Saturday, June 10, 2006

Packing Day

I’m still stuck, after about three days of intense thinking. It’s somewhat disconcerting, this inability to find something to worry about. I thought I’d be a great blogger, because I like to analyze and examine, turn things over in my head. Yet here I sit, stumped. Cat’s got my fingers.

Generally, I’m not the kind of person who can sit, surrounded by mountains of crumpled clothes, stacks of books and magazines and three sadly empty suitcases, without a few thoughts. Some thoughts about where I’m going, and some thoughts about what I’m leaving. Thoughts about packing, thoughts about wrinkles, thoughts about unpacking. Thoughts about planes and thoughts about gravity, and then a few thoughts about crashes. But right now- and maybe it’s an environmental difference, maybe this is the first time the sun has shone and the birds have chirped and the flowers have bloomed and there have been other things to occupy my mind- I’m not having many thoughts. There’s just this unfamiliar feeling, a mood or something, and it’s distracting me from worrying.

I’m certainly not suffering from a lack of potential worry inducers. I leave tomorrow for Manhattan, and start a new summer job on Monday. If I do well over the next three months, there’s a chance they’ll offer me a permanent position. That alone should be enough for seven or eight big worries, easy. But I have this distracting voice in the back of my head. It’s saying, “Lion. You are a smart girl. You are educated and experienced, and they hired you for a reason. You will work as hard as you can, because you always do. If they like you, great. If not, it probably is not the right place for you anyways.” And the thing is, that little voice makes some sense. And it tells me nice things, things that are maybe true. I’m not so sure I should ignore it.

There are other things, though. Other possible worries. I’m moving to a new city! And not just any city, but New York! So I try to work myself up. It shouldn’t be hard- I’m a Midwestern girl, what do I know about living in the big city? I’ll feel suffocated and trapped without my ten thousand lakes. They’ll laugh at the way I say my vowels. I won’t be able to afford food, and I’ll develop a deadly disorder from living off Ramen and the hot cocoa mix at work, which I will mix with a splash of water to form a free and tasty chocolate treat. My tendency to smile at strangers will be misinterpreted as a prostitute’s greeting. The heat will be such a shock to my system that my glands will react by creating an odor so distinct that when my coworkers say my name, they will finish it under their breath with “more like lyin’… lyin’ in a pile of dog shit and rotten milk.” And I’ll get lost. Hopelessly lost.

But that voice… it’s still there. And this time, it says, “Honestly, Lion. Calm yourself. You did that city once, and you can do it again. You’ll go to Central Park when your throat starts to tighten. You’ll eat out less and cook your own meals, and you’ll wear deodorant. The streets are numbered, and you’ll swallow your pride and pull out a map when you need to. It’ll take a lot more than a smile to make yourself look like a hooker, and on the off chance that you are mistaken, at least you’ll be able to put some of the money worries aside. And yes, they’ll laugh at the way you say your vowels. But you’ll laugh with them, and secretly feel a little pleased that you have something to set yourself apart.”

Damn. Foiled again. That little voice, that weird feeling, it’s still there. And I’m starting to think maybe I like it. Maybe I don’t mind getting off the mental hamster wheel. Maybe I’m feeling a little… dare I say it… serene? Maybe.

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posted by Lion @ 6/10/2006 04:04:00 PM |

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