When this post goes out into the world there will be less than 36 hours left before I once again load up my little collection of possessions and my dog and fly to Paris. There is, of course, a metric ton of anxiety banging on the walls of my ice fortress. “Ho-de-door. Ho-de-door.” Most often, this is me dealing with all the stuff in front of me. Did you clean the sheets? Is absolutely all of the dog’s paperwork sorted and ready? Do you have a ride to the airport?
There is a fair amount of loneliness too, but to be honest, I’m perhaps a little sad to lose this. I’ve been more or less alone since the end of August. If I’m honest, I wanted to be alone when I started planning for the PCT hike this time last year. So, while not exactly what I’d hoped for — lots of time to myself on the trail — I’m still getting lots of time. Unfortunately, I’ve wasted a fair amount of it on the mundane, but since the last batch of travel plans fell through because of a glitch in the dog’s paperwork I’ve been gaining traction over it. I’ve been spending time meditating and trying to be mindful.
Oh, and lest we forget, the tumor still makes itself known from time to time. Sometimes it feels like I’m out of that forest, but the tumor reminds me before too long that there are just meadows within the forest that I get to walk through. Mood swings still happen too, and I think much of this may be my borked brain chemistry, but who knows?
So those are the challenges. What about that good and funky shit? Well, I am starting over. Again. At the age of 50. I’m looking forward to the next chapter. I’ve been thinking about ways I can make a living doing things I enjoy. Writing, filming, walking, biking. I’ve also been looking for work. Just any old work — probably doing System Administration again — as a 9 to 5er.
Then there is the excitement of not only living in a new place with my family but in a new way. The green house was nearly 2000 square feet (185 m^2). We filled it up, often with dumb stuff that we mostly didn’t use. The new place is a 60 m^2 apartment on the east bank of the river Lez. I am looking forward to the many challenges this will necessitate we battle.
Speaking of the tumor, as some of you are aware it has left me … emotionally exposed. Sometimes I just start feeling feelings for no obvious reason. When there is a cause — see Matthew ugly crying through the movie Sing 2 — my emotional response is often way out of scale with the cause. How have I been using my emotional exposure to my advantage? That’s a fun story.
This morning I was feeling down when I woke up. While the water for coffee heated up I slapped on my headset and started listing to some lo-fi. My emotional volatility is as much a handle as it can be a speed bump. I’m learning to recognize how I feel — a sort of early warning system — and this gives me the option to seize the mechanism.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at at this point. Not all bad, not all good, sort of life.