Hi! I wanted to post a little check in of sorts. I cannot believe it’s been a month (plus a handful of days) since I moved to Charleston. So I thought it would be nice to catch up a little, share some things I’ve been thinking about, and hear how you are doing!
A Little Check In!
How are you right feeling now?
Life is really good right now. But also chaotic? I feel like between work + seeing friends and family here and staying in touch with friends back home and trying to get settled in my new apartment and everything else I’m just treading water. There isn’t time for much else. (I have barely read anything this month, for example.) But I’m really happy. I love my new home (though it is currently a disaster) and I have that feeling that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’ve been thinking a lot about The Midnight Library – that book really impacted me in such a positive way.
What is your city like right now?
Charleston is definitely more open than New York was when I left (though it does seem a lot of things are coming back… I read that Broadway is coming back this fall – amazing!!!!) People are going to workout classes here, movie theatres (I think, at least) are open… etc. I really miss workout classes and think I may dip my toe in the water with the local yoga studio here once I’m fully vaccinated.
How are you feeling about post-vaccine travel?
I got my second vaccine a week ago exactly and am getting extremely excited to travel again. Really excited. It doesn’t feel real. I miss adventures. To Becca’s point on the podcast yesterday trip planning does feel stressful… but also exciting? Also, another thing: I was talking to a friend about this the other day: when I do travel, I think I will keep wearing a face mask even when we don’t have to? (If that happens, I assume it will at some point?) Is that weird? I was thinking about it and I used to travel a few times a month. I was always on a plane or going somewhere, and I was also always getting sick. It’s of course a mix of staying home and mask wearing, but I haven’t really gotten sick this year – not even a cold? Masks are great!
Social stress is back?
This is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt true social/new friend stress. Like that whole, “will they like me” sort of anxiety? It’s probably a combination of my social life picking back up and the move. In New York I guess I had a certain arrogance in a way. Not in a snobby way, just not a particular eagerness to make new friends. I had my people, I didn’t need any new friends. Now I’ve actively been going on more friend dates and meeting people here. I got a pitch (for an anti-stress product) that said: “social stress is back!” It made me laugh. The pitch actually said, Who isn’t losing a little sleep over the return of in-person interactions and small talk? OH BOY. I am excited for new friendships but I absolutely do not miss small talk.
Would you rather be a mirror or a candle?
My friend Jenn posted this Edith Wharton quote the other day and I liked it. “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” It made me think. It’s a good reminder that we don’t always have to be the center of attention or the brightest light in the room… sometimes it’s nice to just spread the light. I think if I’m being honest I prefer to be the mirror than the candle. When given the choice between talking and listening I would almost always choose listening.
photo by Clay Austin.