Me: “What are you up to today?”
@nigelsie: “No agenda really.”
Me: “Maybe we go eat. It’s nice out there.”
Nigel: “Where you wanna go?”
Me: “I don’t know. Do you know where I want to go?”
That’s how we ended up at a Taiwanese restaurant in Elmhurst, Queens. I wasn’t sure if he was feeling up or down since he had just decided a few days ago to close his retail store for @hellomoonman. “Ambivalent” might be the right word. Naturally, he has some sad feelings but, at the same time, he is excited about the new possibilities.
I think many of us have had situations in our lives where we felt we should quit, switch, or move on but dragged our feet because whatever we were suffering from was at least familiar. There is no guarantee that the new chapter will be better, so why not continue with the familiar pain?
Nigel took the plunge and now is in that uncertain period that most of us dread, but after listening to the logic behind his decision, it made perfect sense. I’m pretty sure he will make it work.
“This is gonna sound terrible but...,” he confessed about his experience of the pandemic lockdown: Secretly, he loved some aspects of it. I think this is a sentiment shared by many, I told him. According to some articles, many Americans who were not happy with where their lives were, used the lockdown as an opportunity to reconsider their future. It was possible because there was nothing else they could do with their time. The pandemic forced the world to take a deep breath at home. It was as if the time stopped.
Nobody was having fun, so you didn’t have to feel bad about not having fun either. Suddenly, it was OK to be who you are, no need to put up a happy, fun facade on social media. Feeling lonely? That was OK too. Hell, you didn’t even have to shave, dress up, or get a haircut! We were all forced to drop the pretense. It makes sense that we loved that aspect of the lockdown.
Nigel and I went to a bar after dinner and ordered a pitcher of sangria from a sidewalk table. Cool breeze and soft light. Among dozens, only a few tables were occupied. Once again, I forgot about the existence of time and got a glimpse of what Kierkegaard meant by “the eternal.”
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