Here, where I am not

I don’t feel as though I am really here. I feel as though I have been dropped from some great height and my parts spread out haphazardly and disconnected upon the ground. I never knew how this machine worked in the first place, so trying to reassemble it is the stuff sitcoms are made of.

Part of me says this is good, because I can re-create myself however I would like. That’s great, except that I still have only the original raw materials to use. There’s been nothing added, nothing optimized, nothing changed but ligaments and connectors may be more fragile and less elastic. But, I will do the best I can do, as always.

Maybe this is a good thing. Perhaps I don’t need to reassemble myself in the rigid binary in which I existed before – short vs. tall, fat vs, thin, ugly vs. pretty. I suppose the goal is more about acceptance of the inherent reality, but damn, if that wasn’t satisfactory to begin with it probably won’t be acceptable now.

My recovery program talks about a necessary psychic change in order to effect true change. I feel as though I’ve had many psychic changes, many deviations from the original default position, although what hasn’t changed is the nature of the unacceptability of that reality. How do I make peace with that reality when I don’t like it? I can accept it, but I don’t like it, and I don’t know that I will ever like it.

This is the source of the great unrest, the conflict within, the dissastisfaction of that which is. There are certain things I don’t mind, but certain other things I find nearly impossible to reconcile. I don’t mind being short, but I mind tremendously being fat and having all of the usual causal factors that make that condition a reality. Life shouldn’t have to be that bloody difficult, require that much effort, necessitate a divorce from every intuitive machination that I have. That pretyt much sucks and I don’t have the energy for it any longer.

It’s not just the weight, though – it’s not being able to keep my mouth shut in the face of some deeply held conviction, it’s not being able to read people and know instictually who I shouldn’t trust. It’s not understanding how life amongst people works.

My father was not a happy man, and I am convinced that caused him to sign up for an early departure. My mother was not a happy woman, but she lasted for more than 20 years after he was gone. My grandmother seemed to be happy – she had a lot of things going for her in the early 70s – but she also departed before her time (or at least my estimate of that). Is there a decision, on some esoteric plane? I don’t know, but I suspect that unhappiness makes for a certain mind-body-spirit connection that says time is short and I’m ready to go.

I am not a happy person, and I wonder if that means I will be taking an earlier flight out of here. That is not a conscious ask, but periodically I think it wouldn’t be such a horrible deal. My hesitance, though, comes from the big question mark of what lies beyond. What if this pain doesn’t end when I shake this mortal coil, and it simply continues under different circumstances. What if there really is a punishment for not wanting to continue under these circumstances. The prospect of this unpleasantness continuing is like cold water in the face.

Earlier today, I was listening to someone else try making sense out of a group process that she didn’t particularly like. The group opted to be very fluid, and be open to changing details about how we choose to be with one another. She was more rigid about us conforming to what we say, and how we communicate with the larger community. MOst of us found that we didn’t care much about definition, or at least about it being true to defining wors and concepts. We choose to make it up as we go along, have our covenant be responsive to our needs at any given time.

Watching this other person trying very hard to make things “make sense” gave me a glimpse of what it looks like when I am trying to do that. She could not understand why the rest of us didn’t feel conflicted about our self-definition as compared with how our definition was described. She felt as though existed no space between self-definition and self-description, and that essentially referenced a conflict.

Rigidity does not serve me well, and I don’t think it serves anyone well. What I thought when I was 10 is not unchanged more than 50 years later, but may be tempered by having more information. I still believe that people shouldn’t be left out and left alone in the world, to fend for themselves, but I understand how that is more complicated than people being mean spirited. There are nuances, there is choice, there are circumstances that I can’t alter. That’s the reality I know – sometimes it sucks, but it’s usually more complicated than I can understand and I cannot control that.

Trying to control stuff that I cannot control, and/or which is none of my business in the first place, is difficult. I wrestle with my relative power all the time, often out of arrogance but more likely out of empathy. I don’t want anyone else to hurt, but I have to understand that hurting may be the only way for them to learn, and grow. Whichever it is, that path is none of my business.

Boundaries, the dreaded boundaries again. There’s a 5-year old part of me that wants to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. I don’t think having that feeling is a bad thing, but refusing to accept the reality that having all of my wants realized is more frequently not a good thing can be soul numbing. If everything was exactly the way I wanted it, I would have no way to build up any musculature by resisting that which I don’t want.

Maybe that’s what is wrong now, maybe I have nothing to resist, nothing to struggle against. I don’t have everything that i want, but I’m not sure I’m truly resisting anything. There are lots of things I don’t like, but that’s mostly just a statement, and not an action (unless flipping the bird in the general direction of corporate America and the 1% counts as action).

Maybe this vague feeling of disconnection and discombobulation could be mitigated with intentional action. I had the notion that I wanted to get in better shape, lose a few pounds, and i figured time was right to join a gym once again and start working on that. But, I have to be cautious about that since we’re still in the middle of pandemic response. It’s one thing to be having lunch with a couple of people in a nearly empty restaurant, and an other to be rolling around and sweating with people who are touching things you will use moments later. The gym claims to be utilizing extreme methods of cleansing, and has ensured as much social distancing as possible, but I am the first to acknowledge that if people want to do the wrong thing, there’s always a way. People iz stoopit.

I’ll figure out something to do with the gym shortly. I will probably need to start walking first, hopefully with the dog. She is actually fairly good company on a walk, especially when I have chose a time and place optimal for low population density. We’ll get there. The weather is starting to get really nice, so it’s a good time.

And so it goes. On and on, another day, another lack of a dollar, more goofiness from some of the other billions of my neighbors on the planet. William Shatner was just given the opportunity to go up for a 10-minute trip into sub-orbital space where he could experience weightlessness and an external view of our great blue marble. I am happy for Captain Kirk to boldly go to the final frontier…at 80 years of age. He will still be speaking with exclamation points following most of his words, and that will be just dandy. Some things will never change, and I suppose that is the reality we all need to accept.

To boldly go…or at least to go. Staying home don’t do a thing.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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