Saturday, September 29, 2007

good to be back home

bella & i are back on judy branch and enjoying the comforts of being home. not much has changed in the hollow. the loggers are finished logging (thank goodness!), and so all is peace & quiet here. bella is really enjoying the freedoms of running amok with her buddies and then coming home to belly rubs, a bowl-full of food and a good night's sleep in the country. her grandmama really spoiled her while she was in TN, but I think the perks of being out in the hollow are making up for the lack of roast beef.

Monday, September 24, 2007


today, i get the staples pulled out of my back and then bella and i can embark on the long journey home to judy branch.

i managed to clean out a long of old baggage from my old room at the parents' house, and maybe i can do some of the same at my own house. i am ready to let go of a lot of old stuff, and i know that it's long overdue. i have always had such a hard time letting go, whether it be memories, desires, old feelings or sentimental objects. even past friendships.

there are some people who are in your life for the long haul, and there are those who are part of your life just for a brief spell. i tend to believe that people cross each others paths and become part of each others lives for some sort of reason that is beyond any one person's understanding. we can only begin to grasp, usually in hindsight, the beautiful sense that it makes that such people are part of our journey. spending two weeks at my childhood home, cleaning out so many years of my life- it's been cathartic. there's so much that i have held onto for all these years, stowing it away in my childhood closet. the novel i wrote in 8th grade, inspired by my obsession with laura palmer and twin peaks (it was titled "the diary"). fingerpaintings that my friend erin & i painted when we were snowed in during the blizzard of 93. diaries and journals going back as far as 5th grade. and print outs of my first encounter with email, freshman year of college. most were from my aunt nancy, who has been dead now for five years.

i'm really grateful that i've maintained relationships with quite a few people going all the way back to elementary or middle school, and i need to remember that, even though i don't often reach out, that there are folks out there who really know me, have known me for years, and they still love me! some old friends... well, i sometimes wish i could just clear out of my emotional hard drive and not be concerned or even care about anymore. the heart - well, at least my heart - doesn't work that way. but i do feel like i'm taking steps toward letting go and moving on to whatever it is that i am destined to do next.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

what is happening to me?!

i am truly amazed at how much this surgery has taken out of me. going into it, i really did expect to be up for driving back up to KY and then returning for my "de-stapling" appointment. the reality has been that the most laid back activities, especially those which involve leaving the house, leave me exhausted. winded, even!

over the past few days i have tried to get out and about and get myself reaccustomed to ordinary life. bella and i met my friend sarah for a picnic lunch, and we had a nice stroll through the park. i was totally spent by the time i got home. the next day, i took it easy all day, and then i went out to knoxville for a "ladies night" of great food, getting acquainted with new & old friends and some really great music making merriment. it was really fun, and i realized how rare it is for me to get together in a social situation with other young women (or men, for that matter) of my age group. at times, during the evening, i sort of freaked out in my own mind. while this whole situation seemed so natural and almost routine for the rest of the people there (they are all in a band together...), i felt like i was in a new world - one i didn't quite "get" yet, but that seemed really lovely. i thought on this for most of the next day, as i was recovering from the toll of my outing, and i realized that i really have lost my ability to be comfortable in a purely social situation. i am so accustomed to any social encounter being somehow related to my current jobs, that i have no idea how to be myself outside of that realm. or if there is a me outside of that role anymore!

i fully reinforced this theory when i joined a couple of my friends yesterday afternoon to catch a movie in downtown knoxville and then hit a few patio cafes on the market square. my two friends knew all sort of people who, of course, came up to talk with us and were very interesting people from our age group (30 to 40 somethings). and while i did fine to make conversation, there were so many moments when i thought, "i could never move back here and fit in with all these people. i would just cower at home with my critters."

at times i've toyed with the idea of moving back home. lately when i've come back to see how much is actually happening around here, i really think that it might be the right choice. but then i have moments like i did this weekend, where i think that my time out in the hollows has permanently disabled me socially. perhaps, i never had those skills to begin with, and that's why i've ended up where i am. i really like to have a lot of time and space to myself. i despise small talk, and i don't even try to be good at it. i have a hard time pretending to like people who i know really don't like me. i really don't know how to relate to people very well outside of a collaborative working situation, as a hostess (often also a work situation) or as a friend. and i don't tend to have a lot of friends - usually just a few meaningful friendships - real connections - do me just fine. and those people are scattered across the globe. they hardly ever have to put up with me in person, and that may be a factor in why we're still friends!

i used to think my social skills were primarily lacking when it came to dating, and recently i've been pained with the reminder that i am extradorinarily talented at scaring off potenial loves by either ignoring them and fiercely holding on to my current path or by speedily scaring them off with my openess and my ignorance about how a romance is supposed to progress. i'll admit it. i have no idea how to date, and i don't think i'm going to be given many (if any) opportunities to find out. honestly, i'd rather not. i'd rather it just fall in to place, no matter how badly i (inadvertently) try to botch it up.

i am now officially paranoid that i am doomed to an existence as a hillbilly recluse, even though i really love (and often crave) those brief interactions with people of my own age group. there are all these people out there who i could imagine as a regular part of my life, but whose world in which i cannot imagine myself ever finding my place.

i am really homesick for judy branch and i am really confused about how long i should stay out there or where else i could possibly go. when i start feeling this way, the big cold waves of the ocean out in the Pacific NW and the shores of Scotland call to me. i could rest myself upon rock faces overlooking the sea and stay there forever.