I don’t really have an article planned for tonight, just a general catch-up. Sometimes, being disconnected from my keyboard is a good thing, and sometimes I need it just to feel like I’m real… or rather, that I’m being real. Typing is literally how I learn about the way I think. I have tried to dictate notes, and it does not work for me. The digital sensation of my fingers on the keys actually propels me. It sounds like a sewing machine, and sometimes, the analogy translates. Sometimes not. I try to bring things around, but I’m ADD.
You’re laughing because you knew that. I get it. I’m not offended. Laugh it up, Chuckles.
I haven’t had my second interview with AlertLogic, but I’m glad I have it in the future. It’s something I can focus on to help me keep from freaking out about leaving Portland. It’s not just the people. It’s the place. I am a Virgo, which I choose to use in the very best sense of the archetype. I am tied to the land. I collect rocks. I remember the places where I have had amazing emotional transformations and I go back to them, even if it’s years later.
I do not have that connection with Houston yet, because I grew up in a culture that told me being outside was kind of weird. Seriously, if you are doing anything outside in Houston, people naturally think that you are just too poor to afford adequate housing.
I have big plans for myself in this area. Because I am the type person that loves being outside, I’m going to look up what it is that people do to be outside when it’s hot. It can’t be that hard. People have been doing it for millions of years. There’s so much more to do in Houston than complaining that it’s hot.
Although, I have a theory about that, too. I don’t even think Houstonians care that much about the heat. You can spend birth to death only experiencing Houston heat from the time it takes to get from a car to a building (or vice versa). The heat is just something we collectively bitch about so that even when we don’t have one damn thing to say to each other, we can still talk about sumthin.’ Portlanders have the same relationship with the rain.
Which brings this to my attention: in terms of weather, I hate Portland and Houston equally, because they’re annoying in the same way. The air is wet. In Houston, it’s hot. In Portland, it’s cold. But it’s all wet, all the time. It’s hard to regulate temperature because you can’t stay dry. It feels shitty to walk around in wet clothes. In Portland, it means that you can’t warm up, even if you add more layers. In Houston, it means your clothes feel like you should have left them in the dryer for ten more minutes EVERY DAMN DAY. And let’s not even talk about how that translates with underpants.
Dana is snoring so loud that I can hear her from the living room. Dana’s breathing is the antiphonal rhythm section to my typing fingers.
I am starting to think about other things. The grief that has upended the last three or four months is stabilizing into a different shade of normal. I talked to Dana today about how I knew that in some ways, this type of grief had been building for many years, but that I was afraid to go through it. I was afraid to experience this level of pain. I was afraid to see if I could take it. Until four months ago, I didn’t have the courage to talk about my life experiences, and only some of it was due to my own emotional ability.
I didn’t want to hurt anyone, and I knew that these stories would explode my life and the lives of others in a way that God only knew what would happen. This knot of fear has been building in my stomach for 25 years, all of it related to not being able to talk to anybody about anything at any time.
And then I became that age where not resolving your childhood issues becomes damaging enough that you realize it’s why you’ve been damaging yourself. And if you don’t release yourself from your past stories, two things will happen. The first is that any shot you have at focusing on anything else is nil. The second is that the knot of fear just keeps getting bigger.
I waited a lot longer than I should to realize that fear was passing into anxiety. Anxiety is the emotion in me that I like to talk about the least, because it is truly laying my cards on the table. I am mildly socially anxious all the time. I am clever enough to be funny, so I will always have a witty comeback. Inside, I am usually trying to figure out how to get out of talking to you. You is plural, and can mean anyone. Usually, it’s Dana, because she’s the one that’s most often around me. It is nothing personal, it’s that if I don’t interact with you, I can’t conflict with you. I go out of my way to make sure that our interactions are as pleasant as possible because I want you to think I’m the type person you can talk to.
The truth is, I am. But I am such a fallible person that it means a lot to me that my friends be able to handle emotional fallout. I choose to be friends with people who have large emotions so that I don’t have to feel bad when I start talking about myself. I want to make sure that you’re fucked up enough to understand how fucked up I am and to be able to call me on it.
However, the problem with doing that is you get dumped on by a lot of psychos who have so much story to tell that there’s no room for yours. In time, you start to feel that of everyone in your life, your story is the least important of all.
My past pattern has just been to sit there and listen to you until I’m so full of emotion that I can’t see straight and then I let you get away with just saying, “well, goodnight!” I have a long fuse for “they’ll get me next time.” Nope. If you let them, people really will use you as an emotional trash compactor. Learning boundaries for me has been learning to say things like, “we only have half an hour and I’ve listened to your life for 25 minutes. Call me later, because I need an ear, too.”
The benchmark for me in friendship is set by the people who call back.