The more I read about the aquaponics, the more giddy I get about the prospect. There’s a weird bit of idealism to it: I enjoy the interplay of it all. Fish, water, plants, plants, water, Fish= in mah belleh.
In addition to that, I have been drafting a few plans for some raised beds, some dog-prevention things, some vertical stuff- and contemplating bombing my neighbors with something more easily recognizable this year so that I don’t have to stand out in the yard in my pajamas with the laptop pointing at things and grunting like an idiot. Or maybe I’ll learn Vietnamese. I’ve already learned quite a lot of Bosnian.
The other night, Kurt and I were talking about our 3 year plan. I was saying that I’d prefer to not be so urban, and I follow that with, “Well, I mean, it doesn’t make me want to die or anything.”
I got the look.
“I meant…I meant that in a GOOD way, I swear. Sweet jesus. I just. I’m not down with- all this busy. You know. It’s just not what I am.” The truth is, I’m getting better about the city, but try as I might to adjust- I feel extremely out of place most of the time. I’m really not even remotely a “city person”.
And yet, I kind of am and I kind of have developed a love and compassion, as well as a tremendous amount of respect for those I see going through things I can’t even imagine dealing with. Children shot down in the street. Constant harassment. I don’t do much. Not compared to those I listen to. I just spread the word from them because the news made me sick. I hated seeing people I’d come to care about painted like criminals- I still hate it. It’s even worse to consider why they’re fighting and how the very people maligning them should be supporting them. It’s horrifying to think that in 2014, when you break it down to why people aren’t supporting them: it’s ignorance, it’s racism, it’s bigotry, and it’s disgusting. If you scream about the mainstream media portrayals of those like you as being biased- why is it so easy for you to believe them now? Please tell me, because I don’t understand. What I do understand is what it says about you- and that sucks. It sucks and it hurts, because I watched many people I had a tremendous amount of respect for turn into nothing more than garden variety bigots. But enough about that.
This has been a weird and wonderful year. I’m so excited about our first Thanksgiving, our first Christmas in this house I can’t even tell you. I no longer feel like my skin is crawling when a light is left on when I try to sleep. I no longer flashback when I hear odd blips and beeps. The fear of failure and going back to where I came from is still immense and the pressure is unreal- but, every small victory, every change, and every little step forward and I find myself renewed. People are complaining about Christmas stuff being pushed too early, but I find so much joy and so much hope in the simple act of shopping for ornaments this year I’ve caught myself bawling in the store, holding some silly bauble and just overwhelmed with happiness. Sure, there’s a lot of stress, a lot of pressure, but, in dealing with it- I’m also re-learning what’s important to me, what’s really worth fighting for, and what’s worth letting go.
More than that, everything we went through in the last two years has taught me an awful lot about the things people cling to- to their detriment, for pride, for being guarded, for whatever reasons they do- and how I have no desire to cling. When I surrendered, I became free and that’s one of the very best things of all.
Maybe I’ve got the perspective of having my freedoms, my rights, and my dignity ripped away while I sat weeping in a psychiatrists’ office in a paper gown. Maybe it’s because well, when you’ve lost your fricking shit, you tend to care a little bit less about things that don’t matter and fully recognize those that do.
Maybe it’s being terrified about where I’d sleep at night, where my kids were going to sleep, what we’d eat. I don’t know. It seems to me, though, that there are much worse things than reworking the budget for the millionth time, having to tell my toddler “No” so often I want to record it. I think back on all I lost and how closely I came to something so much worse- I think about what people are going through in this community right now and I recognize my privilege, I recognize my blessings.
It’s a lot easier to appreciate the world around you, when you actually see and care about it.