I’m full of…what?!

Here’s the thing. I believe there is a distinct difference between the person leaving and the person that doesn’t. As I mentioned before and most of you know, I have moved a lot in my life. Mostly, this means that I was the person leaving, rather than the one being left. In fact…I’m having a hard time just coming up with someone who went away – besides my dad who passed away – which still bothers me, but even that isn’t the same. I mean, yes, he “left” and I was left behind, with my memories, thoughts and missing him. But I didn’t live with my dad at that time. I have a few objects and ideas which remind me of him, some more strongly than others. When those things come to the fore of my mind, I miss him like crazy.

My dad around 1968

In this way, missing him is a lot like missing other people that I left behind.

Being the person that goes away means several things for me. I’ll stick with my current situation, although this has been true for me in many of my moves. I moved to a new town. I had to figure out everything from scratch, as I moved to a place where I didn’t know anyone. I had to find my new place (which was a disaster, but that’s beside the point). I had to find regular things, like the grocery store and pharmacy and I also had to seek out my own geeky things, like where to get my CSA.

Wholesome goodies from Farmer Daves

I started a new job. Although I am doing more or less the same work, I had to learn all the particulars about the clinic I’m now at, paperwork, files, the system for getting new clients, taking transferred clients, closing cases. I had to figure out the office politics and how to suck up to the right people (always make friends with billing, office managers and staff people).

Going back to my horrendous living situation – Bodhi became excessively anxious and this quickly began to take up brainspace and emotional energy. This meant that every move from the house had to be planned so as to limit the time I was gone and the number of times I actually left the house. I could not come and go because that made Bodhi more frantic. Every couple of days I got an insane email from the currents (which is what I called them as roommate didn’t seem to fit at all), more brain drain. Even showering began to be torturous, with Bodhi barking and whining downstairs.

I started looking for a new place after less than a month. That was necessary, but also took up time and effort. I drove lots of miles with an anxious Bodhi meeting new people and checking out spaces. I found a place, and then there was the move to think of. After my move and after I put up my bookshelves (which are large), I discovered that the room I chose for my bedroom was the wrong area. I had to move those dang books – again.

They're getting there...

This is beginning to sound like a lament…but that is not my point at all. My point is that up until about two weeks ago, I haven’t had much energy or time to miss the place I left or even the people I love there. I’m not saying I didn’t think of them or that while I was wandering around discovering the Italian pastry shop I didn’t wish one of my people was with me. Or that there aren’t evenings I’d like to go out to dinner with another person.

Even now that things are settling down in my home life, I don’t spend much time thinking about what I left behind. I am just eager to get home, get out of my school clothes, get the dog out for a walk, eat and feed Bodhi then snuggle up in the green chair. I haven’t really got to do that much yet, either, as I’m still putting things away.

As I sit here, in my newest new place, my new living room, I’m not thinking about my old one. Ok, well, at the moment I am thinking about it, but only because I reminded me of it. In general, I mean to say, I rarely think of my other homes, Coon Rapids, Augusta, Italy, Egypt, South Carolina, Aurora, Northglenn, Colorado Springs, Brunswick, Atlanta, Augusta , Orisbeek…the list goes on. And, although it may sound cold and callous, I have to also say I’m not really thinking about my people, either. Not my Honey or my Rumi or my Hita most of the time. There are things that remind me of people from my past, but I need to hit something specific. For instance, I started watching Deep Space 9 again recently, and certain episodes make me think of my good friend Lloyd. When I eat a big salad with cheese and avocado, I think of my Honey. Certain books remind me of my dad, or of my Hita. Eating cannoli makes me think of an ex who brought them to me fresh from Palermo. But enough about me.

This part is just conjecture. For the people who didn’t leave, I suspect that there are many more triggers, and that they don’t need to be quite so specific. Maybe Rumi looks around her living room and thinks of me hanging around there. Maybe my mom looks at my old bedroom at home and pictures me there. Maybe my Honey thinks of me in her kitchen as she makes an omelette with lots of veggies.

Mmmmmm.

It isn’t that I don’t love my people, but the truth is that my life is filled with new stuff and I don’t have the opportunity or energy to spend thinking of them – or triggers that keep them on my mind. It’s nothing personal, I’m just a bit full of myself these days.

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