Twenty Months

In 20 months, I've had two birthdays. I went (un)willingly from an early-twenty-something to a mid-twenty-something, and—depending on who you ask—then to a late-twenty-something. I've aged out of my post-grad years into my career. I've stopped answering questions about what type of work I want to do and instead explain what I do. I've received two pay raises and job description redesigns.

In 20 months, I've become estranged from a family member. I've shifted my perspective on my relationship with another. I've come to realize which people will always see me, my identity, in relation to them—so-and-so's daughter, such-and-such's niece—and which ones respect my independence, my autonomy.

In 20 months, I've become more deeply committed to my yoga practice than I have ever been in my life. I may even be more committed to my practice than I've been committed to anything, ever. I've stretched my body and my mind past real and imaginary boundaries. I've entered a season of life that involves frequent meditation, and as such, reframed my frame of mind.

In 20 months, I've run hundreds of miles. I've run four 5k races and two half marathons. I've purchased four pairs of running shoes and a GPS watch. I've begun a collection of race bibs and medals. I've woken up early on Saturday mornings to beat the sun to the asphalt. I've braved the dark and the ice and run through a Polar Vortex; I've braved the humidity and the scorching sun to run through a North Atlantic summer.

In 20 months, I've dated a few men. I've fought dirty, and learned to fight fair. I've spoken up and shut up in the right moments—though, of course, not every time. I've felt starry-eyed and flutter-bellied, and I've imagined moments set 10, 20 years in the future and then deemed them impossible. I've fallen and stumbled and tripped and caught my balance again, and returned to spaces where I feel like I'm teetering on some jagged edge.

In 20 months, I've been broken-hearted and I've mended. I've found wholeness, I've found stillness, I've found peace, and I've found thrill. I've found each by myself, from myself, though not without the assists of those I'm lucky enough to have love from.

But even in 20 months, I haven't managed to keep my heartbeat from picking up the pace when I hear your name. And even the last 20 months of learning how to live a life you aren't a part of couldn't have prepared me for how happy I felt to welcome you back in.

You have a beard, fuller now than I'd ever seen it. You're right, my hair is longer, too. My body is different, and yours looks quite strange to me too. My address is different, and so is yours. My mailbox bears only one name now; now your's bears two. You've aged, and so have I. I laugh more now, but you seem to laugh less. I don't have to be concerned about that now, but if you ever knew me at all, you know I do. You wear Nikes still, and I do now. You still look perfect in a black tee shirt; I hope my staring didn't show like yours.

Even 20 months is not enough to make us miss a beat. Do you rememb— I do; did you ever— I did, it reminded me of— Hey, if we knew then— How different would it— Why don't we— I like your new place— Isn't it— It's perf— Like you even...— Like I know what's perfect for you? You look great. So do you. It's great to see you.

Even 20 months isn't enough to fade my smile at the sight of you, or yours—so it seems.

Comments

  1. You're such a wonderful writer!!! And I can't wait to see what the next 20 months bring you! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

    ReplyDelete
  2. soooooooooooooooooo does this mean he wrote back? or am i thinking of someone else. tell me, i'm nosy.
    ps. you really are an amazing writer. i loved reading this :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't know what to say about this situation, but this was beautifully written, as always :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. oooo I'm dying to know more but it sounds like this was a positive encounter! and agreed with tracy, great writing

    ReplyDelete
  5. You seriously have such a way with words in that I have no clue who or what exactly you are talking about...and yet I do all at the same time. Either way, you have come a long way in 20 months and I can't wait to see what the next 20 will bring for you sweet friend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. These posts are always the toughest, but most rewarding to write. Thank you for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have such a way with words and I always enjoy reading your posts! The ending took me for a turn that I did not expect -- but I loved it! Of course, I am dying to know more!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is soooooo beautifully written lady. First of all Im obsessed with the way you wrote the story and now Im obsessed with the actual story. Is this the same guy? Im so nosy sorry. You don't need to tell me a thing once you have a smile on your face, and not sadness thats all Im concerned about.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are such a talented writer, friend. Now my nosiness wants to know ALL about this situation. But more than that, I just want to tell you that I am looking forward to seeing how amazing your next twenty months will be. xoxo.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Whoa, chills. We need to catch up it seems.

    ReplyDelete
  11. <3<3<3 Giving you hugs and loves and all of the good feels for your bravery to publish this.

    Of course I know this situation and know what it feels like, and maybe not your exact situation but at least all of those 'what if's'. It's not always the most convenient feeling but it somehow is always the loudest emotion, the craziest pull, the most exhilarating. Use what you've learned in your yoga practice and your running experience over the past 20 to guide your current moment and your path for the next 20. <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is wonderfully written. I'm at a similar point in life, only in my case it's been more like 60 months. Trying and learning to detach. Takes a whole lot, but there has to be some willpower involved. I don't want to believe anything else! Keeping my fingers crossed for the both of us.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So sweet and well-written Alyssa! I hope things are working out well for you xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. 20 months can feel like forever or like a blip. Time is so strange. Your writing is so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Clearly I was in an anti-blog binge when this came out. So beautifully written. That last paragraph alone. The way you kind of almost finish each other's thoughts.... I could feel it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you. Please make sure your settings let me reply to your comment by email.