It's been over a year now since my last post. I won't go into all the whys, but basically it was because I felt like I was failing at normal. My normal has always been strange, but I'm usually lighthearted, fun to be around. This time last year I wasn't much fun to be around anymore. So I went through a period of trying to reclaim normal. Until I realized normal is just not going to happen for me. And it was scary. Kind of like having a plastic bag around my head. I found myself in the most claustrophobic situation I've ever experienced. And I've been in some tight spots: caving in Colorado, shopping on Black Friday, riding a bus in China. I actually enjoy tight spots . . . they initially create a certain level of comfort. Like a big bear hug. But there's a point when your air runs out. When you no longer know the difference between your own clammy arm and the sweaty coolness of whatever or whomever is beside you.
And that's how I felt. Like my air had run out. I didn't know myself anymore.
So I quit. But not right away.
I've never been much of a quitter. My pride just doesn't let me. But pride is an entry in my "things I lost last year" column--it's written in big, bold letters. When I lost that, everything became an option. I thought about fleeing the country, but my passport had expired. ALWAYS keep your passport up to date. Then I thought about joining the circus. But their entry-level positions probably involve lots of dung. I even thought of just disappearing suddenly. All would have made fantastic stories really, but I would have just been running away from my problems.
So I turned in my notice in February and began the process of slowly walking away. And that's how I came home again. I'm certainly not the Marion kind anymore. Nor am I the Eva kind. You might think I'm in limbo. Just waiting for what comes next . . . It seems like my life is paused and I've skipped ahead to add to the appendix of my life, like I'm storing information that may not seem relevant, but might come in handy one day. A few weeks ago I learned the fine art of kraut making from my father. Then I learned how to can that kraut. I'm thinking of learning how to quilt. I'm sewing more, sleeping more, and listening more. But I'm realizing that maybe this is not an appendix to my story after all. All of these experiences that I'm saying "yes" to are now part of my story. They're things that people with "normal" jobs can't find the time to do.
I want more of these stories. And that's why I want to go to this conference:
I want to live a better story . . . definitely one in which the heroine is not suffocating herself with the plastic bag of normalcy.