Ya Girl’s in tha ‘Hood

So, after five months, I am no longer bouncing from place to place. Living in such an impermanent way since my father’s passing and the fire that ruined our family home has not been easy. At first I lived in a summer sublet on the East Side of Providence with five Brown Medical students, all at least ten years my junior who seemed to think I was some sort of ancient relic (even though some of them will still be students/residents/in fellowships when they’re my age). Then, when that short sub-lease was up, I stayed with my aunt (my dad’s sister) for ten weeks. And I was cramped, with very little space in a huge house, because the house has never been gone through since my father’s parents passed away (and it should have been gone through while they were alive); it is an absolute hoarder’s paradise. And for eight of the ten weeks I was there, I couldn’t shower or bathe because the plumbing upstairs got clogged, and she couldn’t fix it herself and wouldn’t call a plumber.

The day before my Dad’s birthday, I attended a memorial mass (not my religion, but it celebrated my father’s life), and later that day, I looked at and was offered a room in a great apartment on the West Side (my home, my ‘hood). It almost feels like my dad gave me a present for HIS birthday, helping me find the right place at the right time, in the neighborhood he knew I loved so much. I will always think of him and be grateful for it. It’s perfect for me and my budget, I’m starting to stand on my own two feet again, like my dad would have wanted for me. I also have two great housemates and I’m starting new routines. Even my cats are digging the space and the warm, welcoming, bohemian vibe.

It’s been nice to get back to my healthier lifestyle. I feel like that got away from me, being in that house with nowhere to go. I wasn’t moving around as much, dinner was a hassle (cooking at all, really, at both places) and I felt like I was carrying around extra weight and bloat from stress. (I am happy to report that I lost the weight I had put on. I put on my jeans this morning, and they slid on like magic. They fit perfectly, and even have a comfortable amount of room for being on the go all day like I am today — right now I’m typing this up at the closest Starbucks to my apartment. It’s a cute little place with a sweet staff, tucked in the bottom corner of a Hilton, with just a tiny door leading into the hotel itself. The rest of the place is all windows, and if it weren’t for the wrought iron railing and the green pine trees that have stuck around, you might even see the Pineapple from here – the infamous bridge (though it looks more like an ornate stone chuppah to me) that let’s you know you’re entering Little Italy, or as we locals call it, Federal Hill.

Even though the holidays are imminent, that much is easy to see from the car and foot traffic I can see out the window next to me, and I know that this will be the hardest Christmas I’ve known so far (not that that I think any upcoming ones are going to be a thrill, either, but I suppose I’m just not in that mindset yet), my stress level has gone down a bit. I can tell the difference in my BPM. Before I moved, I was so nervous and stressed out that I was getting exercise readings when I was resting. I’m so happy that part of me is getting back to normal; it was starting to make me even more nervous.

Now that I can do things the way that I want and need to, without any input from others, I feel like I belong entirely to myself in that respect. I feel like I can start to properly grieve the way I’ve needed to for several months, but just couldn’t. My situation wasn’t allowing for it. But once I’m settled, I will be able to properly address when I’m dealing with. And I hope that getting entirely settled and hitting that indefinable moment when a dwelling truly becomes a home means I’ll get to see at least some of my friends more. It’s been a bit lonely lately, but I think I’ve handled myself in the best way that I could. And there’s even the possibility that I truly needed that alone time — I think it would be ignorant of me to rule that out. I have done, or things have happened to me over tha last few months — my grief reverberating through my personal life, if you will — and I have been surprised by my feelings or view of the situations. So, I guess personal change is inevitable.

However, since it is starting to get cold here in New England (and it always takes some time to get acclimated, more so for me now that I’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia) there will be plenty of day and nights, and days into nights where I’m drinking tea and knitting/brewing up some holiday gifts (and items to fill my shop!)

It will, of course, take some time to get used to everything “new”, but in a good way. I finally think I am on my way to feeling content. And that’s the starting point. I think that’s what he would want. It’s what I want.