I'm in Brooklyn for what feels like a few brief hours because it is a few brief hours. These days I travel so much I feel a bit discombobulated no matter where I am, but the bonus of being at home is that I do not have to consult GPS or maps save for minor street turns. I've been off balance the past few weeks, with so many plans disrupted and rearranged and turned on their heads, and new plans springing out of thin air. I have many pieces I'm waiting to hear back about, that feel like I've sent them into some editorial black hole and I know the right answer is to move on and write more, but I keep wondering what to do about those, whether to check in and risk being a pain, whether to submit elsewhere.
I fell down a step the other day and skinned my knees and palms and was mostly grateful that my glasses were intact. That's the second time I've fallen and they've held up. The saddest part was that I fell down a lone step and I was actually waiting on it for someone who was hobbling down the stairs on crutches and in my dreamy, head in the clouds way was wondering what that was like, and then I went sprawling.
That sprawl seems to epitomize much of my life these days. Falling, picking myself back up, trying to stay calm but sometimes freaking out. Yesterday my headache was so bad that I almost cried, but I didn't. My friend made me homemade guacamole that was fresh and delicious and spicy and we ate those and blue corn chips and watched her videos from the Olympics, including Usain Bolt's big win.
There is a part of me that wants to give up my apartment and just roam, which is sortof what I'm doing the next few months, without the giving up my apartment part. I'm not going to do that, but sometimes I think about it, because Where to Live has become a metaphor for What I Want My Life to Look Like and I'm not totally sure on either count. Ruling out possibilities in both categories should help me narrow down the good choices, but sometimes it feels picky, like I should just take whatever I can get. It's hard to realize that you can fall for a place as much as a person. I have been wearing this Brooklyn hoodie all over the country, from Milwaukee to the West Coast to Minneapolis, as a reminder of home.
It's funny because every time I go away, I stuff my suitcase full of books and have all these grandiose plans of how much I'll read and write, and this trip, even with what wound up being a 6-hour airport wait, I didn't read all that much. I finished one mystery and read a YA book and a memoir over the course of a week, which isn't bad, but I brought about 7 more books and acquired a few more by visiting publishers. And...that's how my home is filled with hundreds of books. I'm trying to set smarter goals for myself. That sense of dislocation sometimes occurs when I sit down to write or edit or blog. Those are all very different tasks, and nonfiction is different from fiction, and sometimes it feels like shaking my brain back and forth and jostling it until it's in the right mindset for one or the other. I like the variety, but I sometimes it's dizzying.