I stand at a transition. One foot into worlds unknown, the other on a broken record, but with some stroke of luck I’m not alone.
No one hires some goober young adults for a month and a half. Both my brother and I came home in May, and both of us set on new journeys this July. My brother, to his dream grad school, and me to Chirstchurch, NZ.
We came back to the cozy apartment on the lake, swollen with memories, yet secluded from the reckless nature of a hometown.
Yes if this place is the Shire, we are the Bilbo Baggins. We live on the lake for its tranquility from perhaps the entirety of the community. Why?
Oh honey, to explain I must tell you of a most foul beast…
The Evanstonian: People so determined to show how liberal they are, they’ll throw as many big dollars as financially possible into non-for-profits, I’m With Her signs, the arts, the organic food conspiracy. They pride themselves in humble brags and bumper stickers, because look how much money I can give! That I’ve WORKED for. Look! Gosh, and my little investments (my children) are just as special and brilliant.
Sounds great, huh?
Do you not have that kind of money?
That is your own doing.
Welcome to neoliberalism.
Welcome to a city that prides themselves in progress and diversity, but look no further than your car window on a nice summer night.
“Kids being kids” sneaking plastic bags into an abandoned lot, and about a block away another “kid” pulled over by a cop.
Guess the color of each group’s skin.
Better yet, look at the city’s wards by race.
Even better, look at the high school classrooms.
(I’ll give you a hint, it looks like a black and white chess board)
How diverse, right?
And my relationships with those who play the privilege game have made me both cry and Beyoncé with a baseball bat crazy. The apartment is the safe-zone, and my brother and I much prefer our time spent in it.
Sure, we are both at the point of stir-crazy. Yeah, I’m talking drinking and eating red wine and Cheetos while dancing to Play that Funky Music in your bedroom crazy, but I am grateful for this. There is nothing planned and not much to do after a while, but there’s also no worries at the moment. So what have I been up to?
I’ve stared at the water that comes with living in a shore suburb. Recalling the infinite shades of blue that can change by the hour. I’ve biked the Green Bay Path to places where the trees are as much socialites as the people (see June Favorites). I’ve walked old paths, passing by pompous pricks and places that used to be my entire world, but are now filed away in a cabinet of the mind entitled “Hometown”. It reminds me of the line from Adam Pascal’s ‘Your Eyes’ in Rent,
“Why does distance make us wise?”
Adam, its like looking at a painting from a different angle; you’ve created new- found space and perspective.
As much as I’ve been looking outward at my old city, there’s also been time to look inward. There’s been watercolors painted, clothes donated in my efforts towards minimalism, and books read.
Of course, there’s been miscellaneous home improvements, and little self-discoveries as well.
Copper is LIT
Spring Mix, peaches, pecans, and feta? Uh, YUM.
Fun salads are the bomb for lunch.
New makeup? Mhm, it really is like painting your face. I’m fond of these new additions.
There’s been a reembracing of pink too. I’m respecting my color wheel, and not ignoring this one simply because it’s heavily marketed as feminine. I’ve recently learned the color was masculine. It was seen as a bright and strong color up until Nazi Germany branded Gays with pink triangles. Suddenly it was feminized, and we welcomed our baby girls to a nauseating societal norm.
Let’s be nicer to pink. Stop caging it to one gender and now that you know this, do not ever insult the poor color again by calling it ‘baby pink’. Yuck. I love you pink, I’m sorry we lack the understanding of the importance of history education.
Er… education in general… I’m looking at you Trump’s America.
Self-discovery is not always so simple though. I have challenged myself.
I know last post I mentioned setting standards for my relationships. This is both valid and necessary in growing up. Of course, there are the friends, the flecks of gold in the gold rush of friendship. The people we came looking for and whom we treasure forever no matter how long or little our time with them lasts.
However, beware of the relationships that can only function with appropriate distance. These I have coined the friend-in-laws
And then there are relationships that cannot function at all even if perhaps they once did. They are as much draining as they are heartbreaking.
In these cases learn from Lillian,
“The sooner you quit something that stinks, the sooner you can find something that doesn’t. Save your hope for that.”
You will be many people in this life. Personality is not static, contradictory to your horoscope app, and if we are set to be so many people in this life, how do we choose the ones that stay?
How utterly horrifying does that make marriage seem? 40 years off, the person whom you said, ‘I do’ to may not be the same person at all?!?
How beautiful is this though? When former addicts and criminals say they’re not the same person anymore…Perhaps they really aren’t.
And back on subject, say I am interested in a life partner, buddy, dare I say soulmate. I think my generation has a bit of an issue in what we expect from others, particularly of our partners.
I myself am guilty of making the list of what and who the dream guy would be.
But, if we are constantly changing as people, no matter how perfect the dream guy may be at first, love ain’t easy.
Love takes work sometimes. The goal is to find the person whose worth doing that shit for.
What shit do I help do in love?
What do I bring to the table?
Ah, now we have arrived at quite the apophony. The challenge I have tasked myself with on this time off.
What do I bring?
Excuse me, while I whip this out…
You are looking at a Self-Manual.
Yes, a guide to being you. What drains my batteries? What fires me up? What am I sensitive to? What are some life-long guarantees about me? What are my negatives and positives?
I can tell ya I suck at letting things go, rejection, Facebook etiquette, being ignored, and asking for help.
I can also tell you after making myself fill out this manual, I suck at thinking about what I am good at too. I’m very self-critical.
And now we are back to the what do I bring question.
Well friend or family member, I bring this:
I can be a shoulder to cry on, a problem solver, your goof, a tough critique.
I can whip you up a post-breakup breakfast.
I will do everything and anything to make you crack a smile.
The greatest gratification I have ever felt in life is knowing I made someone feel good.
And I will be taking these qualities, both good and bad, to New Zealand in a week. I am nowhere near perfect, and the only thing I’m absolutely sure of is that I may know nothing at all. I am and will always be in a state of learning.
I’ll leave you with a little something from Cat Grant of the Supergirl Series,
“Dive. You are standing on the shore, afraid to dive into new waters. And you’re afraid because you don’t want to say goodbye…. Now you are standing there, looking out at your options. The icy blue water, the fast-flowing river, or the choppy blue sea. And they all look very appealing to you because you’re dying to go for a swim. But you know the water is going to be cold and the journey is going to be hard. And when you reach the other side you will have become a new person, and you are scared to meet that new version of yourself. Now, we all get used to our own personas and used to our own comfort zones. But trust me, in order to live we must keep daring. Keep diving.”
Cheers to worlds unknown.