Let’s hope this sticks.
This morning, I met with a physical therapist about the neck pain I’ve had for more than a month. Before even taking any x-rays (which I’m scheduled to undergo later this week), he concluded I have a cervical fracture, which is pretty implausible. For a while, I blamed the whole thing on the masseuse who worked on my neck six weeks ago, as the pain started immediately after our session, but I feel like there must have been a pre-existing issue that was merely triggered by the service. I was wrong to point a finger at the poor masseuse who was only doing his job. I’ve had jaw issues for years, and given my sedentary profession coupled with my frequent gym trips, there’s a lot more out of whack than my TMJ.
When I first moved to NYC in October, a wise young lady told me that I’d have my “New York moment” within a year. What is a “New York moment”? Here’s how she put it:
“You’ll cry uncontrollably on a crowded sidewalk at some point. Everybody does.”
Most of the writers at Thought Catalog would agree, and while I’m more emotional than the average Jane, I didn’t have my “New York moment” until I’d been living in the city for eight months (has it really been that long? Holy smokes)–and that day was today. As soon as the receptionist gave me the green light to take off, I dashed out of the twelve story building and down to Union Square. Upon skimming through the dizzying stack of papers, prescriptions, and radiologist references the physical therapist gave me, I dialed my mom, who had clearly just been sleeping. After all, it was 7 a.m. her time, and yet even in her barely conscious state, she listened to me sob into the phone about this supposed fracture (which is probably total BS, btw. My roomie, the daughter of an esteemed Phoenix chiropractor, says so!). After yelling about needing to get x-rays and tri-weekly physical therapy appointments, I changed gears. And that’s when things just got plain weird.
“Why didn’t dad tell me New York would be so awful?” I said of my father, who raved about his college NYC days throughout my childhood. “Why didn’t he warn me?”
“Laura, get a grip. This could have happened in California, too,” she said.
“I know, but nobody can help me here.”
“What about your roommate? She seems pretty cool.”
And she is! As I keep saying, I’d be at a total loss without Jen, who just spent forty minutes on the phone with her dad to get me some answers. Everyone is telling my different things, and I foresaw this earlier today. The sniveling subsided on my walk to the office, but resumed at different points in the afternoon, mainly during visits to the restroom. I just didn’t know what to think. I won’t have any clarity until the x-ray results come through on Friday, and chances are, I’m going to have to make some drastic changes to my lifestyle. I’m also going to have to dump a truckload of money on medical appointments. Let’s not even get into how much time all of this is going to require. On top of everything, I’m supposed to be the maid of honor for one of my best buddies in a month. That’s the one thing I can do, but I don’t want to let anyone down. I worry that’s going to happen in wake of all this. So, if I disappoint you, I’m sorry. It’s my fault.
But I’m ready to divorce this toxic “woe is me” mentality, which is affecting me in all facets of life, and for what? I’m 23. This is not the time to sulk like a high school sophomore. I’m not that physically damaged. Everyone around me is highly supportive and understanding. Nobody is blaming me or making me feel guilty about what happened. Crying only stops me from pulling through this, so I’m done. It’s really off-putting and unattractive to frown all day, and that’s not who I am. I’ve never been a pessimist, and I have no plans on becoming just another negative New Yorker. Real original.
So, as my father used to say anytime I felt bad as a kid, “Don’t cry about it. Get mad at it. Get mad at it and you’ll be able to move past it.”