts on. His friends even called him “Doc”. We bar hopped with them for a while, his friends ordering beers and him ordering Negronis and complaining about them. Clearly a neighborhood corner pub doesn’t make the best Negroni, even his friends were laughing at him. It was a very strange situation because I didn’t stay at his side, I spoke to his different friends trying to make friends since I still wasn’t sure what this whole set up was between Michael and I. It’s not like he had kissed me hello or anything.

Anyway, some friends asked how long we had been dating. Awkward. And others talked Michael up, “He’s a really great guy”-style to reassure me I was getting involved with a quality man. Stranger. And then I ease-dropped on Michael talking to a friend on the way to the next bar where they were discussing what type of place it was as Michael wasn’t familiar with it. It got described as neighborhood gastropub–not a great place for meeting people. And Michael said, it doesn’t matter because he was with me. I can picture myself walking ahead of him and my eyebrow perking up at the odd thought of all this. Eventually separated ourselves from his friends and went up to the rooftop of his new building admiring the view. Finally alone I began to put the pieces together. He went on several monologues about life and criticizing things. It was fun getting a peek inside his head since he is obviously very intelligent. But he also admitted that all the things he’s done and experienced in NY, one that he hasn’t is being in a relationship. And he started to explain to me that he wasn’t sure what he meant by inviting me out for a drink and wasn’t sure what he could offer.

As per my previous “date”, I didn’t know what to say really. Was I suppose to respond to his awkward declaration? I was pretty drunk–1 tequila and 2 gin and tonics into the night. But I tried to be articulate and explain that truthfully I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I lied and said I was attracted to him and honestly said that he intrigued me. Mostly, that I’d like to spend time with him and whatever comes of it, does. But also went into my opinions on sex and not delaying and putting it off as something special. I like sex and I find it an integral part of any non-plutonic relation. It was good or it wasn’t, and I am past the phase of trying to teach bad fucks how to communicate with me physically. So I prefer to get involved horizontally early on to see how we mesh. He didn’t seem in disagreement but it didn’t excite him either.

Needless to say, we got physical that night. It wasn’t bad but it was very far from mind blowing. It was kind of like our first kiss–it was nice in that it felt good. But I am used to the nail scraping type. He was much too concerned in trying to please me to even really get into it himself. He couldn’t let himself go. He was too much in his head than the moment. I slept over again, this time in his bed but left early in the morning, 730am, to go meet Lauren and go to the beach. He woke up too and got his computer and told me to come out later again as he had mentioned he was having some sort of birthday party (his bday had been during the week).

I had plans to go out with Lauren and her friends that night, but I figured I would maybe stop by. Unfortunately, Lauren and her friends bored me to death playing what I can’t call anything more than Long Island in the City. They all looked like carbon-copies of themselves. Same giant black strappy platforms, white pants with black top or black pants with white top. It was like a dress code of eye sores. Pants too tight or in crop tops showing off tummies that needed more covering up. Everyone should wear what they want, I don’t care if someone wants to show off what they’ve got. But it just hurts to see people wearing things because they are trendy and not because they are flattering in my opinion. But nevermind. They drank and pre-gamed at a crowded apartment and then of course taxied (I am not used to taxis in the city still) downtown. I got a text from Michael on the way to the bar so I decided to continue on to Brooklyn instead of joining the mid-twenty somethings “getting their rage on” as they called it.

Michael had told me he was having a rooftop party, so I expected a big things. Nope. It was me, Michael and 5 other people. 1 of which I had also gone to high school with. We quickly shook hands and then he ignored me the rest of the night. They weird a disconnected group. One from is soccer team, the one from my hometown, one co-worker, another wine buddy, etc. I had a hard time keeping a conversation with any of them honestly. They were all snobs in different ways. They were all having conversations about things I know little about such as NYC real estate, where they buy their wine and their favorite sommelier, or this DJ they love. Even when I was just listening, I had a hard time not chuckling to myself. They’re all Brooklynites, which means they are on the tip of neighborhood trends. They use Brooklyn like an adjective. For example: “I met my girlfriend as a Brooklyn house party.” Not I met her at one in Brooklyn. The fact though that it took place there means of course that it was hip or underground or something. Or this one guy started blabbing about a restaurant he owned in Pittsburg, so I asked what type of place it was and he said “European” as if that clearly implied something. That isn’t a type of food specifically, so I asked what he meant. His answer was that it was more of a vibe or atmosphere than a cuisine, as if everything that is Europe could be summed up in one word. I didn’t say that though, I just nodded like I knew exactly what he meant.

