Sometimes anxiety seems an old friend to me. Someone who comes to stay for a while, usually whenever I go through big life changes. Break-ups. Graduations. Etc.
I have that ol’ Sunday feeling again. Do you know the one? I thought it was something universal, but walking and talking with Espy and she couldn’t relate. I tried to explain it to her, a few ways, finally settling on:
“It’s like I feel there’s something I should be doing, but I don’t know what.”
Part anxiety, part restlessness, part heartache, part blues…it’s a feeling I used to have often, predictably, in high school and college. But I haven’t felt this in a while, and I’ve forgotten what to do about it, if I ever knew.
Do you know the feeling I am talking about?
I hope I never forget this, this feeling. This moment when we are young, but we are finally women, living on our own, spending what seems to us a great deal of money as we please, and sometimes wisely. A time when we’ve grown into our bodies and our lives, we can walk home without bras and make bad decisions, when we cry so easily and drink too much and live on chips and dip.
And we get closer. We get closer.
I don’t ever want to forget walking home, nearly 2am, and knowing that I should have gone to bed earlier, knowing that I will be exhausted (again) in the morning. So tired I feel like I am already asleep, like I am swimming through the murky-warm waters of a late summer night, all grays and deep blues and the thick, silent air.
My feet sore; my heart happy.
“A nice heart…
…and a white suit…
…and a baby blue sedan…
…and I. Am. Doin’ the best that I can”
-Modest Mouse, “Baby Blue Sedan” (Building Something Out of Nothing)
* * *
The less I do, the more I think. The slower I go, the more I understand. A long walk to Perry’s, headphones on, plans for a mix tape, new energy, new Sarah, emerging. One step at a time.
Hey, guess what, Friends? Lima wasn’t all bad! There was lots of walking, remember? And while I walked, I ran across beautiful graffiti. Along the side of the road…
…on school buildings…
…in the park…
…and even a work in progress:
I wanted so badly to chat with these girls, but couldn’t work up the nerve. Partly because I was so lost in my solo reverie, and partly because they seemed cool as hell, and I didn’t want to be the dorky gringo tourist. Next time, though. Next time.
The Good, The Bad, and The Hungry
So I got my alone time. A day and a half to explore Lima on my own, and parts of it were so satisfying–running in the park…
…buying trinkets and drinking fresh sugar cane juice in the artisan market…
…going for long, long walks on a dreary but not unpleasant day, just to check out the city, its people and plazas…
…admiring the architecture…
…and enjoying the city’s beauty, stopping to eat a churro or snap a photo, because I could. Because I was alone, at last.
On the other hand, Lima is also where I was snubbed by my couch surfing host, walked around for hours (literally) trying to find something to eat, and was openly sexually harassed (the ol’ ass-grab) just outside my hostel.
That was while I was on my way in just to grab my pack and catch a taxi to the airport.
I have never, in my entire life, been more ready to leave a city, more anxious to get back home. I was just done.
36 hours in Lima was more than enough. For me.