Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Seven Month Itch or Sharing Your Heart

I have been putting off writing this entry for months now. I started writing a version of this entry when I hit my three month mark, then I said I would complete it by four months, then five, and now I have been here for seven months and ten days and I am still struggling to write it.

I was told by a very wise man that I should use this blog as a space to "share my heart", an opportunity I have all but run away from since I started writing. Sure every now and then I reveal a glimmer of my inner feelings, but they are usually coupled with sarcastic comments or an attempt to be humorous. I have always been a very private person, and have never been particularly keen on talking about my feelings. Some might call this being "emotionally closed," while others (well probably just myself) may chose to call it "mysterious." Take your pick. However, it's becoming apparent to me that I need to be honest with you, with myself, about where I am right now.

I am not pleased. I am unhappy. I am not enjoying New York and I want to go home.

There I said it. I admitted it. Are you happy now?

The day I arrived in New York I was hopeful. I had suitcases full of hope. Subway cars even. Despite the news I had just received I was ready to take on the change, the challenge and the uncertain days that lay ahead. I set goals (none of which I have really accomplished...I am so terrible), I wrote blogs about positivity and being resourceful. I felt good for a bit, but slowly, little by little, the hope has begun to fade.

Life here in New york is tough, it's expensive, it's fast paced and it can feel very isolating. You are surrounded by millions of people but you only know a handful of them.  I have a good amount of friends out here, but many of them have lived here for awhile and therefore they have fully formed lives out here, lives that I don't have a regular place in. I am not resentful of this at all, it's just reality. I understand how much work it takes to create a life for yourself, and how much effort it takes to cultivate a new dimension of friendship. Everyone here has to work so hard to make ends meet, chase their dreams and all that.  It's hard to carve out time for someone new. 

I also have been spending way more time than I ever wanted to spend at my day job, better refereed to as my survival job. I know I am lucky to have it, but I didn't move to New York to work in customer service, if I wanted to do what I am doing right now I could have stayed in Chicago and lived much more comfortably. After spending several months working six days a week you find yourself wondering what you came out here to do in the first place, and even when you have a day off the last thing you want to do is wake up at 6am to go wait in line at an audition. 

Aside from the lack of time to pursue my passion, I have also felt a lack of passion when it comes to my passion. I just can't seem to generate any excitement when it comes to singing or auditioning or even seeing theatre. I feel rather numb and disinterested.  I have asked myself many times "is this really what I want to do?" "do I have what it takes?".  Just for the record these are not fun questions to ask, because the answers are not easy and they certainly are not clear.  This business of show is not a business to stay in if you aren't passionate, because passion and drive are the only things that will get your through to the other side. They are the only things that will get you out of bed in the morning, that will take you to class, that will keep you believing when you have been unemployed for a year. Passion, drive and well...hope. Without them you are lost. And that is how I have been feeling...lost.

I haven't been able to share this because writing about it frightens me. Literally in the past few weeks even coming to my blogging site has roused the beginnings of mild panic attacks. Like I don't even want to see my blog, I don't want to see how neglectful I have been or lazy I have become.  

About a month ago I was having a quick lunch with a friend and I said to him "this just isn't where I thought I would be at this point in my life."  Where I thought I would be I am not sure, but what he said to me was "isn't that just the way everyone feels right now?"  Apparently my feelings of discontent are not uncommon, but that didn't ease my pain. I don't like the idea of being one in a million of wayward, disillusioned, apathetic late twenty-somethings. That doesn't make me feel good. I don't regularly delight in the misfortune of others. I truly want great things for people, and for myself, I just don't quite know how to accomplish them at the moment.

In the meantime, I will say that I do not regret my decision to come here. I am proud of myself for taking a risk, exploring a new city, embracing challenge and change.  Above all, what I have been most thankful for during my time here in NYC has been the chance to form a true adult friendship with my brother.  He and I have not lived in the same city for almost ten years, and to finally be able to see one another on a regular basis has been such a gift. I feel that we are now not only siblings, but friends, great friends. This opportunity alone has been greater than any career opportunity I could have received, and for that I am truly thankful.

Clarity is what I am striving for and I am getting there.  Peace of mind would be nice too.  Some decisions are being made, which I will report back on very soon.  It truly is my intention to get back to blogging on a regular basis. Amidst the mire of uncertainty and doubt there have been plenty of cool things that have been happing in our life, and those stories deserve to be told too.

Thank you all for listening, for reading. I am sorry for being so neglectful, but I hope you will forgive me!  I will be back soon, and until then I hope you are all enjoying these new days of summer.


  1. Blair, I really appreciated reading this! There is power in honesty. Parsing the words to describe how you feel in midst of a difficult situation can only bring you clarity. And even if it may be trite, the hardest times force you to make decisions and sometimes those decisions are the best you've ever made. I wish you the best!

  2. A very moving entry. While it know it comes as small consolation, I understand completely. And I'm wishing you the best.

    My love to you and J.

    -james f.

  3. I would say that you cannot understand how much I share your feelings, but that wouldn't make sense would it? It seems that you completely understand and share the same feelings I have had for quite some time. I completely empathize with you on everything you've been going through in this shell of a city, and I think you know exactly what you need to do to make things better, WHICH happens to be the same thing I am doing; GO HOME!

    But honestly, if there is only one thing that has made the last 7 years count, its been the past 7 months with you, shit ass.

  4. Blair, I am so proud of you for recognizing what makes you happy and complete and fighting to regain it. I honestly can't remember the last time since you've been in NYC that you were as truly happy and content as when we got dinner and you told me this news. Life is way too short to be miserable for fear of what other people will think.

    And I hear you on creating an adult friendship with your sibling. It's a beautiful thing ("shit ass").


  5. Yes, living there hasn't been all smiles and rainbows but a year from now you will be surprised at how many good stories you have to tell about your experiences as a Manhattanite. I never expected to hate living in NYC either and when I made my premature exit, I couldn't help but feel this nagging feeling that I was a quitter and a failure. When I got home and told my dad this he said something that I'd never thought about, but it made me begin to feel proud of myself that I had accomplished the feat of simply living and surviving in NY. He said to me (in a very Southern accent I'll be happy to replicate when I see you next); "Do you know how many people wish that they even had the courage to do what you did? To leave everything behind to follow your dreams--in a place like NYC! You just survived nearly a year in one of the toughest cities in the world, and that is something to be proud about."
    Be proud of the journey you've taken, Blair. It took a lot of courage and sacrifice to trade in a familiar, comfortable life for one that was new and completely unknown. And you are a stronger and more resiliant woman for the experience.

  6. Well, the tears flowed as you would expect, as I read this. But not tears of sadness, but of joy! All I want for you and your brother is for you to be happy, healthy and productive- doing something you love- and a bonus is the special time you have shared together and the growth of your relationship with one another. Best gift a parent can receive - to know you love and support each other through good and bad times!!! Just one ?- where did s..t ass come from?????Love you! Momma

  7. My dear Blair, this post really touched me. I think this sort of honesty and reflection is very powerful and will inevitably bring you the clarity and direction you are looking for. I am sorry that your time in NY has been hard and not what you expected. I have faith that you will get to where you want to be. My door is open when you come back to Chicago, we miss you! (Julie)

  8. Blair,
    It took me until my 40's to accept what had been knocking me in the head forever: nothing is etched in stone. After all the stewing, it all boils down to something quite try different things in life, stick with the ones work for you, and move on past the others that don't.

    You reconnected with your brother during your time in New York...what could be more successful than that? ~Heloise