For the past few weeks I have barely posted anything on my blog or on social media. If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to it can be summarized like this: Second Guessing.
I mean, I was doing a lot of other stuff too. Time consuming stuff like celebrating my mom’s birthday in Savannah (posts to come!), going to Six Flags (don’t judge) for a friend’s birthday, hosting my best friend and her husband for a fantastic weekend in NYC, and training as an usher for a new show in my home theater. I’ve been working 60 hour work weeks at minimum.
The second guessing I think has been popping into the the back of my brain for a while, but I’ve pushed it away for the last few months. I’m really good about not thinking about things I don’t want to think about. I’m sure a therapist would have a lot to say about that which is why I don’t go to a therapist.
Unfortunately, my brain can only hide from itself for so long–the second guessing made a pronounced appearance in the front of my brain when I was hunting for the address of a certain dog adoption agency in New York for my boss. During the hunt on the adoption agency’s website, I clicked on the Adopt a Dog page and saw this face:
My heart sped up. My first thought was…That’s my dog. That should be my dog.
I’ve never experienced love at first sight before, but I was pretty sure this was it.
It’s true I love animals, but I’ve never been over eager to adopt one of my own. After all, I live in an apartment in the City with a roommate and a cat. I would have to turn my world upside down if I got a dog.
I would need a new apartment. I would need to quit my night job so I wouldn’t leave the dog home alone all day. I would need to cancel my trip. But as I looked into Bodhi’s beautiful eyes, I thought, Maybe I can do it. Maybe I can give up everything for this dog. Maybe I don’t need freedom. Maybe I need something to tie me down.
For three straight days I kept a picture of Bodhi my purse. I showed the picture to everyone like this dog was my firstborn child. My aunt, the one who isn’t so excited about my travels, even thought it would be a good idea for me to get a dog so I could understand that “being ordinary is okay.”
And for a second, I almost believed her. Maybe ordinary would be okay for me.
Compared to saving for and going on a year long trip, getting a dog would be easy. I could fall into the kind of calm life I’ve only ever half wanted…but maybe it would be okay. Maybe this time, I would be happy working a normal 9-to-5 then going home and taking Bodhi on a walk, then maybe having a friend over for a glass of wine. Then, at the end of the night, curling up on the couch and watching Netflix. And I wouldn’t have to leave my theater life–my greatest sadness about leaving is that I will have to leave Broadway behind.
This is someone else’s dream that I’ve tried to talk myself into many times. Every time I try to “settle down” into a normalish life, it backfires. I get bored. I think about all of the other things I could be doing with my life–traveling and finishing my book mostly. I get so wrapped up in these thoughts that I eventually sink into depression. It seems like a never ending cycle in my life that I finally intend to break.
On the fourth day of carrying Bodhi’s picture around in my purse, I called the shelter asking about him.
It was too late. Bodhi had been adopted. My decision it seemed had been made for me. I felt mostly relieved, but also a little sad. Bodhi was supposed to be my dog. My life with him flashed before my eyes in an instant.
I went home. I checked my bank account. (I am behind in my savings because I can’t seem to break my wine and Broadway habits.) I looked in my closet, which still is too cluttered and I need at least a full weekend to purge more before I can reasonably pack all of my stuff away and put it in the basement. I gave up on saving money for the day, ordered a roll of sushi and ate it in bed while watching TV.
Over the past week, as I run from my office, to my job as an usher at the theater, then home again, I have gone through the same doubts while still trying to get myself back on the financial track. It’s been only mildly successful and majorly wine filled.
This is where my conclusion paragraph should go. Isn’t that what they teach us in school? You always need an introduction and a conclusion. Except, I don’t have a conclusion right now. I don’t know what this feeling is: perhaps it is only nervous jitters which I think are completely acceptable when you are about to uproot your whole existence. Maybe the doubt is only because the weather in New York is perfect right now and the breeze coming through my window is crisp and full of Fall. Maybe it is because I saw a beautiful piece of theater (Curious Incident in the Dog in the Nighttime) that made me openly weep and revamped my love for Broadway yet again.
The best conclusion I have right now is that, yes, I am still leaving for my trip in the beginning of next year. I’m just going to stop calling it my year-long trip because it puts too much pressure on the whole thing and gives me anxiety. It doesn’t mean I won’t be traveling for a year, but it doesn’t mean that I will. I just find it best for me to take one day at a time for now and not look at any dog adoption websites.