The Aftertaste of Social Interaction

I’m so tired of doing this thing, where like – I don’t know if it’s like. Social anxiety or something maybe?

Where like. I don’t know if I quite have the energy to go out and deal with people, but I’m a bit on the fence about it, and I usually sort of feel like I *should* go deal with people, because apparently social interaction is good for you or something.

And I go out – and I think the weird thing is like. It’s never a bad time.

It’s not like it’s awful, or terrible, or like. Some kind of burning pain or anything.

It’s just. This slow seeping sour taste, that always seems to settle in just as I’m walking out the door. The slow shivers like when you don’t quite realize you’re cold until you notice that your teeth are chattering.

Then I’m home and I just get to pick at it, or let it sit in my joints.

Sometimes I can pick out the moment, but most of the time I can’t.

It’s just sort of this… looming, ominous shade that I can’t shake off.

I think maybe that’s the worst part of it. I feel like I should probably just stay in my corner, and keep to my own space. Because I never really feel like I’ve done that poorly?

I always seem to feel sort of like… I managed to not fuck up everything. I didn’t say anything horrifically wrong (…probably). I feel like I’ve done reasonably well, but… in the wrong direction.

I just hit a few too many missed steps and wound up in the wrong spot. It doesn’t matter if I’m still moving, because I’m not where everyone else is, and I don’t know how to *get* to where everyone else is.

So instead I kind of mostly just…coast along. I’m pretty good at smiling and nodding and pretending at the right beats (at least, I think I am?) but it’s just on the surface. It’s just skating, and there’s nothing underneath it.

Then the evening ends, and I get to go home, sit in my corner, and spend the entire night wishing than I had any kind of skill for shaking things off.

 

I think the worst part is that I can feel it whittling down at my social life. I have dinner with someone, and it doesn’t even go poorly, but I end up at home, tasting bitter and stuck in a cycle of obsessing and the absolute surety that I’ve somehow managed to make an utter fool of myself, and that really it would just be for the best if I don’t choose to make the same mistake again.

It builds up, and then I have this huge circle of people in my life that I feel like I probably should just never interact with, because it isn’t like it goes well, and maybe I used to be better at faking it? Or maybe I never noticed?

As it stands, I wish I could learn to just. *stop. talking*.

because it always seems clever and relevant at the time, until I realize that…it really isn’t. At all.

I’ve never been particularly good at not talking, but maybe if I could get better I wouldn’t have so many evenings, at home, in my corner, wishing that I never had to see any these people ever again.

It’s my own fault. I keep saying yes to things that I ought not be saying yes to.

I just keep thinking that I remember it not feeling like this. I used to be better at this shit.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s this town.

It’s probably most definitely a symptom of my ongoing adventures with shitty brain chemistry.

 

I think maybe what I really miss is being alone.

A Reasonably Major Detour

I am now stunningly free of my previous occupation, which is, to be honest, a little bit beautiful in pretty much every way imaginable.

My original plan (because we all know how much I love plans) was to go off and be a truck driver for a while.

(That plan is absolutely still in motion. That is definitely a thing that I am pursuing. I have the fucking 500 page permit study guide now, and sweet fuck is that ever intimidating, but, I digress.)

The plan to become a truck driver has been tabled until further notice, in light of several health issues popping up in family members still living in my hometown. As I am currently unemployed, I am uniquely qualified to drop all of the nothing that I have going on to head up and do my best to help out.

 

I fucking hate my hometown.

I hate it.

And, it has nothing at all to do with the town, or the people there. I just. – It’s a fucking wonderful town. There are so many opportunities there, for so many things, it’s a great place, a lot of people are just really, really happy there.

I still have people who live there, who mean so freaking much to me. (Driftpartner and Tawanda, for starters, but also just. So many people that I care about.)

But I fucking hate that town.

It’s a classic ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ moment.

It has nothing to do with the place or the people and entirely to do with my own history.

Part one of it, is honestly just that I was so deeply unhappy there, for so many years.

Part two of it, that’s harder for me to explain is the part that I know is entirely in my head.

