‘The fear I’ve known / that I might reap the praise of strangers / and end up on my own’

It’s funny how you can be going along in your life and then *BAM*, some unexpected emotions knock the wind out of your sails and drag you into a rip-current and then the tide slams you onto the shore.

And I’m sitting here, seeing Tweety Birds flying around my head, wondering, “What the hell just happened?”

Even when I lived in D.C., there was always an element of, “Gotta miss out on yet another social event. Gotta work.” But I really wasn’t *too* resentful. (Well, not unless you were reading my Twitter feed!) I liked my job and wanted to excel at it. I just did so at the expense of everything else.

I work fewer hours now. I don’t have tangible evidence, for the most part, of how I’ve spent my days. There was something satisfying for my workload being quantifiable, back at the Ranch. But that was at the expense of creative time, in which I am immersed now.

But my brain is refusing to give me the stuff that WILL quantify all this quality time with my imagination. And it’s driving me slightly nuts, because my life revolves around my career. If that isn’t scratching whatever itches I have (heh), then what will?

“Mercy, what I won’t give
To have the things that mean the most
Not to mean the things I miss
Unforgiving the choice still is
The language or the kiss.”

— Indigo Girls, “Language or the Kiss”

I’m just whining because I missed the social event of the year. (Next to my goodbye party from the Ranch, of course. Because that rocked.) And as I was telling my friend at my new office, I know I chose to leave D.C. of my own free will. I knew that I was giving up a whole bunch of stuff in search of bettering my career and, ultimately, myself. I don’t regret that.

But where a girl’s heart crumples is when her one of a rare handful of “Could’ve Beens” happens and she’s not there for it. And what this really does is trigger all the other “ellipses” situations, as I like to call them. The stuff she doesn’t think about unless she’s feeling melancholy enough to drag them out of the hope chest and start examining things better left alone for now. …

Speaking of rooting around in boxes and suitcases, mental or otherwise, I did a lot of traveling during the past five years. Especially in recent years, I’ve relished getting away from the Over-Extended Houseguest. I don’t care how grueling the work is at the destination site — sign my ass up.

That was also the only way I could burn off some vacation days, by tacking one or two on to the end of a work adventure.

So it’s weird to be taking a pass on the next normally scheduled trip. Not only will I be missing the friends whom I am absolutely DYING to see (that ain’t hyperbole, folks), but I’m not able to escape the OEH even for just a couple of days.

This was going to be the year that I took care of myself. And don’t get me wrong — I did a bang-up job on that one. 🙂 But had I stayed at the Ranch, this was going to be the year I took a real, bona fide vacation. Definitely a cruise with the girls, and either a birthday or a Christmas getaway to New Orleans.

And now I’m new all over again and I don’t want to ask for any time off just yet. Well, not until I produce something creative that shows that I’m worth my paycheck. I know I’m worth it — the evidence just hasn’t become, well, evident yet.

In other news, my singles event got canceled for tomorrow. Well, it actually got transferred from a boat adventure to a comedy night. Which, um, I want to meet and talk to people; not sit in a dark room staring at some comedian I’ve never heard of. Of course, it could be a blessing if everyone is boring. 🙂

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll check out the local film festival instead. Next weekend brings a music festival. Last week brought a craft and food festival. What a festive little city I’ve come to inhabit. …

I do actually have a lot of other plans this weekend. Some are with people! My age! Involving a nice restaurant and adult conversation! Some of whom I hope will become friends eventually.

Maybe that’s why I’ve got a bug up my butt. It takes me SO LONG to get close to people. I mean, I’m spewing cognitive dysentery all over this blog and every social-media site known to man. But everyone’s at arm’s length that way. My secrets are so very safe on this side of the screen. Those who’ve seen the “gag reel” are few and far between, and cherished accordingly.

It took me so many years to cultivate the few friendships I really have, and to have to invest all that time again to harvest a couple more, it’s exhausting just to consider.

Oh well. If it don’t fit, don’t force it, right? It will come in time. I just don’t dig surface-level relationships. I don’t want to hang with people just for the sake of doing so, although I guess that’s what you have to do when you’re the new kid on the block.

And this is where I’m driving myself crazy. I know good things come in time. I know the universe has our backs. I know for a fact that you get paid back three times as much for everything that was unceremoniously taken away from you.

So, really, what’s the rush and, more importantly, why the hurt over the unintended (and, albeit small) consequences of choices that, ultimately, were the right ones?

“Oh, I knew back then
It was a calling that said,
‘If joy, then pain’
The sound of the voice these years later
Is still the same.”

2 Responses to ‘The fear I’ve known / that I might reap the praise of strangers / and end up on my own’

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