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Season 2, Episode 3: Meryl, Interrupted

 How Did We Get Here?

 Change is not merely hard, you think as you stare up at the ceiling. It's grotesque. This week, you've been camped out in your grandma's computer room amidst all of your things. Your life is now in boxes as the house you once called home is under total renovation. Like a ghost, misplaced and uncertain, you've been cast aside so new life can come in. It's been a sleepless few nights as you ponder the reality of this.


You think about all the good times you had in the house, the freedoms of not paying rent, the passive income from renters, that maid who worked to sleep on your computer room sofa. And then there was the time you had a full house after taking in a couple of scammers from the Chevnic Union who said they were your cousins. You suspected they were lying, but it made for some colorful times and gave you a good story to tell for the rest of your life.

Bad Feelings

At some point, grandma comes in with a sandwich and a drink. She feels bad for your situation, but not bad enough to change her mind about turning her house into an apartment building. Although she's offered to put you in the top floor apartment when it's all done, she wants you to get a job and pay rent, both things you haven't done in a long time. The thought of getting a job after all these years makes you question your value in society. It's a fearful thought you'd rather not confront. So you don't thank her for the sandwich she's placed beside you. You just gaze icily. Luckily, she doesn't make it awkward. She just leaves.   

Panic in Grandma's Computer Room

Suddenly, you sit up fully panicked over the fact that even this computer room will soon be gone, as your grandma has decided to take up occupancy in one of the new rental units and move out of her apartment. She has a lot of nerve pulling the rug out from under you like this.  

An Inspiration

But as you stand there in your pajamas in the midst of all your junk, you get an idea to try to move out of your fear and anxiety. If there's one place you've always been able to turn when things get rough, it's the seat of nature, the sweet outdoors, the tall and nurturing trees that always hold space for you.

Nature Heals, Right?

At first, you feel as directionless in nature as you do in life. You stand with the leaves at your feet and the wind on your face, and you distinctly regret leaving the house. 

Contemplating The Great Indoors 

You take in the late day sun realizing it's been a while since you've been outside. The truth is you've been holed up in your grandma's house for years. One by one, your housemates left to get on with their lives. It was just you who stayed behind, unchanging, clinging to the comfort and the sameness of your life spent indoors.  

Change is Hard When You're Sensitive

Change has always been tricky for you. When you were five, you cried upon learning your cushy kindergarten gig that started at noon would soon switch with the morning class, meaning you'd be first shift for the rest of the year when you knew in your bones you were a second shift person. You can still feel that jolt to your heart and your nervous system, forty years later.  

When Life Gets Hard, Get Moving

And so you begin to move, to climb, and reach for your friends the trees. You don't let your heels stop you. In fact, you've always prided yourself on being able to do anything in any shoe. It's one of your unique talents, you remind yourself. Yes, you have talent!  
At first you struggle to recall your skills. Aside from the shoe thing, you ask yourself, what else is there? You've gotten really good at staying home for lengthy periods of time, having little to no communication with family or friends, perfecting your Instacart batches, getting your Uber Eats drivers to bring your trash bins to the curb on garbage night and bring them back to the porch the next day. You're very charming!

But as you continue your outdoor trek, you start to wonder, are these really talents, or have I perfected the art of isolation? If you're being honest with yourself, it feels like the latter. But when did taking comfort in your home become a pathology? Probably around the time you stopped leaving it.

Your Own New Chapter

As you press your weight into the bark of the giant tree behind you, you consider what it would be like to begin again, start your own new chapter where you go outside more, meet new people, and experience joy from external interactions again. Maybe you can even take that sense of safety you formed through your solitude into the outside world?

  Trees Are My Support Animal

You really allow yourself to feel the support of the tree behind you. It's tantamount to a hug, a thing you've needed for some time, but simply haven't had access to. You feel refreshed out here, as if there's been an exchange of energy between you and the tree you're leaning on. You're more present than you've been in a while, like you too have roots that ground you. You take a deep breath.


Suddenly you find yourself smiling, a full open-mouthed smile, not evoked by meme, reel, or streaming content, but from within. You think of your grandma, who's starting over too, and for the first time all week, you don't hold her in contempt. Instead you feel curious about where she's headed, knowing that you're headed somewhere too. 
As you leave the park, you resolve to get back here more, to take deep breaths every day, to chew your food more thoroughly, and to remind yourself more often that you're alive, and that's good.

Making Amends

Back at home, you finally thank your grandma for her years of generosity, and for offering you the top floor apartment, the largest unit in the house —even if she wants you to share it with a roommate, a person whom you haven't met yet, a person whom for all intents and purposes you may not like or mesh with at all and who may possess lifestyle habits completely opposite to yours. You stop yourself there. "Thanks, grandma," you repeat, and somehow you know it's all going to be okay. 

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