September is off to a good start.  Went to the beach in Muskegon with Jamie today.  On the way stopped at the library and spun around three times in the aisle and pointed at a random book to check out.  At the beach Jamie and I talked a lot about how our Facebook addictions are taking us away from our lives.  I deactivated yesterday and she said she might too.  Jamie had a vet appointment at five so we parted ways and I went to Holland to meet up with trans friend from bookstore cafe who was visiting his dad there.  We went out for pizza and beer at a brewery then walked around then had coffee at a cafe.  We talked about queer things while two girls at the table next to us had a Bible study.  Then he pulled out a book about Virginia Woolf and we talked about her.  The whole day my mind was far from usual worries and when I got home tonight thought about how I just need to be like everyone else and stay busy in order to distract myself from thoughts of own mortality.

Wrote this August 16th then deleted it because I worried it would make things more confusing. Decided to re-post it, however, when I was sitting in the living room a few minutes ago thinking about how maybe what I need to do is let go of the old bucket list and make a NEW bucket list, since it’s been four years since I made the last one and I’m sure I have changed. Anyway, if it doesn’t give you too much of a headache to read I welcome any advice or feedback. It’s about why the timing of going to Europe doesn’t feel right and why I’m confused about where to travel. Also, another thing that factors into the hesitancy is my desire to have the perfect trip since I worked so hard and sacrificed so much time to save the money. All or nothing thinking. Found out that’s what is going on in my mind after talking with friend Jamie a little over a week ago.

Here’s the post:

Stayed home all day today because of not wanting to spend money and feeling sad and out of tune with rest of world.  Main thought that’s bothering me is the possibility that I will never get back in tune with everyone.  Everyone seems to live in each season and live in the moment but I feel like I’m on the outside.  That’s why I haven’t bought a ticket to Europe yet.  The timing doesn’t feel right.  I have the sense that if I go I will feel like I’m getting more off track.  How do I solve this? How do I get back in sync with the rest of the world?  Do I start by being honest with myself about where I am in this moment, right now?  It’s the middle of August.  It’s almost the end of summer.

For some reason I have it in my mind that the timing will feel better if I take a road trip in the U.S. right now and then go to Europe in the spring.  Where does that feeling come from?  Do I trust it?  I think the feeling comes from wanting to do the things I wished I’d done in my twenties, in the order in which I wished I’d done them after I graduated college at 24.  I can’t remember the order in which I wanted to do those things though.  I remember when I graduated I moved in with Angie in September and planned on only living there for six months because I was going to travel in the spring.  I think to Europe, but it might have been a vague wish to travel to any of a number of different places.  I never went and instead lived with Angie for a year and around my 25th birthday in May met Angie’s friend who I developed a crush on and expressed my feelings to which were unreturned but which gave me confidence that I was indeed a lesbian and then I came out to everyone on Facebook in October.  Around that time I’d moved back in with my parents and started dating on OKcupid and hanging out at Rumors, the gay bar.  The following summer I was going to move to Chicago with Ryan but he couldn’t go yet and I didn’t want to go alone so instead I flew out to the Grand Canyon to work but decided it wasn’t for me and a week later flew back home.  Around that time I started this blog and also made a bucket list.

I think the bucket list factors into this sense I have that the timing to go to Europe isn’t quite right. Items on the bucket list included a photo tour via Route 66 out West in which I envisioned sleeping under the stars at Zion National Park and which I envisioned doing BEFORE going to Europe.  In my mind I’ve always imagined going to Europe in April and returning home mid summer.  And in Europe I imagined going to London, driving out to the English countryside, and making my way down to Austria to hike in the alps and paraglide in the Swiss Alps like one of my old roommates had done.

In the years since I’ve made that bucket list even more travel whims have been added.  When I was living in Chicago I started dreaming of going to the UK in the spring of 2014, but couldn’t afford it so decided to go within a year, which would have been this past June.  Then at some point while living in Chicago I started to dream about taking a road trip south to Memphis and into the deep south during summertime to experience it the way I’ve seen it in movies.  On top of all of these travel whims I’ve always wanted to go to Italy.  And I want to do some sort of volunteer work in a third world country but not until later in life.  Also I want to have wilderness adventures in places like Alaska and the jungle.

Should I just buy a ticket and go to Europe?  Maybe these obsessions will disappear if I do that.  I think the reason I obsess and think to much is do to inaction.  I need to DO more and think less.  Then I will trust myself more and things will make more sense

Today went solo bike riding downtown Grand Rapids.  Had a whim a few Sunday mornings ago to do it but gave in to fears and excuses.  Today though after shower was anxious about it being the end of August in the year I turn 30 and still not living the life I want to live and so was more motivated to go.  Was mindful of excuses and dismissed them as such and loaded one of my dad’s junky twenty dollar vintage bikes into the back of his pick-up and took off for the road.  Rode bike for two hours.  Felt like the self I want to be in my tomboy capris, leather chucks, white tee and small backpack.  Felt so free as I fearlessly zoomed in and out of streets and over bridges.  Felt gloriously like a bike rider and paid attention to other bike riders to see how they handle traffic lights and things.  Was a great confidence booster in regards to making a decision to do something and then doing it.  Once you do it you see that doing it is easier than anticipated and most of the fears you have are lies.  Found myself thinking about how the worst usually doesn’t happen and even if it does happen I can handle it.   While riding down Monroe passed a Polish festival and groups of people here and there and imagined myself biking somewhere in France or Italy in the near future and befriending strangers.  Passed people and was mindful of how often I assume other people are judging me or ready to yell at me for riding my bike wrong. Told myself they are not even thinking of me and if they were imagined good things they might be thinking.  Then later after bike ride when stopped at Wal-Mart for a few groceries and soap looked around at everyone and imagined good things they might be thinking.  Had the endorphin high and feeling of accomplishment from actually doing something I want to do which created an altogether wonderful mood.

Need to keep doing things like riding bike downtown on a whim.  These are the kinds of things I’ve wanted to do for years.  These are the kinds of things I wish I’d done more of in my twenties and it makes me hopelessly sad to think of what I missed.  I won’t be sad forever though.  I won’t.  I’m going to come up with a great story and be stronger and live a happy life that I will look back on with fond memories.

Before coming to bed tonight was sitting in living room on computer with nieces and nephews and brother sprawled on the pull-out bed, floor and chairs. We were quiet but together. Peter Pan was on and Wendy said she didn’t want to grow up. I got up to brush and floss and afterward said goodnight to them. Chorus of nieces and brother said goodnight back and I felt loved.

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