Beware

Okay, I’m just going to accept that I am in a very weird pre-leaving-for-New-Zealand place and that I’m pretty much going to be in that place until I get on the plane and wake up in Fiji, a hundred and twenty-two days from today. I’ve been complaining to everyone who will listen that I feel so off-center, that I’m totally marking time, that the trip doesn’t feel real, that I just feel really strange. That’s just the way it is right now. I give up.

My life is pretty predictable, the way a lot of peoples’ are. You know: get on the bus, go to work, read a book, watch Law And Order re-runs with your housemates if they happen to be home because you don’t know how to turn on the TV, allow a stripper to get all up on you, do laundry, in bed by eleven. My emotional life is sometimes a little more harrowing in a very boring way, but in general I’m of the school that says, hey, feel your feelings when you feel them and then have a cupcake and do some Turkish shimmy or something. But it’s like I’m fifteen years old again, writing in my paper journal every night about how no one understands me, freaking out about stuff that happened in my family twenty years ago, agonizing over choices I made before the turn of the millennium. Why? Why go through all of this stuff now, stuff that I can’t change, stuff that sort of doesn’t even matter anymore. Why waste all this energy on being upset and angry, why bend my long-suffering friends’ ears and why look like a fool in the process?

I’ve been having all these crazy nightmares (I woke up this morning moaning “Noooooooooo!”) and I’m super easily distracted and I want to burn down the world a little bit sometimes. It’s really frustrating. A week ago I called a bunch of friends late at night and told them that I was that really wild white-hot-lava-flow kind of furious, that I was so angry that I was actually a little scared, and did they think it would help if I tore my bed in two with my bare hands and then threw it out the window where hopefully it would crush a bunch of beautiful spring flowers and some month-old puppies? Or did they suggest that I settle for blowing up my car with the enraged power of my mind and letting the wreckage settle peacefully at the bottom of the Sound instead? How about swallowing a couple of pairs of high heels, raw, with no teriyaki sauce or anything, and then spitting them out splashfully on the sidewalk on Market Street during everyone else’s commute home, would that be useful?. “IS THIS NORMAL?” I yelled into various voicemails. Burn down the world, indeed.

I was pouring my heart out to my lovely Linda over pho and cream puffs and Thai iced tea this afternoon and she said, “Girl, in a couple of months you are going to be so filled with new things and new experiences and new everything that there will be no room in your head for any of this nonsense.” I shuffled my feet and looked down at the pavement and said “I know,” and I do know. I know. I know that this is just this weird time where I kind of have to burn up all my garbage, somehow, get rid of any baggage that won’t fit under my seat or in the overhead compartment. Maybe I’m just making room. I very much don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that this is going to be the Year That Changed Everything (but, um, if it turns out to be, please feel free to give me a healthy advance to write a charmingly poignant tell-all memoir about it) because obviously, wherever you go, there you are…but getting on that plane to the other side of the world does feel like a crossroads somehow, does feel like the end of one life and the beginning of another. Growing pains, death throes, whatever you want to call it, I’m a little daunted by the idea of living like this for the next three months. I heave and churn with barely felt tremors; I want to tell everyone I know to beware the falling rocks.

4 comments

  1. I think you’re having separation anxiety from your life as you now know it. So you’re digging in and churning up and rehashing, because pretty soon *everything* IS going to change. Been there, done that. I’d recommend tequila, but you don’t drink.

    BTW, I looked up the diagnostic criteria for separation anxiety http://www.mentalhealth.com/dis1/p21-ch03.html
    and not only do the Europeans have a separate definition, (well lah di frickin dah) but you have to make sure the problem is not better accounted for by Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia.

    It’s not, right?

  2. 1) It sounds like you are doing what you need to do, just riding the wave. Sometimes life can be so *weird.*

    2) What distinguishes a turkish shimmy?

  3. I have some transition-stuff going on right now, too, and a lot of what you wrote today really resonated with the way I’m feeling about it all. I’ve just been very twitchy and over-obsessive about things lately, and assigning probably way too much significance to probably random things.

    Mostly, I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your writing. It always makes me happy to see that you have another entry up.

  4. Does it help to be told that what you are going thru is completely normal? Or if not normal, then common? I went thru this before I moved to Scotland. Change, even the good kind, signifies the death of something (for example, your Seattle life as it stands right now). And with every death there is grief. Anger is simply one stage of the grieving process. So embrace your anger, it really is a positive step.