Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22

When I left Tanzania just over two months ago, I knew what was going to happen, I had plans and some direction for my life. I was supposed to spend two months in the US visiting family and friends and putting all the drama of the stroke behind me. I wanted distance between myself and recent events and start over, a new page of a new chapter where things calm down and don't look and feel so crazy. I had a job in Brazil, a new country holding a new adventure. I spent my time in the US somewhat as planned, but also dealing with dramas I normally get to avoid. I am not sure if I like it so much, but it is what it is and I am trying to take it all in stride.

Parts of the trip have been great. Spending time with friends and family and reconnecting with people that are extremely important but who I don't really get to have real interaction with very often has been incredible and yet alien at the same time. I often feel uncomfortable being in close proximity to a lot of people. I sometimes don't know what to say and often times feel awkward and clumsy and am not really sure why. Foe the better part of twenty years, I have seen certain people only sporatically and now, suddenly, I am a part of the everyday goings on. While I have really enjoyed parts of it, it has also made me question so many things about life and myself. Even to the point where I haven't really written anything and I have barely kept in touch with anyone. I know people think I have forgotten them, but that isn't the case. I just feel a bit overwhelmed by things going on. It is a feeling I have felt for so long now, I am surprised I am not more comfortable in it. It makes it hard for me to focus and think and even harder to write a my thoughts seem to knot arond themselves and even I am not really sure what I am thinking about or want to say.

I didn't pay so much attention to it, as Brazil was always on the horizon. Since I have been here, my answer to everything difficult was Brazil. I didn't let things really bother me since I was going to leave them behind. And then, July 10, the door started closing and a few days later, I ended up writing a letter to the school explaining that I couldn't take the job. It basically boiled down to a visa situation that didn't work for the longer term and now I find myself here, in a country I never really wanted to return to, trying to figure out what happens next. I am not even sure how I feel about it and what feeling I am sure about are so conflicting and polemic.

Again, I find myself goin through things in life that nobody around me understands. There is nobody to bounce ideas off of. I don't think anyone has really understood how or why I have lived my life the way I have, and fewer that understand what is going on now. I am "home" in a place that doesn't feel like like home. Not that I am sure I even know what home would feel like anymore. I haven't really felt home for a long time.

So here I am in the US, trying to get things sorted and arranged and ready for whatever comes next. I should have my driver's license sorted in a few weeks and hopefully a job and then a place to stay that is something of my own. It is great staying with friends, but I feel the need for more independence. All this dependence upon people is taking its toll. I feel trapped and suffocated. My decisions aren't my own, they are formed by everyone helping me. I often feel like I am intruding or imposing. So many people are helping and I am so grateful, but I feel I have nothing to offer back. Honestly, it all scares me. I was in San Francisco and there were so many homeless people and I realized that there is only a thin, frayed thread separating me from them. I am so aware how close I am to being in that situation and internally, I panic. I don't tell anyone. Who would understand? I often wonder if that will happen to me, if I will end up on the streets and I wonder if I will survive it if it does. I know I have places to go, but I also know that sometimes accepting help is one of the most challenging things of all, and sometimes having all this help is making me feel helpless.

That is what has been going on, although I am not sure how much sense I made. If I haven't been in touch, it is not personal and has not really been intentional. I still struggle with letting people see the darker parts of my life and I still tend to pull back and keep it all to myself instead of putting it out there. Instead, I put on my smile, I tell some jokes and only let down the guard when I am alone. The truth is, I am terrified. I try to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I just don't. I talk as though I do, because I have to, but the truth is, I just don't see it. Not yet.

1 comment:

  1. It is always lovely to hear from you. And you make a lot of sense to me. I always "go undergroud" during transition periods...nobody who has ever had a major transition (and mine have never been as great as yours is currently) could ever interpret silence as personal. It's a time when you need to focus on yorself.

    Love you and think of you every day, Ann x