I grew up in this town, I know…virtually everyone there. Everyone knows everyone. I can run into my school teachers at the grocery store. – And that’s all fine.

It’s just that, for some reason, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always had this feeling that success in my hometown…isn’t real.

–  Because even if I managed to be the most successful person ever to be in that town, I just have this feeling that I’ve not actually learned to be successful in life.

No matter what I accomplish there, none of it feels *true*.

Because I haven’t learned how to be successful in life, I’ve learned how to be successful in this one, teeny, out-of-the-way town, where as much as it might be my own merit getting me somewhere, it’s just as much that people remember me being on the swim team with their child Back In The Day.

It’s like. Inescapable nepotism, almost?

I go back, and I feel like it doesn’t matter who I am now, because everything that changed happened where these people didn’t see it.

So suddenly I’m the exact same as I was when I was fucking growing up.

I hate it.

It’s fucking suffocating.

-Which is, of course, only compounded by the part where I feel like…anything I try to do there is useless. Everything gained is inherently negated simply by the setting in which it happens.

Because none of it is a reflection of my actual ability.

It’s all just…cashing in on nostalgia.

Getting somewhere because I know the people to call, because I’ve always known the people to call, because it’s a teeny fucking town.

Someone says ‘I know I can give you this job, because I know you’re reliable’, but really I feel like it means ‘I’m going to give you this job, because I’ve known you since before you were able to talk’.

Which has… absolutely nothing at all to do with my character now, and who I am, and what I can do.

It also has to do with patterns of interaction?

Because I don’t want to be the person that I used to be, I was so fucking  miserable. It’s just so easy to get caught up in the same habits.

I feel like going back there is just… going *back*.

…which is absolutely overwrought and over-dramatic and what-the-fuck-ever.

 

I’m just so fucking tired of feeling like my life is stalling, and it feels practically impossible to move forward when I’m just… going back to my hometown.

Back into stasis.

Back to the same places I’ve always gone, and the same fucking things I’ve always done.

Which…is of course. It’s entirely up to me. I can make different decisions and do different things, and keep trying to move forward. That’s always going to be entirely on me.

It just seems so much easier to keep moving when there are no ruts to get stuck in.

Courage and Spontenaity

Today I was kidnapped by Punk Mentor and his cousin. We went to the Grand Canyon for New Years.

Because we fucking wanted to.

I have spent a great deal of time and energy on training myself to just fucking go when I want to.

I don’t need to have a ****reason****

– or more… it’s just that wanting to … that *is* a reason. That’s *enough* of a reason.

 

I remember when I was… probably around the age of 12? and I had this sort of… call-and-response thing with one of my best friends.

I would ask her “Why?”

and she would say “Because we want to!”

and I would say “Why?”

and she would say “Because we can!”

 

I have a friend – in my head, her name is Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory. I think maybe I was 20? and she was my FUCKING DO IT  friend. She had an amazing answering machine message. It was Isaiah Mustafa – the Old Spice Guy – and he said something like “The Intelligent slash gorgeous slash sophisticated lady you have called cannot answer the phone at the moment as she is currently on the moon surviving on the air in her lungs given to her in a passionate kiss!”

I remember driving all the way out to the coast to finish a certification that I was taking, and I parked my car, and I was just… so afraid. And was just…frozen, in my seat. It was this thing that I knew I had to do, and I didn’t know if I had the courage to do it.

I knew I could always call her, and she wouldn’t even ask questions. I could just say “I need to do this thing…”

and she would say “FUCK YEAH. GO DO THE THING.”

I didn’t even have to actually reach her. I just had to make the call, and hear this fantastically . ridiculous voice mail message, and I would remember… that I had people. That there were people out there who would stand by me and tell me to JUST FUCKING DO THE THING, because they knew that I could.

(I called her. Reached her voice message. Listened to the whole thing, then got out of my car and knocked on the fucking door and got my goddamned certification.)

 

Nike still does this for me. My Wondertwin does. My Driftpartner, and especially my friend Tawanda. More people than I can honestly name. The people who remind me to fucking take what I want, because no one else is going to fucking do it for me.

