Travel Diary: New York City (JFK)

By: S. Davis

September; New York City:

Strange. Odd. Revealing. Empty.

I sit here waiting for my connecting flight to Paris and…nothing. No anger or sadness, no happiness, excitement or joy. I’m home – as much as I can call an airport that, but nonetheless I am technically in New York City and not a single emotion is rising to the surface.

Apathy?

I’m thinking about all my failures, mistakes and questionable decisions; good, bad…unclear. The outcomes those choices yielded – and how I processed and lived through them. What were the lessons, the silver linings? I can’t find a single one at the moment. I’m sure they exist but I feel like a robot at the moment. The planes are rolling around, awaiting signals to reach the runway, outside of the window and I’m staring at Queens. I am in my city, my heart deeply in Brooklyn yet inside my chest is silence.

My eyes fixate on five birds; it all seems so simple for them. Envy? Sure. The simplicity fascinates me. I place my hand over my heart to make sure I’m actually existing in this moment and I haven’t died in a plane crash or I’m deep into a dream unaware it’s time to make my way to LAX. Am I asleep?

After stepping away from the window I press my right hand into my chest – to the point of discomfort in order to feel my beating heart. Faint, eerily so. My cellular battery is at full capacity thanks to the charging station. As I sit, I contemplate every woman I dated, my education and, above all else, my childhood. My mother, my sister; the concept of home.

What exactly is home?

Where have I gone? What have I accomplished?

Besides surviving some cruel luck I can’t answer that in a tangible manner. I love my true friends with every bit of my heart and whatever’s remaining of my soul but I hate when they attempt to sing my praises for overcoming a devastating upbringing. Life doesn’t award medals just for living it, I suppose. Actually I’m sure it doesn’t. My sister didn’t celebrate a tenth birthday and I’m older than my mother was at the time of her death. Is that true? It is. Does a silver lining exist there?

There are times when I’m maniacally convinced that my life is being televised to another dimension where wagers are being placed on the exact time I break, mentally. Twelve? I was on the brink. Fourteen? Fifteen? Sixteen? Twenty-four? Twenty-nine?

Why am I at my happiest with my backpack, foreign currency and a map finding my way through a foreign country?

I would sell every one of my possessions and leave everything behind to travel the world for the rest of my days. If I found a career path that paid me a salary to travel, I wouldn’t need a full week to shut down my life in Los Angeles.

I’m trying to create luck and opportunities for myself but, personally, I feel that I’m failing, once again. I’m acting, writing and performing but not to the point where I can pursue those avenues solely according to the standards I’ve set for myself.

Shockingly, I find myself inundated with anxiety. I’m bathed in the shit. It’s like a sticky, thick, pungent film that I can’t seem to wash off. It’s resting in my subconscious and it invades my sleep. It won’t subside even on the days I feel like I’m progressing. It’s eroding my ability to self-motivate. I’ve never been a person to fall victim to that emotion and now it’s a consistent, troubling insecurity I cope with.

I’m 37. I’m running out of time.

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