Last Week #28 | Parks & Renovation

 This is big. Late in the summer of 2015, as I was driving away for a vacation that was much needed but not really wanted as it required leaving my friends, I finished Parks & Recreation for the third time. And as I helplessly cried in the front seat in traffic on the New Jersey turnpike, I made my family promise me something-- "Don't let me start this show again for a long time. Even if I tell you, 'oh I'm just gonna watch the first episode again for fun' don't let me do it. I'm a liar and I have no self control." They agreed, probably because they were sick of hearing me laughing over the same lines at 3 am. And when I got home, I told my friends the same thing. My best friend Kelsey said to me, "Let's make a pact that neither of us will start it again until we move into an apartment together." Which was an admittedly adorable idea but was it PRACTICAL? No. Neither of us had any game plan for moving out anytime soon, we were just trying to get by in the life we were currently living. So I begrudgingly agreed, and held onto the fact that I had only finished season 6. I could still watch season 7 again and I wouldn't be breaking any rules.

I eventually did finish season 7, and felt a void in my life that I attempted to fill with other amazing shows (like The Mindy Project and Jane the Virgin), but there's nothing quite like Parks & Rec

The months wore on, and for different reasons Kelsey and I both began to feel that moving out of our childhood homes and in together was no longer a dream but rather inevitable. In April, we got word that an apartment might be available. I was hesitant at first, as it is my way to say no to anything new immediately. But then I started thinking about it. It might not be as hard as I thought. 


The plans were made, a little bit at a time, the lease was signed, and suddenly, faster and sooner than I was even prepared for, furniture was being moved out and bought and moved in and arranged. And now, here we are. On Wednesday night Kelsey and I finally made good on our promise. With the boys in Colombia, we'd been mostly focused on getting the place together in their absence. But on Wednesday, she made a pretty amazing soup, and we decided to watch the first episode of season 1. And it struck me that this week has been something like the first episode of our new adventure. It's new, but oddly familiar. 

Let me backtrack a second. For a few years now, the biggest thing on my "Accomplish This Year" list was: move in with Kelsey. And for a long time that seemed impossible. But now, here we are. Without even realizing it, I've achieved the most insurmountable task on that list. It's happened. And it's insane. I don't totally know how I got here, and when I talk to people who I've known for a while, who have known me for a while, they're surprised when they hear what I'm doing now, where I'm living, what my life is looking like. They're like, "WOW! Look at you!" I've demurred and ignored them and acted humble. But the thing is, it isn't an act. I genuinely haven't realized all that I've been doing, all that I've accomplished, because I've been so busy doing it. I know that probably sounds pretentious, or ridiculous, or like some combination of the two... But I have. I've been so focused on just getting through each simple task (moving my bed in, making that video, writing that blog post, going to work) that I haven't seen how all of those things pile up and equal where I am now. 

I think it hit me this week, and I realized just how much I've been doing. And I got really freaking anxious about it. There were other factors, of course, but it culminated in me calling in sick to work on Friday, and spending the day feeling like shit and watching Jane the Virgin for 10 hours straight, trying to ignore my anxiety insisting that everything was huge and scary and I shouldn't do anything.  I'm still trying to get my brain used to the idea that: this is it, we've done it. We can check this one off our list. But I'm pretty sure my brain is still in zombie "get that next thing done" mode. I'm trying to reset it, and see and live and dwell in these beautiful moments that are cropping up all the time now. But it's hard. When you've been dreaming of something for so long, it's almost hard to accept it when that thing finally happens.

-Fran