Wednesday, April 4, 2012

zen and the art of being single in manhattan, or why i can never go above 96th street again

This is usually the place where I'd put a disclaimer about how I suck at having a blog, and that's true, but I frankly can't say I'll ever get better.

The truth is I've had lots of blog-worthy thoughts since November. There are notes on my cell phone, little ideas that come to half-fruition in my head but never see the light of day in print, so to speak, because I get lazy or I (so I claim) don't spend a whole lot of time in front of my computer during the day.

But the simple truth is for longer than I care to admit, I haven't returned to this blog because I re-read that last post and realize I haven't gotten anywhere. Sure, I've accomplished a reasonable amount in the new year since that time - I've left a job I hated, I've joined a theatre company with whom I've done two shows, I've gone on vacation, I've auditioned, I've job hunted, I've done a reading and gotten cast in a second, and I've gotten (shockingly) back into a workout routine and even become one of those people that enjoys exercise. It's not a bad tally for barely four months. And yet... I come to my blog and I see what I wrote last and it's still too true.

Some of you are probably rolling your eyes at me, calling me pathetic and wondering why in god's name I'm not over this yet. You wouldn't say it to my face, of course, and I appreciate that. Because the fact is I levy the same judgement at myself. That's part of the "zen and the art of being single in Manhattan" bit. You're supposed to hate it this much but accept it with a sort of world-weary complacence. Because of Sex and the City it is somehow more glamorous to be single here than in, say, San Jose California (just as a for instance) so therefore it can't really be as bad as all that, right? And therefore I judge myself for my own... well... misery. Besides, I think, I am the kind of career minded single girl who in truth doesn't really have time for a boyfriend, particularly not to still be somewhat hung up on someone who in all likelihood never really cared too much in the first place.

That's the catch, you see, though. The zen is disturbed by what seems so much more common here than anywhere else - that tantalizing almost. That place you get to where you believe you may not be in it by yourself for that much longer. That terrifying but terrific place where you ACTUALLY get to hope for once. The place you get to look back on four months later with a gaping sense of emptiness and your own patheticness when you realize it's very possible it was all in your head. And so you find yourself, in spite of maintaining your own firm "I'm so over it," doing things like, say... hating the 2 train. Refusing to go to Morningside Heights when not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and bitching about it when it is. Holding a grudge against a certain university in that Manhattan locality. Instinctively hating the Orlando Magic. Realizing you somehow find a breed of dog you never liked adorable and then punishing yourself for that thought.

Realizing, in the end, that all these small things remind you of someone who was for all intents and purposes never there. Was never worthy of this level of your concern and yet... there was that hope. There was that blind, irrational, STUPID fucking hope - which is a word I also hate right now, by the way - which is the hardest thing of all to let go of.

This isn't the first time this has happened to me, of course. But at that time those things that I couldn't stand, those things that made me want to simultaneously cry and scream and puke - and frankly, in a far worse way - were also things I absolutely couldn't avoid. Call it immersion therapy but mere exposure made it get easier faster.

So yes. I should be over it. I'm sorry that I'm not, because I thought I was doing okay. But mostly because I've learned that the "zen" in being single in Manhattan is not really zen at all, it's just re-training yourself not to care over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and finding each time it works just a little bit more, but not quite enough.

It's too much, and not enough.

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