Every one finally left and we were all pretty drunk having spent the night on a Pastis fix. But Michael was especially in for it so I sent him downstairs with ibuprofen and his Soda Stream soda water. As I was kinda of tucking him in he started complimenting me on how I got along so well with everyone both that night and also the previous one. I just hushed him with a thanks because it was such a strange drunken comment. Michael had made no effort to really chat and get to know me in the social scene of his friends. Both times I felt as if I had been invited as an unnecessary accessory. Something else for his image, as I imagine his friends may have asked who I was. I can’t even imagine what his explanation must be, I’m the charity case NYer, but not, that he is trying to reintegrate into society. Anyway, I cleaned up the rooftop in my own drunken state and then got in bed next to him. I left in the morning before he even moved.

He texted later that day to laugh about us dancing on his rooftop and that was it. When I started work on Monday I tried to start up the banter but he didn’t take my bait. And the conversation entirely died out. Again I didn’t hear from him for days and days so I kinda of figured maybe that was it. I had gotten a bit perturbed since even though it didn’t bother me that things would fizzle out from a romantic stand point, I did kind of like the game. We had pretty much stated that this wasn’t a relationship, it was two people that saw each other as opposites trying to teach one other about their worlds. And I kinda liked the stop and go of it to a certain extent. But after 5 days of silence I actually deleted our conversation from Whatssup so I wouldn’t be tempted to initiate any conversation with him in my boredom. I figured it was GAMEOVER, maybe one of his friends had planted a seed of dislike about me. Or whatever, he had exhausted his interest in me.

And then last night while I was out with Lauren on yet another NYC rooftop, my phone buzzed. “I think I may have just completed several consecutive days of nonstop ‘prior commitment’ attendance.” What the fuck does that imply? I asked Lauren what to write. She said just send a question mark, so I did. “Saying sorry for being out of touch, and that I’m going to lay low for the rest of the night tonight. Text u tmrw.” So it’s tomorrow, and nothing. Lauren thinks I should just stop while I’m ahead since all the awkwardness of this boy is getting boring. And I half agree. But then again there is nothing else and I’m too lazy to actively search for anyone else while I am still transitioning back to life here. So I’m just letting it be.

So now about my job. This week I finally started and it has been both a blessing and a curse. I was waiting for it already to just begin because honestly, sitting at home doing nothing in it’s anticipation was disheartening. And now that it has begun I have only more things to whine about. There are spurts of goodness in it, and it does the greatest thing of filling up the hours in my days so that I think less. But the mundane of working and being surrounded by uber-Americans that are their jobs kind of kills me. A little bit each day.

I wake up at 530 in the morning, having prepared everything the night before from my lunch, my shower, and laying out my clothes so that I just go through the motions. Personally, having to wake up any time before 6am is a personal low. It is an hour of inhumanity and its scathing to look at the clock in those early hours. My first day of work was so painful I quite well may have given someone a black eye if they had chanced speaking with me. But no one did.

Drive to the train station. Park. Wait for the train. Take a metro uptown. And I finally arrive at work around 730am. That’s the bad. But there really is a lot of good. So I’ll start with that. My fellow Hebrew staff is a motley crew. Some religious, some not. Ashkenazi and Sephardic. Years in the US and some newcomers. It’s interesting. All different political opinions. I think it is such a beautiful representation of Israeli society as a whole. It feels special and everyone is really awesome. Really open and friendly. I feel really comfortable and excited to among so many people that I really value. Among them are two people though that really make me happy.

