Sunday, September 2, 2012

Waking up

Lima has an interesting version of cold.  We don't have a heater in our house.  It feels like the temperature is just under comfortable.  Like when you take a nap.  You seemed fine walking around, but then you realize when you lie down on the couch that you need a blanket.  Your hands and feet seem to freeze even though it is probably about 64 degrees.  And even when you cover up, your nose and eyebrows and earlobes still kinda wish they had something over them too.  It's humid cold. Southerners know this.  It's different.  It seeps into everything.  Clothes, bed sheets, your hair, towels, the wood floors, my makeup brush.  But unlike Arkansas, here you cannot shut the doors and windows and crank on some heating mechanism to dry the air's moisture.  I can feel the light glaze of wetness on Bryan and Davis when they come in from outside. The only thing that consistently warms you to a level of comfort that allows sleep is the closeness and touch of another warm body.

If the alarm on my cell phone doesn't get to me first, I am almost always woken up by pigeons outside my window.  Those birds are so noisy.  Whatever purring "coo" they make is so familiar to me now.  I'll probably always recognize it and be reminded of my days in Lima.  Along with the pigeons, I also know the routines of my neighbors. Our home is one of three houses linked together in a strip blocked off from the street.  A, B, and C.  We are B and thus, probably know A and C better than they know each other.  A has the damn car alarm and usually leaves for work when I am getting up each morning.  I hear his car being remotely unlocked from his front door and then his footsteps as he goes to get in.  He is very nice.  He speaks English and is always kind when we see each other.  There are several maids rotating out of C and two children coming and going from school.  I think they have a dog too.  But their routine is less consistent.  All the walls in our homes are made of concrete; we have very little access to the indoor lives of our neighbors, yet the windows are a thin glass.  Privacy is different and a different respect for each other is required.  Any open window or garden terrace is access to their lives.  If anything happens or is said outside, it's shared between the three of us. 

Inside of B we still haven't established a dinner routine.  Maybe that is just something that won't ever happen for our family.  I was raised in a family where you eat dinner when Dad comes home.  Now it is me that comes home from work and I just ate three hours ago.  Recreating a new version of family is hard.  What does ours look like?  What do we do for fun?  How do we talk to each other?  How do we argue? What do we laugh at?  What are the rules?  What stays the same about us as individuals and what do we change so that we become something new?

The answers are universal.  And I think that as we answer them, we'll develop new questions for other phases and different situations. I guess this is life.  I think I'm living it for the first time.  I know this is good and probably healthy for my soul.  But I feel very alone in this realization.  I'm waking up to a new world each day on every possible level.  Everything feels different.  There is no one to blame or give credit to the situation but me.  And at the same time, I know that I'm not in control.  Why has it taken 30 years?  Or is this what happens as you grow older?  It seems that I need new coping strategies, new ways of behaving, new methods of discovery.  

Or maybe I'm just superimposing a bunch of philosophical thoughts onto myself because I'm in a "milestone" year of my life and my subconscious is telling me that this is what you do.

I am unsure of myself.  I am unsure of my capabilities, my strengths, my weaknesses, my judgement, my tendencies.  Are they each what got me here, or what holds me back?  I am questioning everything that has always felt normal.  I'm not sure why I'm doing this.  I feel like I'm walking a balance beam, arms held out wide, wildly wobbling across the beam. I have to figure out just how I can remain steady and walk it straight without such a constant wobble.  

In the intro to this blog I say "the name of the game?  Change.  Lots of it." Those words have never been more true.  Now I must tap into that strength that everyone believes I have.  I knew going into this that change was inevitable and that I needed it and thought I was ready. I knew that I needed to revitalize my soul and that it would require vast amounts of physical, emotional and mental adjustment on my part - with nowhere or no one to turn to but within. I knew it needed to be public so that I am not just accountable to myself.  Except that, I am learning, being accountable to myself is probably the most rewarding of all.

The journey continues.


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