21st June, 2014. By Harper Cowan:
Summer Solstice. I’m treasuring this solitude, this cool loneliness. I have everything i need. I’m kind to myself, I love myself, and I am good company. I remember the last 3 days that Maz was in America, I would wake up before her, already anxious at her impending departure, but I haven’t been lonely, i’ve been with and for myself. I’m wearing rose colored glasses and I look at every obstacle as a new as of yet unexplored way to have fun. I’m just choosing to enjoy it. There is so much synchronicity, a song, a word, an idea, that keeps coming in to my world before I even know I need it to. I’m surrounded by magic, lest I ever forget, I’m reminded again and again by the kindest people, the most beautiful city, the liveliest children, old friends.
It’s been just over two weeks since I gave up having a place to call my own. Moving out was, like so many things, easier than I thought it would be. I’ve slept in 6 different bedrooms since – i’m loving living in other peoples’ spaces. Each one has its own charm – in the first room I felt like a bird in a nest, the bedroom window looked right out into the tangled high up branches of a backyard tree, and I shared the apartment with a fluffy cat that loved to watch me reading. The fourth bedroom had a comfy yellow chair in front of a sunny window and a neighbor who let his flock of doves out once a day to fly. The fifth one had a beautiful green guitar hung on the wall, and a backyard filled with roses. This sixth one has high ceilings and white bricks and seven little plants for me to take care of. I don’t miss any of my clothes or the other things I sold. I like having my feet off the ground. Pleasure has become more and more simple – an open window, a passing truck filled with colorful laundry bags, a glass bottle of cool water to drink before bed.
I feel my weight shifting around as I try on habits and friends that don’t fit me anymore. I’ve learned what things I don’t want to do, ways I don’t want to think, games I’m no longer willing to play. I don’t need other people to tell me anymore, now I can tell myself. I’m more sure now of what I’m worth, and how good I can be. I’m choosing to be happy, there’s so much power that comes with making that choice. I continue to grow stronger, lighter, and braver.
I have about 100 jobs, I’m dedicated to earning enough money to fund the next chapter of my dreamy creative journey. My work teaches me patience, humility, and above all my jobs re-enforce what I learned a long time ago – work hard, be kind. At one of my jobs, three people so far have offered to let me stay at their homes – and they don’t even know me! I only met them three weeks ago, and they only see me at my worst. Two of the couples I babysit for have offered to let me stay with them too. It’s like they don’t hold it against me that one night they came home and I had eaten all of their crackers and fallen asleep on the couch. The hostess at the restaurant where I work always compliments my style, even though I’ve been getting dressed out of the trunk of my car literally for months now.
There’s so much kindness and encouragement and re-enforcement and opportunity coming my way every day from all different directions, it’s just so much fun to navigate and ride this wave. I feel calm and capable and joyful and grateful. Even though I’m by myself a lot, I feel loved and I feel full of love, for myself and for the plethora of beauty in these days.
Summer in New York is gorgeous, it’s hot, sticky days and picnics in green parks. Sitting on the hood of my car eating vegan ice cream. Summer is industrial blocks, charcoal grey and orange gold glowing street lights, fire hydrants, potholes. Neighbors playing music too loud, boys hanging out on stoops, kids zooming past on scooters. This summer is tie-dye tank tops. Long walks alone with nowhere to be. Lying on the roof, eating popsicles. Summer is the beach, coconut oil, my scarf from Portugal, lying right on the sand to get charged up by the Earth, Saraswathi’s beaded green bikini. Some days the waves are too strong but I swim in them anyway, gulping for air after ducking under the crest and not caring too much that my bathing suit won’t stay on. Drinking watermelon juice and eating veggie tacos, watching the long haired surfer boys. Nights are spent gladly driving on the Brooklyn side of the East River, staring at the city skyline and whatever 3 colors the Empire State Building is lit up that night. Nights are spent drinking only gingerale and staying up until 5am disco dancing. Reading books and writing songs, this summer is smoothies and white dresses. And there’s just so much fun to be had, in every sweating second of it.