I pour another hot cup of tea, half-expecting a different result than before. This is the most reliable process I know. Boil, steep, drink, and repeat. It doesn’t get any more reliable than this, I think to myself. I am working part-time as a personal assistant as a favor to a couple of friends who I used to work for. It is strange the moment when your employer becomes your friend, but I think it is an organic process that we cannot control.
The house is quiet today. I have sent off a few job applications and I am prepping for the next batch of interviews. Fall has set in on the east coast & I know more than ever that the days are getting shorter and colder. I rifle through the jackets in my closet as though they are my friends. Each one holding a different memory in its sleeves – the fall I bought a skateboard because I missed Hawai’i in the faux sheepskin jacket, the winter I went to New York for the first time rolled up in the collar of the grey one, and the care package my mom sent me with my great granddad’s flannel wrapped into it holds the smell of whatever fall treats were wrapped in there as well.
I wear it now and I wonder what my granddad thought of himself while wearing this flannel, where he was in the world, what he was drinking, what his heart felt like, and if it meant autumn to him as it does to me. I won’t know the answers to these questions, but I can only guess.
That’s the thing about used clothes – you can almost feel the body that lived in them before you, as if we leave little parts of ourselves on the things we touch.
I imagine we do.
Lately, I have begun to realize that we all weigh ourselves with different scales. I’ve built mine from my own rib so it will weigh me against my former self. Living is a delicate balance. Breathing is the tool by which we live & the mechanism by which we balance ourselves.
There are moments in life where it feels as though your lungs are held in the ocean. And there are days when the notes you have left for yourself around your room all remind you to breath and to pump your lungs with the force of a thousand winters.
Today, there is a note at the bottom of every cup of tea that remind me to find what it is that I am good at and make it as sharp & crisp as the onset of fall. I am beginning to think about the difference between making ourselves into something vs. making our lives into something.
I hope in these next few months. I will make my life into something. I will dare to leave bits of myself in the hands I shake, the interview rooms that I cross, and all the jackets I donate to make room for new memories.