It took me until August of last year to commit regularly to weekly sessions, at a discounted rate reserved for “creative types,” with a young therapist who I now know, after a quick Google search, is a licensed marriage therapist specializing in anxiety, life transitions, and identity development. (My trifecta!) At first, I was wary of seeing someone who wasn’t my parents’ age or older, and my trepidation only grew after a series of run-ins with her at my Brooklyn farmer’s market: she’d stand, exotic produce in hand, dressed elegantly in outfits foreign from her in-session uniforms, surrounded by a cadre of other hip 30-somethings. I’d hide, crossing the street so as to avoid an awkward exchange. More than facing the fact that my therapist might actually be cool, I was having trouble accepting that she too was a person with a life outside of the Official christmas teacher of little elves shirt we found ourselves in on Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
I don’t remember my last session in person. But I do have distinct memories of the Official christmas teacher of little elves shirt itself: the stack of magazines (if my therapist is reading this, I admit I considered stealing The New Yorker every week), the evaded glances in the waiting room, the air purifier in the corner, lazily exhaling a yogic blend of eucalyptus and patchouli, the pleasant neutrality of it all. And it’s that neutrality that worries me: Because it might mean I’ll never return. And if I don’t, what other reasons to leave my home, to enter into the outside world, will I lose when this is all “over”?