You know those friends who are closer to family than friends? The kind of people you can pick right back up with after a week or a year?
My dear friend Corey who I lovingly call my “little brother” is just that.
He’s living a crazy adventure in Connecticut right now, but visits Brooklyn every weekend to play a gig, write music, or record. On a weekend where I was feeling a little bit blue, I’m so, SO, thankful that we got to spend time together. It’s just what I needed.
Was it Carrie Bradshaw who said that the best part of living in New York City was leaving it? I think it was, but regardless, whoever said it was on to some thing.
Two weeks ago on a stormy Thursday night, me and 4 girlfriends hopped into a borrowed car (thanks Matt and Jenny!) and headed north. It rained all night, which made for an interesting drive, especially for people not used to driving or being in a car for longer than a quick taxi or Uber ride. When we reached Rae’s family house in Dennis, Massachusetts, it was about 2:00 AM and we promptly passed out.
The next morning we woke up and the rain had still not passed, making for a gloomy 4th of July. Nevertheless, we made the best of it: We took a walk to the beach, picked up groceries, and watched Brazil get knocked out of the World Cup at a local bar. That evening with tropical storm Arthur in full force, we were relegated to hanging out around the house to a very un 4th of July dinner of Asian Summer Rolls, drinking Rose and bourbon lemonades, and chatting until the power went out and forced us to call it a night.
Saturday morning greeted us with sunshine, so we celebrated with peanut butter stuffed french toast and beers in the back yard. Collectively we decided that July 5th was actually July 4th and no one could tell us any different. Our Independence Day was complete with a full day at the beach, a a bbq that night, and fireworks and sparklers on the beach at dusk.
For someone who once lived in Hawai’i and prefers the texture of sea salt drenched hair, being at the beach but not diving in was an odd experience, but one that was a blessing in itself. I caught up on reading, I relaxed fully, and I still had an amazing time with some wonderful friends.
I can’t wait to do it again next year.
A Wednesday and a Sunday last week:
- James and Carey waiting for Ricky to park the car. Casually just standing there.
- The guys of Carbon Mirage doing what they do at Muchmores
- Me and this motley crew at Radegast for the the World Cup finals. If you’re going to cheer for Germany, you might as well do it at a German beer hall.
- Liters and Beards for these Bushwick boys.
- GERMANY WON!
two weeks in slow mo
Two weeks ago, two doctors that I really like drilled a few holes through my knee and threaded the ACL of another human being through said holes. They closed it up with weird science-y dissolvable screws, fixed up my meniscus, stitched me up and wheeled me out of the hospital in Englewood, New Jersey, and sent me back to Brooklyn.
I was writing in my journal earlier this week and wrote something along the lines of being happy that I’m having this experience. Not happy that this silly soccer injury caused major knee reconstruction to my meniscus and ACL, but honestly, just grateful for the perspective I’ve been given since April 26th.
Having endured so much pain and immobility, I quickly realized that I needed to rely on others and ask for help without hesitation. I had to trust that the people who said, "Let me know what you need" meant it and would come through. I had to push away my pride and my "I’m totally fine face" and cry when I was in pain, even when I had visitors and friends over. This week I had to let confident, put together, always smiling Meghan take a back seat. I was too exhausted and pained to be anything but vulnerable.
Last Saturday my mom woke up at 6:00 AM and was on the road by 6:30 to come get me. I just couldn’t manage it on my own, especially in a cramped Brooklyn apartment. Part of me (the stubborn part) really didn’t want her to; I’m 28 and have taken care of myself for the past eight years on my own, I should be able to manage.
The other part was so, so grateful. I sat in the back of the car with my leg propped up, gazing out at the beautiful mid-atlantic country side absolutely exhausted and thankful for a mom who is still willing to rescue her baby.
I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been this still, physically. There was a time 4 years ago that i came down with a stomach virus on a cruise ship and spent 36 hours quarantined to my room, but that hardly compares.
Being still and stalled has taught me a few things:
- Appreciate, love, and protect my body. Watching my right knee swell up and while rest of my leg shrivels has been really demoralizing. I’ve always had really athletic legs, especially my calves and my quads, which have now turned into jello. Knowing that I physically can’t fix this at this very moment is frustrating, but empowering. I’ve never valued my health more and can’t wait to restrengthen my leg to protect it from future injury.
