#112 More Good Times
I’ve mentioned this before, but my most depressing day of every year is whenever I have to fly back to the New York grind after 1-2 weeks of sunny, silly, San Diego bliss. As I texted Goodtime Guy upon arrival at JFK, my melancholia was obvious. He said it sounded like I needed company, and I didn’t disagree. It was the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend and he was at a friend’s barbecue; he said I could probably join, but I was in no mood to mingle with strangers. Having been forsaken on this fragile day in years past, I felt very cared for when he showed up later that evening to hang out with a lightly-catatonic Emily.
The next day, I assumed he’d go home after breakfast and I’d have the rest of the day to recharge. As we walked around in search of sustenance (my fridge was empty and most places were closed for the holiday), he acknowledged my lackluster demeanor and said, “I know you’re not stoked to be back but I’m glad you are.” Although that made me smile, it wasn’t enough to lift me out of my darkness. After we ate, despite my very quiet and unentertaining mood, it seemed like he had no intention of heading home. And because I’m a people pleaser who struggles to notice—let alone express—my immediate needs lest they offend or disappoint the very sweet person before me, I didn’t say anything. Did I regret letting him come back to my apartment, where all he did was fall asleep? No... But did I regret squandering the opportunity for alone time (after having had only 3 days to myself during the 3.5 weeks I was away) before the rush of reality revved back up? Absolutely!
Additional background on my mental state during this time:
For the previous ten months, I had known that I’d be leaving NYC at the end of 2022. But it didn’t become “real” until I returned home from my trip and told my landlord that I’d be moving out in 3 months. Now that I was back, with an unimpeded view of my impending exodus, it was hard to focus on anything else. To masochistically unsettle my life even further, I had recently niched down my career to focus exclusively on naming, and had launched my new brand & website only a couple weeks prior. So while I was trying to get the word out and stir up some projects, I also knew that I could only reasonably dedicate a fraction of my energy to paid work when the task of selling-or-packing-everything-I’d-accumulated-over-the-last-decade was pressing down upon me. Needless to say, my resting state was extremely anxious. Plus, because I’d taken most of the year to reflect on and restructure my professional life, I’d been living off of my now-dwindling savings and had recently decided that therapy was a luxury I could no longer afford. LIFE WAS STRESSFUL, and I shouldn’t have been surprised when it started to manifest in my physical health (more on that soon)—which, of course, only compounded my anxiety. What I’m saying is: I was simply trying to stay afloat—emotionally, physically, financially—and Goodtime Guy was not a high priority. Looking back, it would have helped if I’d been better at listening to myself and setting boundaries, but ya live and ya learn!