Brooklyn Newsletter: Months Eleven and Twelve

Dear Brooklyn,

I fell behind in these newsletters and so this one makes up for two months. NIFW readers will notice that we haven't published an issue in a few weeks as well; sometimes it feels as though I'm running a small business outside of my regular day job, which has become quite demanding of my time lately. I'm tired. Between NIFW, FOL, work and the multitude of other responsibilities that grab my time, I spend much of my days spinning until I crash on the couch watching Christmas shows with Oscar, unable to do much more than lift pasta towards my lips and chew.

This afternoon for some unknown reason I started feeling down and things snowballed until I was close to tears in the subway on the way home. I could feel myself looking for other life things that weren't going well, almost to convince myself of my unhappiness. Isn't it strange how one frustrating moment or afternoon can make you doubt the stability that your recent happiness is based on? I hate that. I hate that the moment things start to feel shaky, I wonder if there's sadness beneath everything awesome going on in my life.

Writing isn't going so well lately. And by that I mean that I haven't gotten up to write early since before Morocco. I got a quick 15 minutes in this morning, but the major issue remains that I don't yet know what I'm writing towards. I'm like a taxi driver waiting for an awesome idea to flag me down; I've got the vehicle but not the goods. It's beyond frustrating to wake up knowing that I snoozed through the early hours and must head off to work, having lost my precious writing time by being lazy. Or avoiding an intimidating blinking cursor on a blank screen.

I know I still haven't written much about Morocco. Know that on the simplest level this is because it was by and large the most stressful trip I've ever been on. I wish I could tell you all that I loved it, that it's my new vacation spot, that it was an adventure of a lifetime. Instead, it was a place where I didn't feel independent in the least, relying on men or money or both to guide me through the days. It was expensive, both to my wallet and to my dignity. Every person we met on an individual basis was kind and generous and incredibly gracious; every person we met as part of a crowd was presumptuous and insulting and, at times, frightening.

I don't write these statements lightly; I have no part of me that desires to be critical in lieu of understanding. But I was genuinely shocked and disappointed by the majority of our trip. Two bright aspects stand out: the opportunity to spend 10 uninterrupted days with my sister and the haven of culture and relaxation where we stayed in Fez. There is no question in my mind that this is where you should stay if you find yourself in Morocco one day.

As for the most popular guy in my life, you'll be glad to hear that Oscar is thriving at his new home. As I write this, he's chasing a toy mouse back and forth across the apartment. He sounds like a herd of wild Tabby Tigers. He's incredibly social and is always interested in new people when they come over. This bodes well for parties and not so well for break-ins, but I'm hopeful that we'll have more of the former and less of the latter. He is a big fan of Charlie Brown's Christmas; last night I flipped through a magazine with the TV on in the background and he was watching it so intently that I laughed out loud. It's good to be around a cat like Oscar; he doesn't take himself too seriously.

As easy as it was this afternoon to snowball things in a negative direction, I'm pretty good at snowballing towards happiness (sunballing?) and most days I am so intoxicated with the hilarious people and small miracles around me that I sunball myself into a great mood. Life in early December is so completely different than it was two months ago I can hardly believe it. The house is right. The cat is right. The job is right. It's like everything has come together in some strange coincidental blend of amazing and I'm both nervous and thrilled by whatever's coming down the pike.

xo Jen

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