I have lived in my condo for a long time, relatively speaking. Two years is a long time for me to keep a place afloat, or at least it feels like it.
When I first moved in, my meditation teacher at the time told me to have a party. She told me that I needed to fill the place with good energy, with people I loved, who wanted good things for me and my life here. She knew, I'm sure, that it would also be a good way to help me deal with the grief spiral I was in a year after my grandmother's death, and at a time when I was back at work and miserable after grad school. She knew, like I wasn't willing to acknowledge, that I needed community and connection and fun.
I had my first party in this place on St. Patrick's Day. So many reasons it's taken this long. Slow learner. Not a quick study. Stubborn. Busy. Doped up on internet and going other places always and dead ends and dumb things. Whatever. It took this long to get still and to crawl up and out. I have been grounded in this place, mostly, since life hit a deep skid in October. My travel schedule stopped suddenly, and I have been here. Here, just here. Working here, living here, not doing dishes here, not getting my sink fixed here, not organizing a work from home space here. Just here.
That has changed, recently, for a variety of reasons and one friend, mostly. And it's so good, regardless of all of the garbage of the past three years, flying in the face of it really, proving it at the same time necessary and over, that I want to document it here, where I tend to document so few things these days.
I bought a lot of Guinness.
I bought a lot of potatoes, and beef, and carrots.
I made cottage pie (shepherd's pie, specifically with beef, not lamb) and beef stew, both from Elise's site, and I thought they were pretty good. This is unsurprising, because she helps you make everything pretty good. There were no leftovers, anyway (like, people licked the bowls no leftovers. This never happens. It made me so happy.) I made a makeshift rainbow out of fruit on a plate (strawberries, tangerines, pineapple, grapes, bluberries, skipped the v) because hey Pinterest, hey, and people brought me whiskey so what I'm saying to you is HAVE A ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARTY IF YOU LIKE WHISKEY AS PEOPLE WILL BRING YOU IT.
I also bought the most enormous bottle of Bailey's I am hoping exists in the world, which is to say, would you like to come over for coffee?
And late at night after everyone went home and I was deep into my Spotify shame spiral and already fielding e-mails for Monday things because the internet never, ever, sleeps, not ever, my heart was full like George Bailey's after Harry came home and he concurrently received all of the mortgage money, and I wasn't sure this was possible anymore. It's been a frozen, confused, shit show in my chest for a longer period of time than I care for it to be. It's just that things were super dicey. All of the dials were screwed up and uncalibrated and finally it was winter and nothing that good tends to happen around here, then, generally -- it's not necessarily entirely terrible, it's just a waiting game. Ennui City.
People do give a place some life, it's true, when they smoke on your balcony (sorry, upstairs) and help to do dishes unasked in your kitchen and play songs on your desktop and tell stories on your couch. I knew this. It's so elementary. It's been such an important part of my life in other spaces and times. But it got so easy not to work on it. It's so easy to let things go, log on and off with a learned, unconscious apathy, and not work on what's outside, the stuff that's harder, the people in my physical space.
I knew I didn't want to ignore that anymore, and I know now for sure that I won't.
There is so much more that goes into my life right now and so many things that came together to make this happen and one person in particular who held everything together to make it possible for me to have this happen in my space. And after eight years of writing here I equally know that there's no possible way I could appropriately, fully reflect that on this blog, and that's okay. I've just put so much bad and uneasy here that I wanted to balance it out a little.
So instead I'll say that I had a party and the place where I have spent a lot of time crawling through life and change and heartbreak and not enough and other and alone, on at least my emotional and sometimes what has felt like my physical hands and knees, was full of friends and stories and plans.
It's the best thing I could have hoped for out of the last three years. It's one of the main things that I have hoped for the most over the past three years.
I think I can finally say that I'm going to be okay, Internet.
I hope I think right.
This post and this day are in laser-sharp memory of Christine. I wish she had hung on to have her own party. We are all not so lucky to walk through every single fire. Every day is a goddamned flawed miracle.