Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New York anniversary, year 4.

I'm a few weeks late on my fourth-anniversary-in-New-York post, or something, which is just about perfect for my current state of mind and affairs. This is not to say that I've taken toward tardiness, as my yoga schedule relies quite a bit on heavily-pointed promptness - it's more like I've refocused the lens in terms of which things do and do not require certain levels of attention and priority.

I've fallen out of frenzy into a softer variation of busyness. A softer variation of everything, even, but still within the context of the city. Still a bee, but probably not the first one out of the hive on any given day. Definitely not, in fact - as I slip further and further into this warm bath, I've found myself staring at the hoards of subway riders exploding forth from the doors like water from a dam while I putter about, wondering what exactly they are rushing to, and for.

It's a lot of this - time for wondering about inane things. I love it so much. I imagine that it's a little bit like being in a coma, or an extremely pleasant and extended dream. I understand that it is probably super annoying. But I can only take care of myself and my family, and so here we are.

The city is playing very prettily toward my little tableau, with the sunbeams on full blast and seemingly doing its level best to hold off on the god-awful stinking humidity for as long as possible. It's golden hour after golden hour, and if you steer clear of Chinatown in direct sunlight I would say you can really do pretty well to avoid that fetid summertime ripeness that New York is so famous for. No promises for July and August, though.

We're rounding the corner on three months in our third apartment in our third neighborhood in Brooklyn. It's our favorite spot yet - the aesthetic a combination of modern and vintage, the neighborhood a combination of grit and warmth. Three being the auspicious number of balance, and I would say that we are feeling pretty darn balanced as we settle into our new cubbyhole. No longer wishing for more space, a different view, or really much of anything at all. And as we talk more and more about what's next, I actually feel for the first time like we can't leave. Because of all of this - this neighborhood and this community and my amazing, amazing friends.

These friends! I am sometimes so surprised to look around me and see such a dense and varied garden of loyal compatriots. It seems like a lifetime ago that I was sitting alone in our Dumbo apartment night after night, waiting for Clay to come home. My yoga situation actually allows me to balance soothing my inner introvert with my tendencies toward friend-neglect, giving me plenty of alone time during the day and freeing up nights and weekends for socializing. My friends are envious of my schedule and I of their income, and we all do our best to support each other anyway. Between the husband and the lifestyle and the city and the people, I've never felt so supported in my whole life.

I feel so here, really here, moreso than I ever have. 'Putting down roots' is the best way to say it. No longer arriving, a polite observer and a thank-you-very-much-for-letting-me-squat-here-for-a-while sort of participant, but a solid and fully-acclimated piece of the root system. Like if I left, the city might notice, might lose its own balance, if only for a minute.

Today I stand in tadasana on our new balcony and let the hot wind whip through my hair and splayed fingers, feeling every inch a mountain as the trains blow by on the Williamsburg bridge. I can feel myself growing right up out of the concrete, reaching as far down into the dirt as my skull is tall. The people continue to burst out of the subway cars like ants from a desecrated anthill, but I am not one of them, no longer. I am the earth, I am the wind.

I'm losing, loosening, my grip. And it's nice.

Friday, April 25, 2014

To every end.

So as it turns out, that was a big fat lie, at the end of that last one. Remember how I said I was going to write about a yoga pose for you once a week, keep it coming, something to chew on? And then I just didn't, not even once?

As it were, I just didn't have time. I know that's a crappy excuse, but it's true. And it became somewhat of a theme - had been becoming a theme for some time - until I decided that something had to be done about it, because I was falling apart trying to do it all, to be it all. Either I could pound away at the ad factory all day and try to feed my growing addiction in the wee hours of the mornings and evenings or I could leave it all behind in favor of time, time to play on my mat and write and meditate and practice my Italian, maybe teach myself how to play the cello. And maybe build a little business sharing my yoga with the world.

Needless to say, I chose door number two, so here we are. I am a brand new soul today; today is graduation, and I am so thankful to be here. I am certain that I was always going to find my way here. Even two years ago when I was sobbing on the kitchen floor at 2am, on night 9,827 (or so it seemed) of 14-hour days, begging my husband or myself or whoever was listening to save me, find me a new career, help me claw my way out of the darkness; even when it was so unthinkable that things could ever get better. Even then, I was always going to get here. Which is such a relief.

I am so incredibly grateful to my amazing husband for supporting me (both emotionally and financially) in pursuing my journey. He jumped in feet first, never even blinked. And has continued to not blink through every panic attack I've had since then, from telling my boss to officially putting in my resignation to hiring my replacement and so on and so forth. Thank you so much for not blinking, my darling. You are my lighthouse.

I am also really grateful to my lovely soon-to-be-former co-workers, who are some of the smartest people I know and were so super cool when I told them my plan. Pretty sure they saw it coming a mile away, but still, I appreciate the lack of freak-out and the lack of lecture and the lack of anything but support, even as I told them I was jumping ship. You guys have been my family this past year and a half. If it weren't for this turning of the heart, I would never be leaving you, and I want for you to do so, so well. You deserve it so much. Cuties.

At the end of every class, I repeat this mantra -

we give thanks to ALL of our teachers
and ask that they ALWAYS keep teaching us.

- something I learned from my mentor and she learned from hers. The first time I heard this, I actually laughed out loud - is this chick seriously asking us to thank her publicly for this class? But as the sun salutations began to permeate and my raging cynicism began to soften, I've noticed how the word 'teacher' has begun to expand.

She wasn't referring to herself, the person directing the class, telling you to breathe. She was talking about your family and friends and coworkers and clients and the person who accidentally stepped on you in the subway and the guy who is screaming at the bagel counter and the dog who hasn't had enough to eat and the child who is wailing and the leaves that are growing and the trees and the bugs and the dirt and the air and every single precious instant of every single day, telling you to breathe. All teachers. She was mostly talking about you, yourself, the you that is hiding under all the muck, the only teacher of your own truth. That beating heart, those hungry lungs. Telling you to breathe.

Every moment is a perfect time to learn something new. And I ask that you always keep teaching me.

Smell you later, advertising. I am cautiously, anxiously but oh-so-thankfully out.


and release.