One is my boss, Alona. She is one of those amazing people that inspire you because you want to be them. She is so passionate about her work and she really understands it and is able to impart that knowledge in an interesting and comprehensible manner. But the other parts of her as a person are apparent despite her role. She is a mother and a feminist and a lefty and so many things. She cuts her own hair and doesn’t wear a bra. I have a girl crush.

The other is Netalie, a girl that seems to have lived a parallel life to mine in Tel Aviv studying literature there and waitressing, leaving suddenly and questioning that choice. She is one of the only people I think that really gets me here in NY. She’s the only one that isn’t all career-minded in her ways. We have a lot in common. She’s still a little weird but we connect and I think we’re both so sensitive that it makes it easier to fall apart in front of each other. We sat up in Morningside Park up on this balcony that looks out over the city and we shared stories. We both came back to NY for the wrong and the right reasons. She buried her boyfriend and lost her father in the same year. My pains seem silly compared to hers. But it was cathartic to share and cry and look out on Manhattan reminding ourselves where we are. Oh, and her mother is a bit tra-la-la-la too, so she commiserates.

The rest of the staff is very young. Which is nice. But unfortunately my critical nature doesn’t let me get close to most of them. It’s not for lack of trying, but it is like dating. You know usually in the first 10 minutes it they’re your people. And they’re not. The Americans are obsessed with their jobs. They brag about taking their work home. And the self-righteousness of working with children makes it all the more obsessive and “look-at-me”. We even had a conference about professionalism. And my colleagues agreed that we need to be professional not only in our work place but also out of it, because you never know who you will meet. I wanted to walk out right then and there. I wanted to scream NOOO! Absolutely not! I am not only teacher! If anything I think that we need to be recognized more as people in the workplace. I have a life, a personality, concerns, issues that have nothing to do with my job and often explain who I am in my role as a teacher. But it is a useless conversation. They don’t get it at all.

But that’s just the people. This week was all Professional Development, and as it has become clearer what I am doing, I am loving it. So the school I am working at is a bilingual school that teaches the core curriculum in English, but has a Hebrew co-teacher for every class. Co-teaching in and of itself is pretty awesome. It isn’t just another teacher in the classroom, it is a witness to it all and I really like (the idea of) it. I am paired with this awesome chica named Tammy. She grew up in the Bahamas and down South and has moved up to NY to be with her fiance. We really get along, and I think we’re gonna have fun working together in the classroom. But aside from that, I am teaching a language acquisition approach called “Proficiency” that really agrees with how I see language teaching. They talk about second language learning as the same really as mother tongue language acquisition. The process is first Input, just a lot of listening. Like babies, they hear the language and understand it long before they actually speak. So this would be me just talking, but in simplified sentences and with lots of visual cues, body language, etc. Then Intake, which is the words a child actually absorbs from all my Input. Then Developing Systems in which a person actually start understand the language and making sense of it in their heads. And lastly there is Output, being the spoken language. The goal for our students is obviously “proficiency” but the approach understands this requires time. They grade it in hours, that for example X language requires Y hours of immersion to reach proficiency. My job, besides 1 hour a day (for 3 classes) of actual Hebrew lessons, is to be with the students and blast them with Hebrew in authentic situations. I also get to plan a lesson every day with Tammy in science or social studies that has to include both English and Hebrew.

And I got to peek already at the Social Studies curriculum and its so cool, progressive, and well thought out. There is a section on Israel and they teach it through families and they’re all so “politically correct” but in a great way. The families are mixed Ashkenazi and Sephardi, like it Israel. They have an Ethiopian family and the mother is a nurse. They have an old “grandparent” couple who lived in Israel prior to its establishment and their bird has an Arabic name. Things like that which are all so authentic to me and also teaching the important multicultural values to the students. Especially since I understand from colleagues that my students are going to be similar. There are tons of kids from the neighborhood from African-American or Latino backgrounds among which some come from lower income backgrounds. There will be as well upper middle class kids whose parents are professors at nearby Columbia. There will be all different religious backgrounds, practicing and not. Kids from families with same gender parents. Maybe I’m more excited about my students background than I should be, but I find it fascinating.

