I fled to California nursing a broken heart, yet with a tenacious subconscious sense of valiancy. I felt as if my emotions were on lockdown and they would remain precisely where I had last allowed them to stray. It took over two years of an unwavering battle between controlling where my mind kept trying to lead me, a ceaseless cycle of self-doubt and pensive overthought, and where I had worked so hard to be with the tools I had newly acquired.
I departed on a week long trip to New York City in August of 2013 to visit one of my closest friends, one I had not seen since my rapid departure post college commencement. This visit was very real, it wasn’t all light, airy and full laughter, it was heavy with heart, lust and some serious conversation. For the first time, in a long time, maybe ever, I allowed myself to be a little audacious. Being dicey isn’t of my nature at all, I am someone who wants to know all the possible outcomes before engaging in essentially anything at all. My days of spontaneity were long over from my teenage years as anything obscure had become invariably crippled by anxiety. This visit was different, I reconnected with a best friend, but I also allowed myself an experience that unveiled a part of me that I didn’t know was there, or near the surface for that matter.
I hopped a bus to meet a stranger in Kingston, yes, from the internet. Gasp! We had talked for a few months prior to physically meeting and spoke very candidly, about art chiefly. Our time was brief but momentous, at least for me, I didn’t wholly realize this until it was over. It wasn’t so much pivotal because I was seeing an impetuous side of myself, even in my own contradicting way of having a planned but impulsive encounter. It was memorable for me because it bridged a gap that I had indoctrinated myself for a few years to think would never transpire. I was fastened in a place that I wanted to move away from, but didn’t know what it would take to be able to surpass that slump. I had entered a new stretch of my life, one that certainly wasn’t going to be an easy or free-flowing ride, but one that in hindsight provided me innumerable learning opportunities, one that I am plausibly still in the thick of.
I vow that this trip was about more than meeting Alan, but he proved to be extraordinary. That term is used so loosely and so illogical often times, but there is no better adjective for this human. I remember my brief engagement with him as exciting, a breath of fresh air and a turning point of sorts, someone I wish to come by again. As I yearn to move into yet another chapter, for lack of an exceedingly better term, I remind myself of how I felt prior to that trip. I compare it to how I feel presently, not that same hollow situation, but another beast of its own with that familiar feeling of uncertainty on how to move forward, how to bridge the gap.