Two weekends ago, I went to the planetarium at the Museum of Natural History Museum with Jenna. It was one of those Saturdays that pan out perfectly, despite lack of any planning.
After taking the subway uptown (on which we saw a woman wearing black pantyhose with absolutely no pants on over them) we bought tickets to a show called “Journey to the Stars.” If I wasn’t already really fascinated by space, the selling point would’ve been that it was narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. As it is, that was just an added bonus.
Whoopi took us back in the day, when most of the stars in the universe and our planet were just a glimmer in the eye of….whatever the universe is contained within. (A giant’s toenail? Is that from Lost? I never watched Lost.) We learned how everything around is the result of stars exploding.
We are all made of stars. I think Moby may have said that in the early 2000’s, but it is nonetheless a mind-boggling thought.
I had one of those “Life is SO IMPORTANT, yet SO MEANINGLESS” moments during the show that continued to haunt me through the night, enough to inspire me to hours later drunkenly type the following into a phone memo I found the other day when making a reminder to buy toothpaste:
“Everything is tiny and gargantuan at the same time. I know this isn’t an original thought, nor something I’ve just realized, but getting sick really let me flesh out all the small moments that lead me to here, yet also zoom out and realize this was just one year of my life.”
(By the way, I omitted the typos for everyone’s benefit, but I am definitely the asshole who writes the word “nor” in a drunken memo.)
I’m finally on the other side of this thing. It wasn’t enough for me to hear I was in remission. And maybe that’s a selfish thing to say, because for some, that’s all they want. But I needed to feel like I was truly involved with my life again—I needed a job I liked at somewhere I belonged, I needed to move back to Brooklyn, I needed to be independent again.
And I’m here. Here I am! I got a job I worked hard to get, packed up all my books and clothes and weird ceramic chicken sculptures I made in high school, settled into what feels like a new apartment now, and I’m so happy. Literally the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life.
When last I wrote, I was in a really dark place. I felt utterly defeated. There were days when I didn’t get out of my pajamas. Why change when all I was going to be doing all day was sending out resumes to places that didn’t want to hire me? To places that would look at the year-long gap in my resume—which wasn’t impressive even without the gap—and toss my application in the trash.
That’s pretty melodramatic, but I really felt like shit for a while.
I finally caught a break when my friend Eva—who subletted my room in BK for me while I moved home for treatment—posted about a job opening at her company. After meeting with 12 different people over the course of a month and a half, I landed in a place that seems like a perfect fit for me—something not too corporate, but a place where people take work and progress seriously. The company is called Axiom—it’s not a law firm, but it provides legal services by contracting lawyers out to big companies who need some help getting legal work done. If you’d have asked me two years ago whether I’d ever work at a company that even resembled a law firm, I’d have laughed in your face. But Axiom is not the average place to work; they’re extremely big on cultivating a great working environment and making sure their employees are happy, well-rounded individuals. And everyone I work with is so smart that it makes me feel more intelligent and productive by osmosis. I’m working as an assistant to two of the top tier people in the company, which is actually very satisfying because it involves a lot of problem solving. Plus, I feel a nice sense of importance knowing I’m helping everything run smoothly.
I’m in the midst of my third week, and I’m still really loving it. I’m never counting down the days till the weekend. I’m not cursing audibly as I pad down the hallway to the bathroom in the morning. I just feel like I’ve finally planted my feet on a nice patch of ground, and I don’t intend to move them anytime soon.
There are two things I’m missing right now, first and foremost being my family. Getting sick was not just something that happened to me—it happened to them, too. How many times did my mom and dad comfort me when I needed it? Every time. How long would they have taken care of me? Forever. How much closer could we have grown in past year? We couldn’t have.
The second thing is free time to get some writing done. I haven’t been busy in so long that I’m really relishing making the most of my free time with my co-workers and friends. It’s been a nice change of pace to be living a full life and not writing about it than writing about my lack thereof. But I have to strike a balance and be more disciplined with it now.
This is going to be my last entry. Because I’m done. I’m over it. You know how I know? Because Bob Marley melded into Bon Iver on my iTunes and it no longer makes me think of being in the chemo room at my doctor’s office, but seems a perfect compliment to the cool breeze drifting through my window. Because my alarm didn’t go off this morning and I woke up an hour late and just laughed. Because I’m smiling more often than I’m not.
So yeah, I think I’m done. Almost a year later to the day I found out I had a big ole mess of tumors in my chest, it’s time to close the book on this one. Or X out the blog.
So that's it, folks! Thank you to everyone who read this, and especially to those who told me you liked it.
It meant a lot.