I’m in the big city of New York, New York for a day or two and started my morning with a run around Central Park and a, well, big apple. Seriously. This apple was genetically modified with the DNA of Hagrid and was half the size of my head.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little.
My little sister and her classmate are sitting across her small apartment from me listening to some lecture on litigation? Or evidence? Or something that I don’t understand in the least.
It was nice to go out with my little sister last night (I stayed in the city with her) and talk about school — she in law school, me in the process of applying for PhD programs. We sat at her favourite bar/restaurant and had beer and dinner (a way-t0o-bloody burger for her, mac and cheese for me). It seemed almost normal. Almost like we were two siblings in our mid-to-late twenties discussing our lives and all the things that have passed since we last saw each other almost a year ago.
A lot has happened in a year. I’ve been in the psych hospital, in treatment, back to work, dreaming big dreams of the future. She’s been in law school, working in Alaska, getting a job with a big fancy firm, dating the guy who may or may not ever propose. We talk about these things in passing, just as a way to make it clear what part of the year we’re talking about.
I have been worried about this trip. When I was in Utah over the summer, my parents called her after a visit with me and after she updated them on her happenings in Alaska, they let her know how I was doing.
“Why is it always about Jessica?” she asked. “I want my parents back!”
So I have been wondering what sort of reception to expect. Of course, my entire family is very good at putting on a good face. When my little sister suggested that I take the transit in from the hotel in NJ to get to her place on my own (as opposed to her coming to NJ to meeting me and escort me), my mother let her know that I have the maturity of a 15 year old and couldn’t do such a thing on my own. (For the record, my parents braved NYC traffic to drop me off. They’ll probably hire someone to babysit me if I get into grad school next year.)
I, for example, in the grand tradition of putting on a good face, have been eating dutifully even though I am absolutely crawling out of my skin. Exercising in secret? Just a little. And in not-so-secret (this morning’s run in the park, trips to the hotel gym). But I am FREAKING OUT.
I am doing my best to remain mindful and enjoy this time with family (and I certainly enjoyed the time with my nephew), but I can’t help it that all I can think of is, “Are these pants tighter than they were a week ago?” My parents haven’t even arrived in the city yet today and I’m already freaking out about where we’re going out for lunch. And the fact that they’re going to make me have a snack. And then there is dinner to contend with.
And we won’t be back at the hotel until late, so I won’t be able to go to the gym again tonight.
And at this point I realize how ridiculous I sound. The gym? Really? There are more important things in my life.
Like the little sister I haven’t seen in a year. Like a city I haven’t visited in a decade. Like the museums and sights to be taken in, memories to be made.
Amazing food to be eaten.
Eating disorder be damned.
(Pardon the typos, we’re on our way out to lunch!)