Thursday, December 3, 2009

Backward, Forward, and Everywhere in Between

Six years.

I'm sitting in a coffee shop, around the corner from where I used to "live" with friends for a bit before I found my own apartment here in DC. I rounded that corner today and saw that old house, sitting there in its bricked rowhouse glory--gorgeous. It took my breath away for a minute to see it. That stoop where I spent an incredible amount of time with a cigarette or a beer, shooting the shit with my friend Anna. She lived in the house with two roommates, and even after I stopped sleeping on the couch, I still spent a ton of time there.

It was the only place that felt like home to me here, even though I had two apartments after that. I am here today looking for places to live, and have decided to stick to this area again. I feel the need to reconnect with that part of my past self, and try to find that sense of "alive" I uesd to feel here.

Six years ago I took the red line metro to the building where I'll be working again in 11 days.

It even smells the same.

Am I going two steps forward, or taking three steps back? Sometimes, I honestly have no idea. It's a much higher job title, great new position--but all this symmetry with my younger days is a little weird for me.

I guess it only matters that I feel like I'm at home again, sitting here, and seeing the way the light hits these brick buildings and brick sidewalks and these dozens of people walking fast, fast, fast to get wherever they're going.

Yesterday I walked out of my office for the last time. They gave me a party with some cake and my favorite chocolate cupcakes, a card, and I had to give a song-and-dance "thanks for the memories" speech. My co-worker carried my box down for me, gave me a hug and walked away quickly with a brisk look back in my direction. Another one told my boss yesterday in the middle of one her rants & raves of complaining "And now SJ's leaving and I feel like I'm going to die!"

Well--no one there will die upon my absence, believe me! In a few minutes, a conference call with my old Board will commence and my departure will be announced. They might look at my chair sadly for a moment, and then they'll remember they need more coffee. They'll go home, and then the next day, it will be like I was never there at all. And so it was, and so it will be.

Have these sidewalks here missed me? Will I feel like I'm going home when I go back to the bars here where that wonderfully young 22 year old that was me first fell in love with this city? Or will I come and go again as quickly as I did before?

Six years. A lifetime for me.

So off I go now, forward and backward, all at the same time. And so it was.

And so it will be.


Ms. Moon said...

Oh, it's all the same. Backwards, forwards. A circle. That was such a beautifully written post and I could relate to so much of it.
Honey- I think this is going to be tremendous. I do.
Much love...M

SJ said...

Love you back, MM.

Maggie May said...

I can't imagine, but then I is always changing and then mysteriously comes back around again to the same thing...I am exited for you

Bethany said...

Wow. You are brave. I can imagine how odd it feels. When you said it feels like home, I thought, oh good, she is where she needs to be. It IS all a circle, for those who are brave enough to travel it and don't get stuck in a box.
Good luck and congrats.
You're an inspiration.

TheAbsolutPINK said...

beautiful post. I'm so excited for you. I felt similarly about moving back to charlotte after i spent a few years away. I wondered if i would be forced back into "the old dre" or if could be someone new in this same city. Turns out, you will always be you and even though the buildings look the same, the air might smell the same way - life can be different and the same all in the same moment. I feel like this is what's next for you. In so many ways.

SJ said...

Thank you, all. I truly hope this is a good thing! And Bethany, you're so right about being stuck in a box--this is my attempt to break out of it! Keep your fingers crossed for me :)