Brooklyn Newsletter: Month Thirteen

Dear Brooklyn,

I had a massage on Sunday in honor of the old birthday. Diligent readers will remember the first time I wandered into the hands of Ana the masseuse; this time I requested her again. Everything went fine and I was feeling decently Zen-ed out and moisturized by the end, but the next day I realized that my forearm and back were slightly bruised. I showed Matt at work (who, among hundreds of other jobs, was once a masseuse) and he said "Jen, it's supposed to hurt a little. Not WOUND you!"

This is perhaps the balance I've been most working towards over the past month.

How much struggle is good for you and when does struggle slip into the territory of bruising? This notion of thresholds is particularly interesting when you start to think about who's defining them. How much is too much to spend on an education? How much of your heart can you safely let go of before it falls? Is it ever too much to share the truth of a situation with people who might not be ready to hear it?

I don't know what you're all thinking about as you walk to work, but this is the shit that's on my mind.

I saw more of my family in the past month than I had all year. This fact is both wonderful and stressful; never are there more comparisons drawn in my head than between my siblings and myself. When the three of us are together, it's impossible to avoid the conversations that can both illuminate and cut. Deeply. We stopped to get ice cream one evening after a gluttonous birthday dinner for my Dad with his family and conversation rolled around to defining the types of parents we'll be one day. I was immediately pegged the controller, Katie was the pushover, and Steve fell somewhere in-between.

Cue all types of social and philosophical angst for all parties.

Yesterday was my birthday and a ton of love came pouring in via Facebook messages and blog messages and emails and pastries left secretly on my desk from co-workers. It made me remember something I'd written to my friend Moriah back at Muhlenberg when she was having a particularly down moment and wanted only for the semester to be over. Don't worry! I typed to her via IM. Soon, this will be you:

love you love

That's how I felt yesterday. And I know that this blog has gotten rather soppy and sappy lately about how great things are going for me in Brooklyn and how great my job is and how great my friends are. If I were reading this blog, maybe I'd get a little tired of hearing about the millions of ways life is striking the right chords with the writer right now too.

Rest assured that I absolutely have my moments of self-doubt, of self-deprecation, of self-consciousness. But I think there's value in seeing the pain as a massage, in viewing the echoes of hurt as an exorcism of stress. At least that's what I'm telling myself for now.

xo Jen

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