Monday, October 1, 2012

A Surprising Amount of Shit for a Story About a Single Day

It is October. I am not shitting you. I do not understand the passage of time, but what I can tell you with a fair amount of certainty is that it is October.

Right now we're going into an intense three-week period at work. This one is serious - it's crunch time. Do you know how many times in the past 19 years it has been "crunch time"? I do not give a shit about your crunch time. Please go elsewhere with your hyperbole and your upside down priorities and your misunderstanding of the word "urgent".

So, where was I? I was leaving work a little late tonight and as I stepped outside of the building, I was hit with the most beautiful, soft breeze. It was warm - 78 degrees! And it was getting dark, as it was a bit before 7:00 PM. Every step was a dream. Minus the smell of monkey shit from the primate research center near my office, it reminded me so much of evenings I've spent in Hawaii. It did. No, it did. My god, that we could hold on to this weather forever. My walk to the car was slow, and I thought about how tonight would be a perfect night for a run, were I still the kind of girl to do that type of thing. (Soon. Not right now.)

I did an errand, and then almost made the turn to go home. Instead, I sprawled my car across a few lanes to awkwardly position myself in a turn lane and like that I was headed toward my condo. I wanted to see it in late dusk with a pink/orange sky and feel that breeze on my new porch.

Once there, I stood long enough on the sidewalk outside of it that two heads popped out of an upstairs window and looked down at me. Yes, they popped out of my house. There were heads in my house. I very slowly made my way to the front door, and a young Latino guy was on the main level kind of waiting to see if I was breaking and entering into that particular unit. "May I come in?" I asked him. He nodded that I could and then went off in the direction of sawing and other miscellaneous sounds that I can't identify but they sound like hard work and serious business. Then I spent about 30 or 40 minutes walking around to every corner of the house (it's actually smaller than I remember, quite small) and mostly standing in rooms just trying to let my brain catch up with what the fuck is going on.

Lately I have been having the strangest sensations of time passing, dreams about different periods in my life, and hyper-vigilance about anything related to aging. I have no explanation for it; I have dropped no acid that I am aware of. Lately I feel like I'm constantly watching a movie of my life where I go from birth to 41 1/2 in about an hour. Over and over. What is happening?

Three strong-looking Latino guys were hard at work, and I tried to stay out of their way even as I kept quite close. "Is this ok?" I asked as I watched one guy cut out a hole for the kitchen sink. "Yeah, yeah" he replied.

"Can I go upstairs and look around?"

"Just be very careful."

"I promise I will."

The kitchen cabinets are in, and maybe there is paint on the walls, I couldn't tell. It was getting quite dark, and the kitchen sink-cutter was holding a light with one hand and cutting with the other. Dust everywhere.

On the main level I just stood in the corner and looked at every nook and cranny, every wall, every inch of floor (still concrete; there's a long way to go). The construction guys were glancing at me and talking to each other in Spanish, and I heard them start to talk about me. Ella (that's me) and casa and I couldn't make it out exactly except that right before he asked, I knew he was going to ask.

"Is this your house?"


Big smiles all around.

I asked a few questions about how far along they were and when they thought they'd be done, and then I felt like I was either going to cry or throw up, so I said, "Thank you for making my house!" It was much less smooth than it sounds.

I could have stayed in there looking at almost nothing for hours. But then I definitely would have thrown up. So I thanked them several times for letting me visit, and hopped down the stairs (just wood) and went out to my car.

I cried on the way home. My god, everything feels so intense lately. On Sunday morning I was semi-planning a trip home to see my Mom two weeks before my move. I'm extremely organized, so I'll be ok to travel at that point. A few hours later, I was near hyperventilation at the realization of how much I have left to do. And then I figured out that my closing is just over a month away, and that means I need to put in my notice here at the apartment next week. I feel unsure that I can even do it.

There is a lot of shit going on. I don't know that I'm strong or brave or light-hearted or good-humored or polite enough to weather it all. At least, not with any grace whatsoever. Maybe that's not a requirement. I can probably do it in an emotional, overwhelmed, grateful, scared, excited, bitchy, throw-up kind of way. That might have to be good enough for now. I'll feel my way forward in the dark like that and maybe I'll just happen onto some courage along the way.


  1. Relax and keep breathing.

    All the feelings you are experiencing as you jerk along this roller-coaster ride from anxiety to giddiness are nothing more than the normal labor pains of birthing a newer you. This is one of those steps we take on that great Jungian map we follow subconsciously to our self-actualization.

    Our little girl is growing up [sniff].

    OMG, I'm beginning to sound positively Portlandian.

  2. Feeling fear does not mean you aren't courageous. You are. You keep going. You keep facing what is in front of you. It's brave to look it in the eye and call it what it is.

    Maybe it's our age, our parents aging, our own bodies being assholes and the reality that we will not live forever- altogether that's a lot swallow. Everything you're feeling sounds perfectly normal and perfectly human.


  3. When you are facing something and feel that you lack the grace or fortitude or whatever to deal, that is when you rely on your friends.
    Love you, poodle.

  4. I totally understand what you are feeling right now. It's all so exciting but so scary at the same time.

    The second day I was in my new house I cried because it was so weird. A year later, looking back at everything, I'm so glad I made the decisions I did.

    You will love your new home once it is all done. I'm so excited for you!

  5. These comments mean so much to me. Thank you, my people. And thank you, Living Diary, for chiming in. I've been following your experience and you've had your ups and downs. To hear how happy you are with it overall makes me feel really good :)