‘But everything else is the same’

Updated to mention that I added a Baltimore album to Flickr.

“I need a phone call
I need a plane ride
I need a sunburn
I need a raincoat”

— Counting Crows, “Raining in Baltimore”

Well, it’s not exactly raining in Baltimore, given the scorching sunburn I got there yesterday, but the song comes to mind because I needed that burn. I haven’t seen shit of the sun this summer. I don’t see the sun anymore, period. Another season has gone down the toilet. My fire-engine red skin is my only evidence that summer even came this year. The pool’s about to close and I haven’t been there once. Gah.

The pain feels good, ironically enough. The part that sucks the worst is that it’s a farmer’s tan, as I was wearing a T-shirt I’d picked up in Vegas with cropped sleeves. Luckily my makeup has an SPF of 15 and my face was spared, which was nice as I hung out in the Inner Harbor, watching the sailboats go by.

The thing with me is that I need to be around water. Can’t swim worth a shit, but maybe that’s my draw to it. Despite the magnitude of any body of water, it brings tranquility to me from my comfortable stance at the edge of it. I like being at the Inner Harbor — I like that there are no barriers around it. I like that weird twinge of fear about that yet triumph that I can hang out at the edge and feel like I’ve accomplished something simply by not falling in. 😉

And I wonder, now that I’ve typed all that, why things like pain and fear are such friends to me. Why the status quo makes me more nervous than potential repercussions from a wrong move. Why I have to constantly be earning battle scars, just to prove I’m alive. Why I don’t want to be noticed for these things but right now they’re all I’ve got.

“These train conversations are passing me by
And I dont have nothing to say
You get what you pay for
But I just had no intention of living this way”

I actually had plans yesterday, but anyone who knows me, knows that I need to wriggle out from beneath expectations whenever possible. I hate when people know where to find me. Sometimes it’s because I know they know where to find me but that doesn’t exactly send them running to my side. Other times, it’s because I hate letting people be comfortable, thinking I’ll be here and waiting for when they’re ready to come to me.

It’s rebellion. I don’t know what the hell is happening to me lately, but I am so sick of being a “good” girl — of always doing the “right” thing. I never had a real phase of teenage rebellion. I never needed it. I’ve always tried to be easygoing and pleasing, mostly because I found I could get away with a hell of a lot more (with others’ blessing) if I just presented well in the first place.

I think the biggest act of rebellion I ever did was job-blogging from the Veggie Patch. I always knew that stupid site would be found, but I didn’t care. I quit when they found it — I never gave them a chance to confront me (thank you, SiteMeter). I always figured they wouldn’t have fired me but, rather, tortured me emotionally even more. And I didn’t want them to be able to justify their (continued) shitty treatment of me.

The weirdest part was that the nastier they were to me, the harder I worked. Maybe they knew something after all, that negative reinforcement creates positive behavior. (With the caveat of it being on the surface, in this instance.) Now I work with people who are good to me and who have my back and who I actually look forward to seeing every day, and I love it. But the passion to overachieve seems like it’s been ebbing away. And I wonder if it’s because the torture element doesn’t exist. (Well. … 😉 Heh.)

I think I’ve spent my past lives killing myself to impress people to the point of being so beaten down that I questioned it if I didn’t happen to be hurting at any given time. I’m accustomed to nothing being manageable. When it is, I worry. I create drama so that the universe doesn’t create it for me. When I catch myself in a moment — simply enjoying life or at least not hating it — I don’t feel vital. I don’t feel right.

So, I screw off, screw around and maybe even screw UP. Maybe it’s the caretaker in me who always has to be fixing something, I make myself into an improvement project at every turn. Just a project that I don’t prioritize because I’m too busy making a mess of everything else. Thus, I can truly say I don’t have time for such self-improvement items as eating better, fitness, housecleaning, etc. because the drama queen has sooooo many other things she needs to fix first. And with that list ever-growing, I can make all the excuses I need to keep from ever feeling truly comfortable.

“Theres things I remember and things I forget
I miss you I guess that I should
Three thousand five hundred miles away
But what would you change if you could?”

I know this entry seems to allude otherwise, but I am a happy person. I find happiness wherever I can, usually in moments here and there to keep me going and looking forward to newer and better ones. But my chaos is catching up to me. I am motivated so differently than “normal” people, and I realize it takes pressure or crisis to get me to respond. I drag my feet until a deadline passes before I can get moving. If I don’t find challenge in a situation, I create my own. And in that, I get my rebellion. And I still (usually) manage to shine, because I am full of enough shit that I can talk my way out of anything.

I don’t do well with boundaries, as I spend so much time fighting against them that nothing productive comes out of me. On the other hand, I’ve spent my whole life making decisions for myself and that doesn’t always make them the right ones by default, but I don’t know any other ways and thus I default to habit.

Take exercise. I hate it. I avoid it. It sucks. Thought alone should burn calories; I’d be a goddamned model. But when I drag my ass into a gym or a class, you cannot pull me off the machines. I ache and I turn four shades of red and, but hot damn, I feel alive. Because when I want to do something, I give it all of me. And then I can’t walk the next day or maybe I just can’t free up another three-hour block of time and thus years will go by until I manage to find the motivation/time to do it again. I don’t do anything in moderation, even the healthy stuff.

“This circus is falling down on its knees
The big top is crumbling down
It’s raining in Baltimore 50 miles east
Where you should be, no one’s around”

I wonder what it is in my genetic makeup that makes me fight against the things I need most. I want so much to be happy, healthy, successful, needed, loved. But at the first sign of any of it, I panic. And bolt in the opposite direction. I’ve had doses of each, although not necessarily concurrently. Am I afraid the world’s going to end if I have it all?

If so, then where the hell’s my inner rebel to say let the damn world end, but I’m not gonna let it if it does come to that? More importantly, when am I going to admit that I can’t save it (or, for that matter, myself) all alone? But is there anyone *that* magnanimous out there, and are they as full of doubt about themselves as I can be sometimes and do they just need someone to believe in them as well?

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