Surviving Re-entry, Day 113
My thoughts swim on the subway, left once more to their own devices in a fumbled attempt to readjust to the somewhat overpopulated aloneness of city life. Arriving home last night after seven rejuvenating weeks of making music, meeting new souls and deepening friendships, learning lessons, and releasing some of my judgments and attitudes, I felt relieved and ill at ease all at once. On one end of the balance sits the incredibly worthwhile experience of traveling, pressing the reset button on life and its expectations, and widening my perspective as both a performer and a person. Teetering carefully on the opposite side of the same balance lies the possibility of seeking to further my career in such a way that would incite leaving frequently to new experiences and returning home to a more foreign apartment, disheveled and rearranged by potential sublessees who make the journey yet possible.
Like any good decision, I started to make this one carefully, weighing all of the pros and cons. Pro: I finally had a summer to help dig myself out of my financial woes. Con: I returned home to a rearranged apartment with a few of my material possessions used or damaged. Pro: I met some amazing people I might not have met here in the city and feel more open-minded. Con: I now seem to have a shorter fuse for the noisy children screaming next door and across the hall and the crowds of people everywhere.
Honestly, I could go about this for hours. Let’s try a faster conclusion, courtesy of the marketing geniuses at Mastercard.
Restocking my shelves and fridge with good food from Trader Joe’s: $67. Fresh peaches to remind me of upstate NY: $2. Round trip to Union Square on the subway: $5. Replacing my bath mat, trash can, shower curtain, alcohol, and all of the food somehow thawed and refrozen in my freezer: to be determined. Living in a city where, while waiting for the subway, I can run into a random friend I just saw upstate yesterday (Hello, Carla Wesby!): Priceless. Some things money can’t buy. For fixing the little problems, there’s Mastercard.
Ultimately, I can’t control everything, and a million little things could easily drive me insane in this city if I let my thoughts take control and my complaints win the upper hand. I feared allowing another person to rent out my apartment and wondered how much risk I’d acquire even posting an ad on Craigslist, and many other singers chose not to sublet their places this summer and simply paid rent for their uninhabited space. In the end, I think I will do it again and perhaps as soon as this October, depending upon potential upcoming gigs. My sublessee (and his mother!) actually make for interesting and fun new acquaintances, despite any minor damages or inconveniences, and my bank statement shows some positive signs of recovery, compared to previous summers that only served to deepen my well of debt.
Overall, I have gained far more than the silly little possessions I’ve lost. What a wonderful summer I’ve had! Between Bard and my brief time in the Tri-Cities region in May, I have amazing examples of how temporarily running away from home for gigs can truly enhance my life. Time to embrace the minor discomfort, the major advantages, and all of the adventures to have along the way of living this life as a performer. I guess I’d better schedule some auditions!