I won’t go into the details because 1) I’m writing this on a phone and as nice as qwerty keypads are, I still don’t enjoy writing lengthy missives from them, and 2) I can’t handle the details right now, anymore. I’ve spent the entire morning– we’re talking the last seven hours, what with time zones– in tears. For once I’m grateful for the existence of Starbucks because I’ve been taking stashes upon stashes of napkins from their kiosks.
But the short version is, these past two months, I’ve been struggling with the idea of giving up dance, and the thought alone of walking away from this absolutely breaks my heart. Last weekend, I came so close to closing that door and locking it for good that I spent an hour at SFO sobbing either in solitary corners at the gates or in the bathrooms. The reasons I have for giving it up are both valid and not-quite-valid, but either way, they are reasons and they are mine and their mere existence hurts me more than I can put into words.
Very closely related to, or even tied to, this is my recently developed relationship with Washington D.C. I’ve written a little, or maybe a lot depending on what you’ve been reading, about how in love with D.C. I’ve been since the first moment I ever landed at Reagan National back in August. About how conflicted I’ve been over the sense of home that D.C. provides me when I already have a home, a happy home with a thriving home life, back in Vegas.
Again, I won’t detail pages of backstory, but the culmination is: I can’t get home today. And it could very well be an isolated crisis– I’ve gotten home with no issues all the other times– but as of this very moment, I’m stranded in Chicago thanks to weathers and mechanicals and canceled flights that have created a sudden and enormous flux of people trying to go west. I can’t even get to a city in my own time zone. It’s far from ideal, not being home today, possibly not being able to get home tomorrow (there are literally multiple hundreds of other stranded people also trying to get west on flights that are oversold to begin with), but it’s survivable– but this isn’t something I can chance happening again. So on top of being heartbroken this morning over leaving D.C. and probably not being able to go back there until November, if even then, now I’m suddenly facing the question of whether this is worth it, worth the consequences of not being home in time should I get stuck on the other side of the country again.
I love D.C. I never meant to, didn’t expect to; but what’s maybe even more surprising is that D.C. loves me back. I feel it every minute I’m there. It’s not a perfect city, but I’m not a perfect person, and I’ve said all along that I love Las Vegas for *its* imperfections anyway. Vegas loves me, too, but Vegas was a home that gradually and inconspicuously grew to be such for me, whereas with D.C., the recognition was startling and instantaneous. But the point is, there’s love and a sense of home in D.C. And the reason I’m making this point is because I want to clarify what it is I would be losing if I decided to stop making trips out there.
I’m attached enough as it is, and it’s only been three weekends total. On Saturday, I was thinking about all the parts of D.C. I still want to see and explore, all the surrounding areas I still want to visit, and the number of weekends it would take to do all those things is soberingly– not impossible, but certainly impractical. The more time I spend in D.C., the deeper my attachments to it grow, and the more I hate having to leave. And I just keep thinking, love isn’t supposed to be this hard. Yes, love is about work and compromise and sacrifice, but it shouldn’t be *this* hard. And I don’t believe in the idea of "one" love, one real and true and great love, so it’s not like I can make that excuse to myself, that I’m meant to be in D.C., that I will never find another place that appeals to and embraces me the way D.C. does. On top of which, if I’m going to go the "meant to be" route and throw in flighty ideas of fate and predestination, wouldn’t there be an argument to be made along the lines of, if it’s meant to be, in two years when I’m done with my civil program, D.C. will still be around, will still welcome me with open arms? Or in two years, the dance scene will still be going strong and I’ll fall back into it like I never left. If it’s meant to be.
Except even then. Even in two years. I can’t leave Vegas. How can I leave? My life is there. I wanted a career there. I wanted to fix it, to save it. How could I abandon that desert, that place that has forgiven me time and time again all my failures and flaws and infidelities? I don’t enjoy not being there. Despite the happiness and fulfillment bracketed within the various destinations for which I’ve left Vegas weekend after weekend these past two months, I don’t enjoy leaving home.
I don’t know what I’ll end up deciding. I have four weeks to really think about things, to think about what I’m willing to sacrifice and to make charts and graphs detailing cost-benefit equations. Four weeks to think about the possible directions my life will go after my birthday passes at the end of December. Though of course all I really want is to make a decision now and be done with it– only, I know I would choose to give up. No more, I don’t want to go through this struggle anymore, I don’t want to feel this ache of missing and wanting anymore. I’d rather have nothing, have a peaceful life of calm neutrality. I spent ten years of my life– if not more– stuck on the roller coaster ride of following and living with wild and unmetered passion, experiencing the most thrilling of summits only to be hanging on for dear life through the plunges that inevitably followed. I’ve had more or less three years of peace since having lost that kind of passion, and admittedly, I’ve missed the euphoric moments, but my god, I’ve not missed the price at which they came one bit.
It all boils down to, is it worth the fight? And more importantly: do I even have the strength to keep fighting for it?