So, I’m busy processing details for my impending relocations. I’m excited. As I told Rube recently, as we’re near collapse from hunger, not having eaten anything in about 10 hours, coming back from the ferry and making a desperate bee-line for Sushi Station that has been our salvation on more than one occasion, “I’m excited — and trying not to let my own nervousness, and the expectations and opinions of others get to me.”
It’s taken weeks for others to catch up. To realize that it will be alright — nobody’s died. Though it would appear that some are still grieving the impending vacancy. Anyways, I’m moving across town.
In interviewing for the space I’ll be moving into, I was struck by several things: I’m doing it. I’m living well. I can get myself across the city with confidence and curiosity. I am not afraid to speak up, and yet I spend so much time policing myself for the comfort of others. But I’ve grown into the person I want to be, crossed that invisible line over to where hardly anyone calls you a kid anymore.
I spend so much time in my head because I am wholly comfortable there; as much as I’m not a kid, I am definitely an introvert, in a world that I think caters to extroverts. I tend towards the unexpected. Apparently. Though it might not manifest instantly.
When I was small, nobody expected that I might walk or talk or feed myself without assistance. Nobody expected that I might ‘win’ my case, or find work or get a degree or end up falling in love with work in the area of mental health, or live on my own. I certainly never expected to be living in the city or that my network would grow to include so many wonderful connections or to find such a profound sense of community and purpose, to spend my days talking (animatedly) for hours on the phone when I used to recoil from the idea or learn to dance or practice yoga or nearly dying of laughter in the back of a dragon boat.
Everywhere it seems people are growing up and growing old. Majoring in English or following a career in nursing, teaching or engineering. Travelling the globe. Building bodies and businesses. Acquiring houses and spouses and cars, and so, so many opinions and conditions. Following trends and campaigning various causes, touting life-changing tools. Full of perverse one-liners and cautionary tales. Seems like when you get right down to it, everyone is doing what everyone else is doing. Or if they aren’t, they’re making an exception to make a statement.
And, I’m over it. Show me some roots, some intimacy, some hard evidence, real wit and a belly laugh or two. I’m finding it hard to find common ground and the space to talk any more than for a few meters or minutes at a time.
My brother and sister can take off halfway across the country or the world for a year or more, move in with a half-dozen strangers, and nobody bats an eye. “That’s exciting” they say, “you’ll learn so much, discover such richness, touch and be touched by so many fascinating people and places.” Why do my siblings do what they do? Because they love it, because they want to try it, because they want to see the world and build their careers, to learn something about themselves and their abilities, maybe. I’ll have to ask them. It’s one of my goals to reach out and speak up more frequently. To bit a bit louder and more direct.
Yet everyone is so impatient. Every moment so fleeting. I sometimes get tired of the challenges and interruptions and wild interpretations that can jumpstart the loud-mouthed version of myself that wants to say (and does) “Shut up and let me talk! Please!” My side of the story has value, too. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, show me you care enough to listen to what I have to say. The fact that I am telling you anything at all should show you I care what you think, and I will give you time to respond.
There are things I’d like to keep private. I don’t think it’s really key you know my monthly costs or relationship status or belief system or medical history, or even where I’ve been or what I ate for breakfast, if I think dark thoughts or struggle sometimes. And people ask this of me. Systems ask it with even more frequency.
(I watched a documentary called “Good Ol’ Freda” about The Beatles secretary, and I loved it. I also really identified with Freda herself and her philosophy. Having found some truly entertaining entertainment without it being over the top was no small victory.)
But I do get lonely. Loneliness is a real thing, it’s even been diagnosed as a real, in some cases, life-threatening problem (for seniors especially, though no one is immune). It will be fun and good to make a new friend. To share a cup of tea or the occasional recap, maybe. To bring a little more warmth to the space and a little less worry. To try something different, to know a new city. Maybe it lasts, maybe it doesn’t, but I plan to enjoy it, regardless.
I’ve lost my glasses. So sorry for any typos.
Today, I started to pull my house apart and realized there’s not much to it. My minimalism is now fact. My plan was to have pancakes for breakfast, but that didn’t happen, so it ended up being dinner instead. I showered and had a nap and good chat with mom, finished off my supply of eggnog and listened to a few Youtube playlists. And wrote this. It has been a day of rest and recovery, and I am so thankful I had nowhere to be today, because just getting out of bed was an accomplishment 🙂
It will be alright. It is alright.