When I left San Diego, I sent my kitten Mika on a plane to arrive safely in Buffalo while I traveled through the south slowly making my way to Buffalo. I also sent boxes upon boxes of clothes. Realistically, I didn’t need sweat pants in New Orleans early September, but I’m sure glad I shipped that box because the single digit weather of Buffalo requires them.
I found it ironic that when I moved into my loft, Mika slept for days upon days on an open box of my clothes that been shipped here. It took me some time but I realized it was the only bit of familiar smells left of what she knew and what I knew. All of my bags from my road trip acquired new smells – southern air, strange hotels, back-seat 5am morning dew….
To be honest, I haven’t recognized a scent in months.
I am not talking about the smell of a crisp apple, or garlic infused pizza – I’m talking about curling into your bed inhaling years of sweaty comfort, taking a shower with the many soaps & shampoos mixed together into one fresh recognizable smell.
This sort of longing can be crippling on some levels. There are so many things you realize after embarking on a journey like this – that even months down the road you’re taken aback and wondering how you’re still standing upright. The pain that hibernates in my every fiber often leaves me here, feeling incredibly lonely - though not even slightly afraid. I’m ok. I know this. I’ll be ok. I understand this.
I walked into my loft a few days ago and it actually felt familiar, like this routine is becoming engrained and the floors are feeling my weight fully. I walked into my room, picked up one of my beloved hoodies and smelled it, it smelled familiar. As if just enough of my body had been wrapped up in for long enough that it cradled it deeply, longingly. I’m still adjusting to the many new smells and I’m trying to embrace the heartbreak of losing certain smells – though I’m understanding it’ll likely be a slow process. For now, I’ll keep writing about it, I’ll keep dissecting it, and I’ll keep evolving through it...