- People will come through. I was so thankful and in awe of everyone who called/texted/visited/brought over food/flowers/ice. Rarely do I let anyone serve me (I guess I’m stubborn?), and this time I really had no choice. Personally, I show love by serving others, and I had to learn to let others serve and love me in the same way.
- Embrace stillness. Prior to my surgery I was thinking about everything that I wanted to accomplish during my post-surgery recovery period. Read a ton? Paint a bit? Write more? I was so worried that I’d come out of this “down time” with nothing to show for myself. I was focusing on everything except recovering well, which requires lots of stillness and literally taking it day by day. I’ve been reading some, watching more TV than I ever have, and honestly, just zoning out and letting my mind and body relax. This is the most comfortably uncomfortable I’ve ever been.
- Your journey is unique. After day 2 post-op, I began reading blogs, forums, and instagram comments, comparing my “progress” to that of others. i read comments of people saying they walked a day after surgery. A day after surgery I couldn’t even lift my right leg. I can’t even walk yet and I’m two weeks out. After spending 4 - 5 hours reading everything I could, I just felt dizzy and so dismayed about my “lack of progress.” It was 3 AM and exhaustedly I decided that I wasn’t going to ready any more progress accounts; if I wanted information on my progress, I’d consult my doctor, physical therapist, and listen to my own body.
Most of this can be summed up by what my dear friend Rae (she had ACL surgery previously!) texted me a few days after surgery:
"You just gotta let go - you can’t control this. Embrace this experience, there is wisdom in it for you."
(Leg brace became the ultimate anchor for friendship bracelets)
(Four days post-op - Swollen sausage leg!)
(I set alarms to wake up and take meds to “stay ahead of the pain” oof)
(Mornings at home started with breakfast in bed, aww)
(The ice machine is my dearest friend)
(Day 11, less swollen, but still sausage-y)
(The Continuous Passive Motion machine - taking my leg on a ride)
(Saved the grossest for last: Before - no ACL and After - big and juicy ACL!)
addresses I have lived in while in NYC
- 1235 Amsterdam Avenue (June 2007 - August 2007)
- 227 East 96th Street (June 2010 - July 2011)
- 280 East 2nd Street (July 2011 - September 2011)
- 302 East 3rd Street (September 2011 - May 2012)
- 165 Attorney Street (May 2012 - September 2013)
- North Williamsburg, Brooklyn (September 2013 - present)
Woke up in Brooklyn, watched the sunset in Virginia. I’ve spent my time at home laying on the couch in the “fancy living room,” eating mom’s homemade applesauce, and being so thankful that she woke up at 6am to pick me up and take me home because she knew I’d be more comfortable recovering here.
I’ve never experienced so much pain in my life and I’m so grateful for parents who’ll do anything they can to bring comfort to their baby, even at 28.
I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumental, narrative driven music lately. Somehow I happened upon El Ten Eleven and have been enamored with their sound and the stories they tell.
I hope you love them as much as I do.
I’m reading “Falling into Grace” by Adyashanti, which I think I’ve mentioned a few times, and I find myself more and more challenged with each page I read.
This week in particular I’v read about control and how it impacts our perception of ourselves and our perception of others.
“When we’re in our egos, we’ll naturally try to control each other, as well as ourselves. We’re trying to control life. But I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can’t control life. The sun comes up when it wants, and it sets when it wants, not when you or I want it to set. The rain comes whether you want it to or not, and the moon rises whether you want it to or not, just like it sets. And the same is true with each moment, and with everyone we meet.
On the surface, the illusion of control makes us feel safe and able to create a life for ourselves of comfort and security, manipulating our lives based on what we think we need. Yet, in actuality, we have no such control. Still, the illusion of it is amazing in its design and its complexity, because after all, almost every human being falls for it. Almost every human being thinks, “I’m in control of my life,” except when times get really difficult”
There’s so, so much to unpack in those two paragraphs about why we desire control and what motivates us to so, but instead of getting into it and picking it apart, this week I’m going to start with this:
When I feel the urge to control something, I’m going to step back, release that feeling, and let the uncertainty of the wind bring me to where I need to be.