In the summer of 2020, I was riding my bicycle across Bed-Stuy. There was a rat in the middle of the road. A car had run it over a few minutes ago. Its tail was still twitching, even though it was already dead. I knew it would stop. The dead still stay dead. It was overwhelming anyway because I considered how long it takes for the mind and body to catch up with one another when either experiences major, instantaneous change. Again, this was the summer of 2020. My gut told me this was a commentary on what it is to continue to be alive.
I tried to write about it, but all I could muster was descriptive writing. It was enough. I tried to internalize it, but that felt like validating yet another round of self isolation. Instead, I used it to consider my next major life moves. Is this the street where I’d want this to happen to me? Do I want this to be a transitionary space? Where am I going on this street?
To answer the question, I started working on a magazine. I changed the kinds of paid work I was doing to focus on something away from a computer desk. Before I was done, I committed to a major act of self betrayal by enrolling in an academic program. For years, I promised myself I would not seek yet another degree. This time, I focused on ensuring the program was practical and had options for employment. I am six months from completing my licensed massage therapy degree. Since I’m so close, I’m going to add regular brief updates here. It will be both motivation for me and, hopefully, something for you to connect with, dear reader.