At the time this is posting, the decisions have kind of already been made about leave NY vs stay in NY, leave school, vs stay in school. And they were so exceptionally hard.
So. exceptionally. hard.
All of them – whether to leave school in the first place, then how long to defer, then whether in the time I was deferring, it would be better to go back to California and just be “home” and “safe” and try to work things out there, and come back “strong”… Or whether it was better to stay in New York, “tough it out,” refuse to leave the city, and be like, “Hey, this is my home now. And he can kind of push me out of school, but he’s not gonna push me out of this city. He might change my life, but he’s not gonna run it.”
I also had worries that if I went to California, I’d never come back. California felt so safe. It’s a place I know. It’s a place I already have a network. It’s a place where it would be conceivably easy (or at least pretty easy) to work and live. Do I wanna “go back for just a bit before I ‘come back stronger,'” knowing it’d probably start to seem reeeeeeal easy to never come back?
Also, if part of what’s “hard” or “triggering” is being in New York itself, don’t I need to learn how to live here? Even if I “get well” in California, will that last in New York? Or if I stay in New York to just “tough it out,” am I making things so much exceptionally harder on myself for no real reason? Am I just kind of torturing myself just to do it?
The questions became way more apparent in the perfect storm of The Nightly Show being cancelled, sexual assault guy coming back to school in a year and a way I didn’t think he would (making me want to defer one more year), and me having to move apartments, all at once.
At that point it really felt like, “I’m not going to school. I have no apartment and no job. What on earth is keeping me here?” (I mean, I guess to some extent, my therapist. But… you can’t really stay in a city purely for a therapist, I think… I mean, you can do whatever you want. But with no place to live and no source of income, it seemed like maybe New York wouldn’t be the correct option…)
And yet. I found a job. And an apartment. And I “stayed.” I put stayed in quotes because I stayed without staying. After everything happened, I “stayed” in New York, but I was traveling nearly every weekend, and definitely on every hiatus. So, at that point, was I even actually “staying”?
And throughout this process, I just kept asking myself, “What would Hillary Rodham Clinton do?” To me, she is potentially the strongest, most resilient woman in the world. So… What would she do?
On the one hand, she would never be intimidated by a man. She stakes her ground and stays firmly planted in the things she earns. So, maybe she would’ve just stayed in school, even with him there…
But, she’s also human. And she’s super savvy and strategic and brilliant. So, taking all that into account… What if she had been suffering from PTSD? (I know she can handle anything, but you know, I just stated she’s human, so it is possible, probably, maybe, I guess.) Maybe the “smart, strategic, savvy” move would’ve been to go and get better and then come back to school with a fresh start? (That’s what I chose, so I hope it was the right Hillary Rodham Clinton-esque choice.)
I know she never backs down from a fight. But she also thinks about the long game, and the overarching goals of her life. And it all just seemed like nearly impossible decisions and I wanted to make the Hillary Rodham Clinton choice – the strongest, smartest, resilient-est choices…
And I don’t really know if I did. I didn’t know what to do. It’s been confusing. But I tried. And I struggled with the decisions. And I just always thought I should talk about that a little. So… now, I have.