This week is the first time I’ve really put off writing a blog post since I started it a year ago. Now, this is partly because I’ve been busy getting ready to move house (again, finally), and partly because I haven’t been sure what to write. Sure, I can ramble with the best of them, but I’m trying to be more honest with my writing, or so I keep telling myself (and you guys). Thus, here comes a post that is two days late. My bad – I’m sorry if my title implied I might be pregnant. I’m not. And it was intentional. Ha.
I suppose in a strange turn of events, I find myself not getting that stressed about much at all, except momentarily money, which is standard really. This is a revelation (that’s this month’s theme, in case you hadn’t picked up on that). What I’m talking about though are the little petty life things that I have somehow been losing sleep over for many of my adult years. And then one day fairly recently, I just stopped worrying about the things I couldn’t control. It seems so obvious now (like most things do in hindsight, conveniently) and yet it’s taken me 30 years, so it can’t have been that obvious.
As a recent example; I found myself stuck in Greenwich Village in New York a few weeks ago (that sentence makes me sound so cool, I know) at midnight, trying to figure out how I could order an Uber without WiFi to assist me. Earlier that night I had planned my trip, mapping which nearby bar would have the WiFi that I planned to steal after going to a poetry night. As I went in search of said bar that was crucial in making sure I made it back to my hotel, I was vaguely aware of being foreign and female out on a back street late at night, but for some reason panic didn’t set it.
I got to the bar safely, which had now turned into a club, and searched for something I could buy so I wouldn’t feel so guilty about asking to use their WiFi. All they had however was coffee. And it was midnight. My British polite sensibilities kicked in as I reluctantly said yes to coffee, and then casually asked for the WiFi password. The barista making my coffee gave it to me, but was definitely on something HARD. She was out of it, and I feared for her safety being so close to hot metal and boiling water. But I had an Uber to order, so I typed in the password and waited. Nothing happened. I typed it again, asked if it was correct, she said yes, then maybe not, and then she wasn’t sure. Then she instructed me to go to the back of the club where the signal was probably better.
So here’s the scene: me in my full winter coat and scarf and gloves, walking into a packed club full of sweaty bodies, holding my phone in the air, trying to get what felt like a non-existent signal. Eventually I saw a guy clearing drinks, and asked him what the password was, to which he finally provided me with the correct one, and I reclaimed my access to the internet by ordering an Uber.
As I returned to the front of the bar, my possibly cocaine charged barista handed me a large cup of coffee (a small in the US) and I prepared myself for staying up all night after drinking the entire thing (it was very good coffee, I couldn’t not drink it). I was also vaguely aware that I should have been freaking out before; when I couldn’t get the WiFi and thought I was stranded without a way back to my hotel. But I was in some kind of Zen mode where I knew that even if things didn’t work out the way I had planned, they would work out somehow.
It was oddly calming but also unsettling because I am used to anxiety. We’ve been through a lot together and have even become friends over the years. Yet now, for some reason, the irrational and most prolific parts of my anxiety have now left me. Instead it’s reserved only for the things that really matter to me, and even then it just flutters in and out of my consciousness, until I can do something about it.
Perhaps this is what happens when you get older? As if now you’ve lived on the planet a sufficient number of years, you begin to understand that giving zero fucks about the things you can’t change is just the smart thing to do? Whatever the reason, I’m crossing my fingers and toes that it sticks because it’s making my life so much easier. I mean, my body must be evolving too because I drank that entire cup of coffee and still slept like a baby. Granted, it could have been because of my jet lag but whatever.
Image credit: Espresso Machine by Ben Davis from the Noun Project