One of my friends read my last newsletter and asked me what my mental health crisis had been about. "Or is that information for subscribers only?" Way harsh, Tai. But I guess it's the kind of thing you should expect when you promise emotional intimacy to paying subscribers.
The thing is, I have felt myself to be much more guarded lately, in all realms of my life, much more #boundariesgoals. An early-pandemic experience of being my usual very chatty IRL self and getting rebuffed hard still feels like it has cured me of bringing my entire wackadoo self to the table immediately with semi-strangers forever.
It was Spring 2020. Cast your memory back to that fucked time. There were rainbows in the windows, we were clapping for essential workers, and almost everyone who had the means to do so had fled NYC. Only the worst assholes and most essential workers had kept their nannies or sitters coming to work. Everyone else with little kids was fucked. Playgrounds were closed. No one was sure what social mores should be about little kids playing with each other -- it's impossible for kids under 6 to social distance, or at least it was then, in those days when all of this stuff was new.
Keith and I were splitting the day into AM and PM shifts, both of which were bad in different ways. In the AM, it was nicer to be out in the park with the kids, but then in the PM you would be left too exhausted by trekking (with a double stroller and recalcitrant 4 year old) to the park and dealing with their tantrums to get anything done. If you got to work in the AM, that part of the day was a blessed reprieve, but trudging back to re-enter the fray was depressing as hell -- likely as not, you'd find the kids napless, at the end of their tiny tether, with infinity hours left to go til bedtime and very little chance at making it further than the bleak office park two high-rise blocks over if you even made it out of the house again that day. This is a tiny sliver of the horror of April-May-June 2020, obviously, but it was my sliver.