Honey thoughts are the good, honest and real parts of my life outside of Strong Chicks Rock.
If you missed the first article in this series, you can read it here, and understand why honey. But I'll give you a quick breakdown:
Miss. Honey from Matilda was the mom I always wished I had. Not having my own mom, she was this light of everything I associated with love, motherhood and kindness. So I began relating honey to goodness, and now here we are—you get to see the deep inside parts of my mind and life, outside of social media and my business.
Long distance relationships hurt the heart. It's hard loving someone and not being able to see them and remain in the love. Allison and I came to a point where it simply got too hard. As I grow SCR + raise a child in a different state, it's not easy flying to NYC all of the time, and she can't come here as easily. Realistically, and logistically, being together doesn't make a lot of sense. But we came to a point this past weekend, that we just wanted to be in the love and stop worrying about logistics, and have the most carefree weekend. I was deeply committed to just being in the love, and not worrying about Monday, or any other days to come.
On a whim, I got a bus ticket to head to NYC—then had a legit panic attack before getting on it. I didn't get on the bus that night. Apparently being the 'cool girl' who can have a carefree weekend wasn't really what I was feeling deep inside. So for the second time, I bailed on going to NYC, everyone remember that time I drove 2.5 hours and then didn't get on the plane? It's not the transportation that I was afraid of. I LOVEEE public transportation. It was the openness of being hurt. Being vulnerable and open to love, and knowing you may very well leave being sad/hurt. Damn, that is scary.
So the next day, I decided to get another ticket and actually got on the bus. I don't know why I take the bus, well I do, it's cheap AF. But I was basically sitting on the guy next to me. I did however fly home, because no thanks to sitting on strangers.
However, this time I made a friend, Mel. She lives near me and was going to NYC for a friends daughters Christening.
Anyway, once I was on the bus I felt the magic and my confidence rise back through my body,
Honey #1: This trip was for living. Not for sitting in the sadness of 'ugh we only have 48 hours'. Each trip to NYC before, felt like we had to rush it all in order to make it through our lists, but I didn't want that this time. I wanted it to be everything I wanted in being in my magic city. Slow amongst the fast of NYC.
Mel and I got dropped off in China Town, then she hailed a cab and it was my first time in a cab. This satisfied all of my Carrie Bradshaw moments. Check, check and check.
After that, I met Allison at her work on the Upper East Side. I stayed there and did a little work while she finished up, then we headed home to Park Slope in Brooklyn. We got changed, and spent the night walking around her neighborhood. Which I adore. It's fast paced, but slower than all other areas and there are so many families. It feels comforting to me there.
We went to Burger Village to eat, which is where we always go. We should really venture out, but you literally can never go wrong with a burger and fries. This time we got sweet potato and regular fries. Have I mentioned I love fires?
There was a family sitting near us, which always throws me off. One moment I'm driving Cooper to school and packing PB&J and the next I'm off to NYC, being (almost) 24, and then I see a kid and I feel like I'm living this double life, Hannah Montana style.
Which is hard to even talk about. Some people see my situation and tell me how lucky I am to have a week off. I realize that I should enjoy this time alone, and be grateful for moments alone to pee, and being able to get a full night of rest and other normal stuff like showering without someone staring at your vagina, but it always feels so hard without Cooper. Which at first I over analyzed and wondered if I was codependent on my child. LOL. Then I realized that he is a part of my soul. I know, how cliché right? But I am Rachel, and I am mom, and I am 24 and I am a business owner and I am not singularly any of those things, I am always all, and so when one is half gone, it's hard.
What I use to do is shut off the pain of missing him, which would work for 2-3 days, and then I would curl up into a ball of sadness. So now I do the hard thing of not turning off the missing and wondering about him every min of the day, and also do 24 year old things. Which sometimes feels wrong, but it's my new normal.
Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner, and I missed Cooper while I ate and looked at Allison and was so happy. What an experience, to be happy and sad all at the same time. Human.
The next day we woke up slowly, no urgency to be anywhere. We got brunch and then decided to stay out all day and just explore with no agenda.
As we got into the park, we saw these two guys with a sign that said 'share your story'. They wanted stories of strangers in the park, anything they wanted to share. Of course Allison was quick to say yes. She was great. She thrives on human connection, in a different way than I do. I take time to adjust to new settings, and explore whats around me as I ease into my state of comfort. But Allison walks into situations and automatically feels at home. She shared her story, and it was so good. All the while I was having an inner war with myself wanting to do it too. But the idea of being on camera makes me want to actually vomit. I mean set me up at home in my room, by myself, and I'm golden. But in front of people, especially in Washington Square Park, LOL, no thank you. So as she wrapped up and I was beating myself up for not saying anything, she turned to me and asked if I wanted to do it too, and I was so thankful for her in that moment. "YES, but I'm really awkward, will you ask me the questions?". I knew what I wanted to talk about, but those words couldn't leave my mouth yet.
I talked about coming out, being in a long distance relationship, and being Cooper's mom. I cried, and it was good.
I felt brave, and bold and empowered.
Then we continued to walk through the park and we saw this guy playing piano. Like a big grand piano was just chilling in the park, he's there all day everyday. How does he get that piano in there?
There were two girls laying underneath his piano, and I wondered if maybe they were his daughters. As they stood up with big smiles across their face, Collin, the man performing, said that anyone who wanted to could lay under the piano for a $20 donation. I was confused as to why one would want to lay under there, but also intrigued.
As we sat and listened to him play, Allison's hand on my lap, it was perfect. With so many people in that city, there are moments I have felt so deeply alone, and also more myself than ever. It's so weird, but I never question New York's magic. She's divine.
There is a deeper sense of comfortability in my sexuality there, more so than there is in Ohio. At least right now. Probably because you could wear a banana suit in NYC and no one would look twice, and holding hands with Allison in a Target in Hilliard brought on more stares than I have ever felt in my life. Which I'm adjusting to, again, it's that whole Hannah Montana thing. My relationship has primarily lived in NYC, so finding that space of normalcy here is still a work in progress.
Anyway, Collin the piano man said he was about to go on a break and asked if anyone wanted to go under the piano one last time. No one said anything and I felt bad, but assumed he was use to this rejection. He was about to play and I just new that I had to go underneath the piano, so I told her we should.
We got under and he said he would play a few keys so we could experience what it would be like, magic.
You could feel the music in your bones.
He announced to the crowd and to us he'd be playing 'Claire De Lune'. I was ready.
He began and I cried. But not a deep cry, just a grateful cry.
Grateful that in that moment I was experiencing love, that I was in a city that I only dreamed about since I was 7 years old, that I was happy, and that I felt so deeply present.
If you ever have the chance to lay under someones piano, please do it.
There was more to our trip, we did more walking and exploring. We ate waffles, and drank coffee (decaf for me). We were 24 and in love in the most magical place I've been so far.
Long distance is hard, but this weekend was dripped in honey and I will remember it forever.
Which is why I got on the bus, instead of Runaway Bride style bailing again.
I won't wake up one day and wonder 'what would have happened if I would have gotten on the bus. I'll know. That I loved deeply, and felt free.