Aug. 3rd, 2012

catling42: (Default)
What is a goal, anyway? Does it have to be something concrete? Because I’d say my number one goal is to learn how to be okay -- how to be happy and self-contained. Happy in a self-contained way? Not that I’m denying my exuberance in any way, but that I shouldn’t need anyone or anything else to be able to be happy. I know goals are supposed to be easier to achieve with concrete steps and the like, but we’ll get there.

I am, right now, what I’ve just decided to call “in-betweening.” I’m in between homes (which sounds much, much more comfortable than the “homeless” I’ve been using in my panic for the last few weeks), staying in a friend’s house while I apartment-hunt with my new soon-to-be roommate in a city an hour away. I’m in between jobs, finishing up one while I interview for another. In-betweening has always been something very, VERY uncomfortable for me -- I am most comfortable and least anxious with my stuff around and a plan in place, and here I am with no idea where I’m living or working, all my stuff in storage save a suitcase, my laptop, best-sleeping pillows, and probably too many books. So you can just imagine, these last few months coming up to my in-betweening time, trying to make all the pieces of the living situation and workplace puzzle fit together and, how I’ve been thinking of it until now, failing miserablly, has been incredibly stressful. We’re talking Cat-the-anxiety-case, freaking-out-and-crying stressful.

At the same time, I managed to take an absolutely wonderful week-long trip by myself to England, to see some dear friends and ex-housemates get married, and to get to experience the country. With this, everything fell into place -- my dad had frequent flier miles I could use, for the cost of the taxes and fees (flying out of Heathrow is exorbitant!). My friend who lives in London this year happily offered to let me crash in his flat. And housing in Cambridge for the wedding was taken care of by the bride’s family. So off I went, got my passport renewed with my changed (four years ago!) first name, booked plane tickets and left the country with two weeks left before I was out of the apartment. And it was completely amazing.

The wedding was small and beautiful, and I knew no one but the couple and some of the bride’s family. The accommodations and seating done in such a way that guests just had to talk to a variety of people from different parts of the bride and groom’s lives and make friends from all over. My time was largely unscheduled -- I was free to roam Cambridge, and then London, seeing what interested me and spending time with friends when they were available if I felt like it. I wandered. A lot. I talked to strangers, played pick-up ping pong in a park along the South Embankment of the Thames, made friends with a five-year-old girl on the Tube (we counted trains out the window). I saw a couple museum-y things, but didn’t stress about fitting it all in. I forgot how much I enjoy travelling alone, especially when there’s someone friendly around to make a few plans with. I have learned, at least, how to Maintain A Holiday Attitude when I am travelling. I would like to learn how to do so in the rest of my life.

Anyway, I’m sitting here in my friend’s beautiful suburban back yard, looking up into the woods that abut parkland and listening to the (baby?) redtail hawks skree and not needing to drink a cider or eat ice cream, but enjoying my simple cup of tea and letting myself just be. And I decide to open up my Reeder on my phone and scroll through a few blogs I’ve been neglecting instead of just reading webcomics, and here I am, reading The Minimalists and No Help Here (you’re always just ahead of me, Sarah) and thinking that maybe in-betweening isn’t actually such a bad thing after all. It’s another two weeks to a month of living out of a suitcase. It’s probably best that I’m piggybacking off of travelling; living out of a suitcase is much more familiar and less threatening. And even though I can’t deal with getting rid of actual stuff anymore, since its all tightly packed into an overflowing storage unit I’m afraid to look at for fear of it exploding, maybe I can deal with getting rid of stuff in my head that holds me back. Maybe then I’ll be more ready to get rid of physical stuff once I can access it. Maybe I’ll have dissolved some excuses (but most of it is art supplies, who knows when I might need them! my style cycles every two-to-three years! I’ve been living with someone who has so much stuff I need to have something so my presence isn’t erased by his!). And to be fair, I did start getting rid of stuff before moving it all to the storage unit, and over the last few years, but those excuses are crap, and the possibility of moving into a large apartment also shouldn’t factor in.

So what do we have? Me, feeling really content, sitting in a lawn chair in the shade in a beautifully-manicured backyard and listening to hawks and cars go by and thinking that maybe life isn’t all that difficult, after all. And maybe it doesn’t matter if I don’t get THE job, because it probably doesn’t pay enough anyway, and there will be other awesome jobs. And will find a place to live, and I am surrounded by good people who want to help. And that is what’s actually important, isn’t it?

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catling42

January 2016

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