Love is a very multi-faceted emotion isn’t it? It waxes and wanes, moving along with the earth, the tides and the clouds. A dark tropical rain storm one minute, a midday sun ray on the ocean the next. I never believed I would ever really be lucky in love. Those walls I built up over the years wouldn’t come down easily anyway, and NYC isn’t really a great place to actually find a long-lasting love story. Maybe I should rephrase that to say that my NYC isn’t really a great place to find love. Too many of us adults running around like teenagers in the dark clubs and bars until way after the sun comes up. Too many beautiful and broken people bumping into each other on the same streets, happy and smiling after a few shots, grumpy faces and eyes covered with large shades in the daytime.
We dance to the music that we play in those dark places, our safe havens, where friends mingle with other friends, where the alcohol flows day and night and where we know we don’t have to worry about being judged. But we are judged, by some people we may consider as friends, by the passers by, but mainly we judge ourselves, more and more harshly as time goes by. You compare yourself to someone who seems to be doing a little worse on any given day, whispering to yourself that it’s OK, you aren’t as unwell as that person seems to be, but that you are probably still going to make a fool out of yourself anyway. It’s a melting pot of beauty, talent, strength and helplessness, but also a lot of love and respect for each other.
You see, it isn’t all that bleak, the bleakness is just worse in the morning when the alcohol wears off and when you know you should be in bed sleeping but you have to work and hustle and get through another day. Maybe love isn’t on the cards a lot of the time, but friendship is and I have found the closest friends I will ever find on this earth, right here in this city. For the first time in what seems like ever I don’t have to TRY to fit in, I just fit in. Or maybe I’m not so concerned about fitting in anymore, and have just accepted the fact that it’s OK to be an outsider, just because in the end we are all outsiders in some form or another. I like to remind myself of running around the paths on the kibbutz in Israel, realizing that this is what it felt like, that feeling of actually existing. Because that’s also how I feel when I stomp up and down Ludlow St in my biker boots, getting myself into all kinds of trouble.
Depression doesn’t go away forever. It goes out with one tide and comes back with another, whenever it feels like it. I handle it with alcohol, just like I handle a lot of things that make me anxious and unsure. It’s funny how black-outs tend to be a lot more frequent when you drink while depressed than they do when you are doing OK. It’s fine, I can handle it, until I can’t handle it anymore and then I will stop. Sobriety isn’t an issue; I’ve done it before and will most likely do it again. I’m just having fun exploring darker paths nowadays, and in the meantime meeting people I would have never have met if I hadn’t trusted my instinct and moved to this city. New York City is the place where I can finally call myself home again. I will figure the rest out as I go.
It’s been years hasn’t it? Years of hustling and running around; years of hoping that maybe one day I wouldn’t end up alone, but at the same time never being able to trust anyone completely. This city will make you even more wary of putting your life in someone else’s hands. I’m totally fine with that. I actually thrive on the noise, the chaos and the constant movement, I like to float along for a while and then fight the rip tides when I’m strong enough to. I love leaving my apartment, hopping on the subway for a few stops and opening up the bar by myself, wondering what the night has in store for us all. I have always loved creating my own little home around me, my routines those of the little village girl I once was, my own comfort zone within a huge city. You never really are alone, even when you feel like you are. I suppose I am a loner, but I love being surrounded by people, the noise of chatter helps drown out a lot of the persistent questions in my head. Every day is a party somehow, every day there is music and laughter and probably a tear or two. Many hugs, some kisses and so much love for those around me. I want everyone to be happy and healthy and to always feel surrounded.
I always thought I would be a mother one day. I was going to have a daughter and her name was going to be Luna. But now at the age of 34, with the crazy lifestyle I sometimes lead, I don’t think it’s on the cards anymore. And that’s alright; I always said that in order to become a mother I needed to find the perfect father beforehand. Growing up without a father wasn’t easy, and I always wanted my child or children to grow up with a father who loved them and their mother. Perfect doesn’t really mean perfect in the literal sense of the word, but the perfect match for me. Someone who would accept me for who I am and who would have no issue expressing their feelings and emotions. It can be quite difficult holding back all of the time out of fear that the other doesn’t feel exactly the same way about you. I’m very tired of all that, and therefore have accepted the fact that I will most likely never find the real “love of my life” or have children.
When I saw the test turn positive I felt like I was having an out of body experience, as in this is me but it’s not my life. And then I smoked about four cigarettes in a row, hoping that Google would be able to yield the answers to all of my questions. Hadn’t I decided just six months ago that I was never going to have children? I had had a good old cry about that and had then shoved everything away neatly into a draw in my head, locked it and thrown away the key. Or so I had thought… My life has never been a straight line, and I’ve jumped through hoops, been knocked over by curve balls and done enough high kicks to make my way through it so far. This wasn’t going to change anything: but this time I’m not alone.
People sometimes ask me if I miss my “old life”, or my “life before kids”. I can honestly say, without a doubt, that I do not. I am a nostalgic person, and love to go through old photos and writing, reminiscing about times gone by, wondering how old friends are doing and hoping that one day we will all meet up again and laugh with each other. However, I am also a huge believer in the fact that if we spend our time missing the past we are actually missing the present. For so long I believed that I wasn’t allowed to fall in love, and when it actually did happen I tried to push it away. It took a teeny little being, no bigger than a sesame seed to make me stop in my tracks and rethink everything. While I’ve spent a lot of my life running away from something or another, I ran towards love and motherhood with abandon, with no sense of fear or anxiety. And here I am today, living with the loves of my lives, my Cesar, Luna and Aurora (and our very patient cat Joey Ramone), grateful every single day for how my life turned out, despite everything. Or maybe thanks to everything? Probably a little bit of both.
I have come to the conclusion that real happiness can be as elusive as a rare butterfly; but that once you catch it it doesn’t disappear. You just make it your own and it threads itself into your life and those around you, a sliver of silver through layers of darkness and colour. Sometimes it just makes sense to let those walls crash down and let yourself be vulnerable to others, because you just never know what might happen.
And with that I end this story, a glimpse into what was and what is, words that take me back through those turbulent teenage years, and words that push me into the future, excited about what she has to hold for us. I will continue to string this happiness through our lives, and hopefully bring it into others’, in some way or another. I know that the darkness may appear at any given time, but she’s never as dark as she once seemed… I’ve always loved a good storm anyway.