The down side to it all is probably going through all the motions not even having my next vacation planned. I find it hard working without something imminent and exciting to look forward to. Something that explains the moments when I question the point of it all and can at least say that the life I love costs money and money comes from my salary and my salary comes from the pointless job I am doing right now.

I must say I have been really good about budgeting. I found a super cheap super market, albeit a 30 minute drive away into a more “ethnic” area of Long Island. I spent $98 on a month’s worth of groceries. 1 pound of turkey breast for $3.39 is unheard of! I unpackaged everything and put it into weekly sections and froze it. This way I can pack my own lunch and endless snacks to eat, since I’m always hungry. I saw already my first week that it’s easy to fall into the pitfalls of buying a coffee here and a bag of chips there. It adds up quickly. And I’d much rather save it and spend it on a good dinner once a week (at least) out with my sisters. I have a ton of places I want to try after having added NY foodie blogs to my Reader. Hehe.

Last week I already tried one. I dragged my sisters to one of NYC’s best burger places creatively called “Burger Joint”. It’s a tiny little dive inside a posh hotel that you wouldn’t know of unless you were looking for it. They have hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries. That’s it. So good. I hope I can keep up with getting my sisters to come out with me. They seems to like my initiative for now. Let’s see. I’m hopeful.

Life is mostly good on an individual level. It’s only when I feel grouped with other Americans that I start to feel so out of place. My opinions and outlook are different. And the way I dress seems to warrant opinions. Especially my hair. Everyone says I need to cut it and calm it because it’s too frizzy. Lauren literally yanked my jacket off me at the bar last night complaining that if I wasn’t going to dress up, I should at least how some skin. Bah. I had bare shoulders, but that didn’t seem to attract any more men than with the cardigan on.

I think Lauren is going to try to play makeover with me. She insisted one night this week that I come over and she try to style my hair. If it makes her happy, then she can go ahead. I know I probably come off weird or like a hippy of some sort. Even one of my Israeli co-workers asked me this week if I play the guitar. I said no, why? She said I just look like I should. Apparently, I look like some earth-crunchy music teacher. And that is after my wardrobe overhaul my sisters insisted on the week prior. I have the calluses on my feet to prove it, damn new shoes.

But I don’t care. I refuse to become like everyone else. Even if it makes me lonely. Even if I get labeled things that I don’t associate with myself. I’ll continue to make the friends that are right for me. And if the average man is turned off by the fact that I am 5’3″ (160 cm) and walking around without heels, then he’s better off not coming up to me at a bar. Take me or leave me.

 

It’s a paralysis. That’s what it feels like most of the time. This numbness, like I can’t fully do anything. I get junk e-mail and I can’t be bothered to filter it. I have books for my new job on my desk that I don’t want to open. My laundry pile just keeps growing. These are just some of the things I should get to doing. But I can’t.

I just keep looking blankly at my computer screen. I glare at the calendar and the passing days. I flip open my phone and browse my contacts. But there is no one to really write. There is nothing particular I have to say. Nothing new has happened. And with the time difference between all my friends around the globe, it’s never the right time to call. And say what?

Nothing. That I’m simply lonely. Sometimes I think that is the why we hitch up as we get older. Because we don’t have the same bustle of everyday life and we need to fill a void. That’s how I feel right now. I feel useless and lonely. And I keep thinking, what is it that I’m missing?

Is it my friends? I miss them, the chatting and the banter. The notion that there is someone to call, to meet up with, to fill the hours with, to discuss the nonsense that is life.

It’s time that these that I also miss Marco. Not really him, but that person. The one you can sit in bed with and watch TV or decide to go out for a walk with or check out whatever new thing it is you wanna try. I want that.

Even if really I’m not ready. I’m not ready to really meet someone.