I'm not sure I've ever felt as much work pressure as I feel in this moment, a situation amped up by the fact that I can't focus fully on the writing right now, as I'm also trying to make sure that my niece Leah can get settled in her new life in the city, safe and okay. She and her roommate got approved for a place, but they both have nothing to outfit her apartment. She has only her clothes, and bedding, but no bed, no crockery, cookware, or cutlery, no desk or living room furniture, no curtains to hang at the floor to ceiling windows that make the apartment so airy and light. The apartment, coincidentally, is right above the apartment that my other niece, Dani, has lived in for the past two years, but Dani is moving out the day before Leah and her roommate get the keys next month, because Dani's roommate is moving to Seattle, and Dani plans to live with her former college roommate starting in September. She's moving back to her parents' house in Orlando for the summer, as her former roommate's lease isn't up until August. More than you ever needed to know.
Anyway, my niece who is fresh out of college seems a bit overwhelmed, and maybe also lonely and uncertain as she faces the unknown. I've observed again and again that this summer after college is a hard one, as these newly sprung young people try to figure out the shape of their future. And this niece, despite already having landed a good job that will allow her to pay her way, has a fairly anxious personality. She's a bit like me, really. She also seems to know few people in the city beyond her cousins, who are busy meeting the demands of their own lives, so I find I am worrying about her, and getting her settled, more than I did with some of the others. Complicating things, she has a hard time asking for and accepting help. She has this idea that she needs to do it all on her own, and she can be sharp in her push back against offers of assistance, so the whole getting her launched endeavor isn't quite there yet.
I guess I'm just trying to process my own anxiety that my work is going slower than I need it to go, because I'm not fully in my head as I'm doing it. I'm also realizing anew how much I appreciate my husband's ability to be here yet allow me to be fully inside my writing bubble, even as he moves around me, interacting with me, telling me things, making me feel less isolated and alone. The stresses of this moment aside, I really am a lucky one. One can feel lucky and blessed while also churning inside, I guess. Because holy mother, I am churning. I think that's because there's an unsettled energy in the house right now, and whatever emotion exists in a room, I can't seem to help just drinking it in.
The puzzle on the dining table is of an artwork called "Some Refused to Work in the Fields" by Ronald Jackson. Made by Apostrophe puzzles, it was a hard one and the image is quite surreal. It took my niece and me a whole week to complete it, which we appreciated. We do both love the hard puzzles, what does that say about us?