East-West and Back

So, I was in Seattle and Portland the past two weeks. (And now I’m exhausted, achey, and head-coldy like 99% of the time I fly into NYC but never when I land anywhere else.) Didn’t think anyone would notice my absence majorly. I also didn’t expect much. It was just a partial getaway because I was stuck here, all angry and stressed in December, plus a partial story idea generator (I need to get on those asap) plus a partial family (13 members in three cities, which is a record) and old friends (four, one whom I’ve known at least 30 years) reunion. I even managed two dates, one planned via Tinder, the other made in-person unexpectedly with a total non-stranger.

That last bit completely threw off the rigid narrative I already had in mind. In fact, because I’m such a J (as in INFJ–I’ve been back on a Meyers-Briggs bender lately, quackery or not) I started typing out a paragraph last month in anticipation. I do this more than I’d like to admit.

“I’ve practically set up as many dates for my Portland trip than I had the entirety of 2015 in NYC. Either I radiate Northwest charm despite trying to rid myself of it for going on 18 years or men here are truly as useless as I’ve always suspected. There’s also the obvious third reason: you’re always more appealing in another city because there’s lower likelihood of having to see the other person again.”

I was wrong. Really wrong.

The three I’d been texting with since early December shrunk to one, who was perfectly nice, as I was unmatched, and then Sizzler bailed-on, dashing my dreams of creating a Tinder-driven West Coast phenomena (another narrative I’d begun writing with a now-flipped script). And then ultimately my pre-arranged set-ups didn’t matter because I ended up spending time with the friend who coined the phrase “Project Me” and whom I’ve referred to online as the male version of me with examples that I’m not going to repeat right now (and can’t seem to find where–I’m not too embarrassed to link) and now I’m all thrown off in a good way. (And it’s ok if he ends up reading this, and very well could, because a male me would want to know what someone they were crushing on had to say and would be flattered not traumatized if mentioned even obliquely.)

If there was a theme to the the second-half of the first month of the year it was the obvious-to-anyone-else realization that family and friends are important. Also that chasing the new can be a distraction and has its limitations. And that maybe I am now actually middle-aged and it’s kind of awesome. Rather than getting depressed by decades-old memories and the passing of time, my natural downer inclination, I’m growing capable of being kind of charmed by perspective.  Like how 20s and 30s weirdness, and things that didn’t work at the time, can influence life later in positive ways.  That might even be what wisdom (ugh) is. And now I’m feeling like a total sap. Sorry!