There’s something different about it though, when you live a million miles away.

Because phone calls work, but they can’t knock on your door and say “Hey. Do you want to drive to Oklahoma with me next week?”

Punk Mentor – he moves around even more than I do, (which, to be fair, has been much easier lately, now that I’m reasonably settled in one place for a bit), and I think that transience is part of it. We’re not going to be in the same place together for long. We’re not going to be making plans for hanging out in the summer. It’s entirely possible that one or both of us won’t be living here anymore.

It makes things more immediate. It’s impossible to put something off until next week if the people involved won’t *be there*.

So instead we do it now.

We say “I want to go here.”

and then “I’m not doing anything on Thursday?”

…and then we go.

Reflections and Nostalgia

I wasn’t really intending to start this post in this way, but I logged in (after being gone from this blog for a very long time) and I realized…

The last fucking thing that I posted was George Micheal.

I guess that it’s just that things change? – or maybe. It’s not so much that *things* change as that the perspective with which we view things changes.

Or I’m just being incredibly soppy and cliched at the moment. (But with a title like ‘Reflections and Nostalgia, I feel like everyone knows what they’re getting into, at the very least.)

This year has been… Well. Certainly not always the most enjoyable, but I think, also, a very necessary step for me to move forward with my life.

This time last year, I was in New Zealand. I was working at Steampunk Art Gallery, and I was doing every single thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life, and I don’t know if I have ever been so desperately unhappy.

And this year… The holidays have come, (and I will forever and always HATE every single ANYTHING that has even the SLIGHTEST BIT OF A HINT of being about Christmas*) but… it feels like victory.

The people I have in my life now aren’t asking for things I can’t give.

I am doing better at not asking for more than people can give.

Part of being in a support network – I always imagine it as a spiderweb. It’s strongest when woven together, but every strand of it still has to be able to support itself.

I think…that’s where I’m at right now.

Balance has never particularly been a strength of mine, but I also don’t really think it was a *goal* of mine, either.

I think that it is now, and I think that – as with many things, “balance” is a nebulous, ever-changing goal. People aren’t static, what we want, who we are – it all changes, and so “balance” will change with that.

I think maybe that’s kind of beautiful.

I think that maybe I like the kinds of things – maybe “goals” is the wrong word.

Perhaps it would qualify more aptly under the heading of ‘More Guidelines Than Actual Rules’.

Which is good, because I have significant issues with authority and have never really been particularly good at following rules anyway.

 

All this is really to say:

Hi! I know it’s been a while, but I’m back, and I am so fucking happy to be here.

Happy fucking new year.

Fuck 2016.

 

Frustration and Limitation

I want to be able to fix my bike.

I mean, I’m not entirely certain what’s wrong with it, but there’s an entire *internet* out there, with friendly videos and owners manuals and fucking step-by-step walk-through’s on forums run by folks who have done this a million times for their own things.

However, due to my current situation where I am distinctly lacking all tools, I can’t.

I can’t do *anything*.

Except for wait two weeks for the nearest place to have an opening to even *look* at my bike.

I never go *anywhere* without my mulit-tool. And the one time I did, I fucking paid for it, and now I’m stuck.

I’m not used to being in a situation where I lack the *tools* to get the job done.

(Alright. That’s a lie. I am *often* lacking the proper tool for the job. But I almost always have something close enough to work. Or something that I can *make* work, despite how much it’s not actually really supposed to be used that way.

Note: Mutli-tool.)

I’m often lacking, perhaps, the specific knowledge for a project, but I’ve got a decent instinct (or maybe just an unreasonable amount of experience) with taking things apart, and I’ve gotten really quite good at hunting down that knowledge, if I need something more than just what I have learned by dismantling things over the years.

But now I find myself in a situation where all the knowledge in the world doesn’t help, because I can’t *do* anything with that knowledge.

 

…I miss my tools.

Disappointment and Pests

My apartment complex was getting pest treatments yesterday, so I made sure to be gone from the house all day.

