It’s December. I move to Alaska in 22 days. My original flight was January 7, but apparently I can’t let plans remain as they are when it comes to that state, and so some night a few weeks back, around 3 am and on a Skype call I don’t quite remember, I changed my travel plans. Surprised? Antsy doesn’t cut it when it comes to my urgency to get to Alaska, and I think maybe it’s because it’s like I almost lost it back in August, and maybe because I’ve been in Orange County since May and that’s the longest I’ve been here in one go since 2008, and maybe it’s because there are so many New Extreme Things within this single move, and probably because a variety of reasons that I feel no obligation to explain.
On Thanksgiving, my family danced after the prayer. It was for my aunt, her idea, and I made fun of it in the moment and before the moment and after the moment. But the truth is, it suited me well. The dancing. I have a tendency, a compulsion, a something: I often (almost always) laugh during grace. The everyday dinner prayer between my parents. A rare moment when I’m back in a church. The stumbled words of my younger brother at the request of my father. With strangers. With extended family. Alone. All styles. All religions. Doesn’t matter. I will laugh. And laugh some more. This has been a thing for years and years, and it’s not just a prayer thing, but a life thing, once I start I can’t stop–a visceral reaction to quiet moments I can feel. I have to laugh.
It should also be noted that I’m known for random hysterical laughing in class and workshop, during massages, in movie theatres between trailers, at the dinner table, in the car, on the phone, etc etc etc.
So cheesy dancing and clapping and communal embarrassment? It worked for me.
And it’s absurd, this might have been my last Thanksgiving in California for three years. Or maybe not. Maybe only two years. Or maybe I’ll be here next year. Maybe maybe maybe maybe. I need to quit it with the maybes and the planning and the looking back and ahead, but what would I do with all the space if I quit obsessing?
Space. I could use the space. I’m kind of freaking the hell out about everything and more. If I’m not laughing, I’m crying or rolling on the floor or making lists that really won’t make a smack of difference in the end. I’m kind of freaking the hell out, so I’m laughing more every day.
Three weeks from tomorrow, I fly north. Between now and then, I’m going to soak up every spare minute with my family and my pup and the gloriously paid hours at work (almost done with the corporate world!) and not being in school and under deadline and California and its bristled hills, because I have no return flight and no idea when I’ll come home.
My solution to the panic is random bursts of dance and inconsolable laughter.
It’s kind of working so far. Kind of.
1. Enough carpet space to spread out my manuscript chapter by chapter.
2. Nap time with my baby.
3. Hiking with my siblings.
I never thought I would admit this…
It’s time to accept that Southern California will always be my home, in some sense.
I especially miss Bella though.
I was wrong.
After three days of heavy family time, I was not ready for the weekend to end, was not gleeful for my lonely six hour drive up the 101.
Not gleeful at all.
In fact, I wish I was still in Utah. I wish I was still with my family. I wish I had a chaos-noise induced headache. I wish I wasn’t living in a place that’s a twelve-hour drive away. I’m screaming at the fog, kicking the walls of my new cave, wondering why I continue to put myself in these situations, wondering why I always feel so inclined to throttle myself around. Will I ever just let it BE?
When I moved back to Orange County this last fall (after living in Colorado Springs for eight months), I made a vow: I would strengthen my relationships with my siblings. I would be buddy buddy with my mom and dad. I would learn to enjoy spending time with my family. I would make it work. They’d be my best friends. These were my hopes, my greatest goals.
And I succeeded. I succeeded really fucking well. I succeed TOO well. And in result, I screwed myself over. It was easier when I loathed my family, simpler when I was pleased to be away, pleased to push them away because now that I actually adore them beyond the family-obligated-love-thing, it hurts to be far. I feel shaky and off balance and alone alone alone all the way up here alone alone alone and I want to crawl back through the snow to Utah or maybe just meet them back in Orange County where the sun shrivels me into a miserable raisin of wretchedness and I don’t go anywhere and I just sit in the house and bake peanut butter cookies and GOSH I JUST DON’T WANT TO GROW UP AND HAVE A LIFE.
Please excuse this whine. I just got home to Humboldt County after a thirteen hour day of travel. I’m just sitting in a room that I’ve only previously spent two nights in, so I haven’t found my niche, haven’t made my nest. I just realized that I won’t be seeing my family for seven months. SEVEN MONTHS. I’ll be twenty years old the next time I hug my brother and sisters. That’s absurd. So absurd.
And I just wanted to admit to the world that I miss them already. Because honestly, it’s not easy to admit it. I’d much rather pretend to be all strong and independent and threadless, but that would be a lie because I MISS THEM and I’m hurting. It hasn’t even been a full day and I miss them hardcore and I don’t like it and I want to stare at my wall and sob but instead I’ll try to be a healthy human being and do yoga and go to bed early so I can be bright and fresh and lovely for my first day of classes tomorrow.
I feel better now.
Is it too late to write an April blog? Hm. No? Good.
These monthly updates have become rather silly and repetitive. I’m always scattering to summarize my present reality, which has become oddly fast paced. I’m not used to so much change, so not accustomed to this world I’ve created. But it’s working for me. I’m balanced on some level or another, and I’m content. That’s what counts, right?
Well. Colorado is still lovely. I found a new job and therefore had to quit my beloved barista gig. But the new job is ideal, involves an awesome group of people and natural food (hooray!). Plus I went from working ten hours a week to over forty. Money, money, money. It’s a fabulous feeling to pay your own rent, that’s all I have to say on the matter. My psychology course at the college is coming to an end. I enjoyed it, but I’m thrilled to set it aside.
Why? Because it’s essential that I return to the world of writing. Now. While I love education and hope to pursue it further when life allows, writing is (as it always has been and will be) my priority. It’s my career of choice, a passion that’s impossible to smother, and the one thing that keeps my sanity in check.
This weekend my mom (who flew out from California to visit!) and I attended the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference. It was beyond motivating, as well as productive. I suppose spring is a lucky time of year for me. I’m definitely intrigued to see what May and June will bring. Hopefully less snow than April! I love the cold, but I’m ready for some thawing time. 😉
Last month was a photo with dad, this month a photo with my mom.