I am really glad to be home from visiting my family.  I definitely do not want to move back to the city I’m from, and currently prolonged interaction with my family really stresses me out.  But I confess, I had a moment while there wondering why I would come back here.  My chosen home seemed empty and isolating, see in from a distance.  A city that contains only my tiny apartment, where I live alone and hide from the world; that contains Hawthorn and Oak and too few people that I really care to open up too; that contains oppressive heat and so many political view with which I don’t agree.  And yet, I am so very glad to be home.  It’s like I need to be here to remember the things I love about this place, about the South, about having my own life not tied to other people’s desires for me.

During my week with my family my mom and my sister managed to bicker so much that I teetered on the edge of telling them both to STFU, very out of character for me.  And my family, specifically my mom, my sister, one of my cousins, one of my aunts, and my mom’s best friend all made it very clear that they did not like Hawthorn.  They did not make it clear if they did not like him because he broke up with me so now they are all pointing out his negative qualities, or if they simply never liked him and now it’s okay to tell me.  Either way, grrrrr, not helpful at all.  And apparently they’ve been conspiring about how to get me back together with Oak.  They haven’t actually gone so far as to contact Oak yet, but I actually sort of fear that they will.

It makes me feel like everyone pities me and that no one thinks I can handle my own life and my own choices.  I’m pretty sure Hawthorn was a better boyfriend to me than Oak ever was.  I think he was more in it for liking me and enjoying my company and Oak, well, I’ve never been sure what he was in it for besides sex. He was never open enough with me for me to know. But all the women in my immediate family seem to have some fantasy based around how charming Oak can be when he turns it on. And I didn’t argue.  I didn’t say anything.  It just wasn’t worth it to me to spend time explaining how miserable he is internally and how hard it is to a carry that and how I felt like I spent our whole relationship either trying to cajole him to smile, or apologizing to bystanders for his negative attitude (which was subtle but prevalent).

I read Deathless on the plane (spoilers follow, though somewhat vague, but spoilers still) and it was filled with Russian fairytales and Soviet strangeness, but mostly it was just about a woman living her life, making some choices and having some made for her, all the while either trying to figure out who she was or going along with it.  Over the course of it she has two husbands (sort of simultaneously) and ends up alone when both eventually die.  When her first husband comes back to her he tells her that he understands that she never loved either of them less, that she could love endlessly, the way parents can love two children equally.  The two husbands could easily have been exceptionally exaggerated cartoons of Oak and Hawthorn as well.  In which she’s carried off by the first husband (Oak) and then somewhat ignored and unhappy with where she finds herself, she runs off with the second (Hawthorn) only to eventually take the first back, but not before making him suffer and prove his true love to her.  And then both are pretty much immediately killed before she has to make a real choice about it and she goes and lives long years, just doing her work and sort of loses herself.  Eventually she returns to herself and makes the long journey back to ‘home’ the land her first husband kidnapped her to.  Only to discover everyone there is dead and ghost and doesn’t remember her at all.  Finally she goes back to the burnt out home she shared with her first husband, having discovered she is a ghost herself and determines to find him or simply recreate him to spend eternity with.

There’s so many spun out metaphors in the story for me.  Not just the obvious relationship stuff, but about finding yourself, abd about what you see and how you see it differently from other people and how that makes you who you are.  It was thought provoking, not just to my current circumstances, but life in general and choices I’ve made have made me who I am and how they will continue to change me for my whole life.  It made me think a lot about who I will become and how I will get to that place.  It sort of made me remember myself, set me on a mental journey to get back to where I am supposed to be, I think.

I think I am in better place emotionally after my trip with Cedar and my trip back home.  Work is currently so overwhelming that it’s hard to think about anything else, which is not a bad thing for me right now.  The more I write about, log and think about how I’m feeling the more obvious the underlying hormonal and other mysteries of my physiology seem to be cyclically making me unhappy.  As if my own created unhappiness has been slowly draining away, leaving me with only something that can hopefully be controlled, or at least better understood.  I’m feeling very clear on how much I miss Hawthorn all the time and how much I don’t miss Oak.  I think my priority is to get completely back to myself, to finally get past the sense of loss from breaking up with Hawthorn.  I’m not sure exactly how to do that yet, but I’m working on it, like a background process that’s running out of sight until it can spit out an answer.   I no longer feel like I”m gasping for air, but rather that I can take at least one measured breath and look around me and wonder how I am going to get where I am going. And hey, where am I going anyway? Maybe I’ll try and take some more deep breaths and just look around for a while.

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