(This is *so* easy for me. I just grab my stuff and go somewhere with a good internet connection and write. It’s fantastic.)

Except, tonight, I got home (and like, very late. So late it’s early, type late…)

and I find that…my house has kind of been a bit wrecked.

My shit is just…kicked all over the floor, and more than that, I had some packages that were unopened as I meant to return them,  and I found them open on the floor.

So much of my shit is gone.

All of the biking gear I didn’t have physically *on* me.

*ALL* of my tools. (Including my multi-tool. I’m *gutted*. I’ve had that multi-tool since I left for university. I’ve managed to keep it with me across every country I’ve been to – even when I’m really dumb about packing.) And now it’s gone.

 

I’m frustrated, more than anything else, because…I still mostly live like a backpacker?

I don’t have that much stuff.

I *notice* when it’s gone.

 

But also…I don’t have that much stuff? It’s…really obvious that I don’t have that much stuff?

And I just don’t understand.

I don’t *have* anything.

Why would anyone want to take the things that I’ve got?

 

 

…so now I get to take a bunch of pictures and go make an official statement…

 

Not the greatest end to the evening.

Hole-Toed Socks

There are holes

in the toes of all of my socks.

places where my feet don’t fit anymore, where my skin is pushing through the neon-coloured stretch fabric.

Where the rolling motion of my feet as I walk has pushed against the insides of my shoes for a few steps too many. The paths that I’ve walked have become too long, too much, more than thin, mismatched pieces of cloth can take.

Some of them have found their way to a box, ragged around the edges, stained, smelling of grease, and sweat, turpentine and sawdust; a perfect fit for a hand reaching into small corners.

Some of them will go back in the was – they aren’t that bad yet. Just a speck of skin, that will surely grow as threads unravel under movement.

Some of them are torn; rough, jagged flaps where punctures have torn them.

 

I have holes in all of my socks.

I got them from walking the places I like to go. I tore them apart by being un-containable. I am footsteps and friction.

Somtimes it ends in blisters, sometimes in blood.

 

Sometimes in ends in silence.

 

Sometimes it ends in contended weariness, pulling off memories, rolling them down, sliding them off and leaving them all over the floor to be gone through later.

Itching Feet

It’s official: I’ve been back in the U.S. long enough to start itching for a road trip.

I’m in Texas. There’s so much I haven’t seen.

(Read: Virtually everything.)

 

I’m only two hours from the ocean.

 

There’s an entire *desert* out there to explore.

There are small towns, and shit roads and places I haven’t *been* yet.

 

My walls are starting to get covered in maps again.

 

I want to go somewhere and get lost.

Overcoming Fear

I have decided to commit to a two-wheeled vehicle.

This has proved to be a really intersting decision, in the way that it was fueled from a really weird place.

In the past year, I have made many decisions, not all of which were particularly *good* decisions. I got used to a certain level of fear in my life, and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with that.

At the time, it wasn’t something that I particularly noticed, but when I went back, and started comparing my current thought processes to the ones that I had years ago, there was really only one noticeable change for me, and that was this addition of *fear*.

It’s frustrating, because I can’t just…wish it away. I can’t just go back to being the way I was before. I don’t get to magically stop assessing situations from this place where I am now, where fear is a part of how I view life.

That’s really hard for me, because it’s so easy to remember when that *wasn’t* how I felt.

(Or maybe it’s not. Maybe I just processed it all differently then.)

I was sitting there, listening to all of the people who say things like “Is that safe?” and “Don’t die!” and I just thought…Is that really the only reason? This is a thing that I want to do. I’m thinking about not doing it. The only reason…is fear.

(And I understand, this is a reasonable, logically founded fear. Like. I get it. If you’re in a accident on a motocycle, you’re in a *really bad* place. I do get that.)

But I’m also really done with rationalizing fears to be “sensible”.

Fuck. That.

Yes. Shit may happen.

But how much am I truly willing to let that control my life?

 

So. I have bought a motorcycle.

 

I am terrified, and exhilerated.

 

Which is apparently a situation that I like to be in. But it feels good.