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balance (2): learning

Friday, December 18, 2009


okay here is something interesting about my life. in my country (maybe all countries?), i am not like many people at all. i am a black sheep all the way. i didn't stay in one place long enough as a youth to make lifelong friends. my family was so nuts that i ran away from them as fast as i could at 15 (though i do love my younger siblings via facebook). i didn't finish college- opting instead to educate myself online rather than get into any more excruciating debt than it had already caused. i didn't get married, because i was stupidly (but happily) dating someone who should have been just a friend for many years (but he is my soulmate in so many ways!), in addition to the fact that my mother's many marriages made me cynical. never dated many people. sex is not a big deal to me, it's been a bad thing for a lot of my life so i can take or leave it. i get too scared of the vulnerability inherent in it. i have never wanted kids (sort of repress that whole sexual, fertile bleeding woman side of myself). but am sort of stuck in a childlike romantic haze anyway and fall in love with everyone instantly because i love to analyze human behavior, so the more twisted the better sometimes.... (which of these girls is not like the others?)

AND i have been travelling in different cultures amongst not only totally different-thinking locals of whatever locale I am in, but also travelling people from other cultures- who have entirely different boundaries and priorities and daily experiences than those people who stay in one place in their own culture. travelling people are open to meeting new people, instantly judging their connection with them as good or bad, and following the good ones (aligning lives even) on whatever spontaneous adventure presents itself and contributes to a good story and a good day, whether that is beautiful natural & geographic viewing day trips, interesting people & cultural education, art/music exploration in any form, some physical activity, convoluted conversations, relaxation, and yes even drugs (or buckets of alcohol in thailand) and sex (i have never been totally celibate or asexual). it's like an instant set of those good friends that everyone else has, just more speedy and trusting in the intimacy department.

so i am realizing that the source of a lot of my social problems in life in one spot (presently NY) stem from my just having this totally different life experience to which people can't relate. (note: this in no way infers superiority, which is also a problem, because when i tell people my life stories they tend to think i am crazy or bragging, but they are all true!). and i expect them to understand me when they are making lists of presents for and making jokes with old friends, talking to their parents on the phone about dinner, debating futile local politics or gossiping about vapid celebrities from home (ok i did that a bit in thailand). hugging or screeching at their spouse or kids (or college girl friend). when they do go out it is with no less than 12 people to a place they can't hear themselves talk and get too drunk. they have possessions, pets, jobs they go to every day and people they are constantly excusing themselves to talk to (via whatever means of communication since we are bombarded by them now) with inside jokes. that is all great for them, i am just DIFFERENT! & sometimes, at the risk of being called a drama queen, i am like "see meeeeeeeeeeeeee!" "love meeeeee!"... not to mention it takes guts to reach into that pool of (mostly resistant) strangers and bug a few of them long enough until they will allow you into their established lives a little and be your friend or (wishful thinking) go on a date and let you get to know each other!

i hope at least my readership understands this.

i had the same problem staying in one place too long in thailand. my experience and understanding of and reaction to things were all contrary to the culture i was living in (and even strange for my own culture). and as i communicate better in writing, it was hard to get myself across. so i ended up having misunderstandings with these different people, which always caused a domino effect down the line of people they knew or were related to. and me with no dominos of my own! so i felt crazy all the time, like an alien! and the two types of people I would meet would be the spontaneous fun travelers (my people!!!) or those who tended towards expatdom, and whose many social friends and family would soon be visiting, and thus were sort of potential misunderstandings and distractions as well, simply because my life has been so different. sigh!!!!

i don't know if the key is to find more stability and learn it, or forget about it and fly away???! but when i think of the good friends i have made in life i suppose it is because i was someplace long enough for them to know me a little and vice versa. and if there is one thing i miss in my life it is my good friends.... BUT as they are all scattered about the world now, i should focus on where i am now. right? if anyone will be patient with me and show me how ;).

here is a cheesy picture to illustrate my wanderlust ;)

addendum: x's typical response to this post was that i sound like a little self obsessed snob. but if anything i am hoping to see if anyone can understand/relate to me in my (honest!) current position and give advice on whether they think i should stay put or run free. :) feedback appreciated...

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