March 13, 2016

Still working on me.

I've been told that we, people, undergo significant change every seven years.  I've gone back over my life several times to see if I can pinpoint any of those changes.  I suppose if I look hard enough, I can.  Childhood was childhood, but by 21 I was married with a baby on the way...by 28 I was exiting the Marine Corps, by 35 I was divorced and remarried...So yeah, I guess there's validity to that statement.

It seems like this particular round the changes just keep coming.  I'm typically not one who is daunted by change, even if it's big.  It seems like the last 5 plus years have been a steady stream of....different.  From having to learn a new way of life to my body completely betraying me (thanks neck!), the constant shift in my world has been a little rough.  After the ex left I expected my friend circle to change and it did.  Most of that was a welcome change, I figured out who was toxic and who was good for me.  Back during my former life, having friends who weren't parents or even married wasn't that big of an issue.  Ex and I never acted like a "typical" married couple, we never really settled into expected married people behavior.  Because of our social life, and his extensive friend group, I never noticed so much when there was someone I couldn't relate to or didn't get.  I was good at forcing my interest and even convincing myself that I actually enjoyed whatever activity others fawned over.  From sci-fi movies to video games, nights in to excursions out, there were so many things about who I was then that really didn't have a lot to do with me.  These days those differences are glaringly apparent.

There were many things that I dove into or tried because either my Ex was all about it or our crowd was all about it.  Truth be told I'm a terrible sci-fi nerd.  I've never read Lord of the Rings, only played D & D a couple times in my youth, and have little interest in any type of cosplay.  Do I like sci-fi books or movies?  Sure, on occasion, but they aren't my top priority.  I can go days without actually watching TV much less a movie.  I've never become emotionally involved with a show or a character.  When I was young, yes, there were books that would move me, but that hasn't happened in decades.  I have never enjoyed video games.  I'm not good at them and don't care to ever be good at one.  I love to entertain, I like having people around to chat with and spend time with but I'm just as happy with an intimate visit with only a friend or two.  I don't like clubs, I like a good dive bar and always will.  There's something comforting about being in a dark-ish, old pub with a solid bar with a gentle din in the background.  I'm not fond of cooking, I do and I know how, but I don't take pleasure from it the way others do.  I love being outside (even though I spend far too much time indoors), and I love going camping.  If I stay inside too long I get really antsy and have to move, I start to feel like the walls are closing in on me.  I can't stand around and watch anyone else work, it makes me feel lazy and inept.

When he left it was a strange moment in time for me to be me.  For that decade he'd defined who I was...I'd allowed it because that's what I thought was marriage.  When I moved into my little house once he'd left town, I was able to be who I thought I was at that point.  Basically that was trying to reclaim all the things I'd been denied during my marriage.  I got my red, gold, and white Moroccan styled house and a dog.  I was able to go eat at my favorite after work spot and then go home to read or sew as I wanted.  For a few brief wonderful months I was back on a dirt road with a huge yard.  Upon moving in with Honey I was basically indoctrinated to his way of life.  He's a city fellow, his family has been rooted in this town his whole life.  It's taken some work to get me comfortable going to dinner in certain places knowing we're going to see at least one person or family that he knows.  In this world women don't do heavy lifting and have cooking skills.  They craft, plant flowers, and work in offices.  He has told me repeatedly over the last few years to be myself.  Well.  Who the hell is that?



Well, she's working hard toward developing and honing metalworking skills....so I guess you can call her a metal smith.  She's not exactly a minimalist but she likes to have what she needs and not a lot of excess sooo, a semi-minimalist?  She lives fervently in the here and now and hasn't relied on the escape of fantasy since her youth, thus the lack of connection with the sci-fi community.  She's not a society girl but she knows how to conduct herself at a formal table.  She'd rather be constructing something than be idle--idle includes being glued to a television.  She feels betrayed by her body and her age and is struggling to reconcile school, work, home and social life all with new physical inhibitions.

There was a period of time that I felt like I was being hypocritical in regard to my life now and some of the choices I've made.  They were in opposition to choices I made in my former life.  I had to stand back and take a look at both how old I was, where I was in my own mind and life, and how life around me affected my decisions.   Convincing myself that growth is not only OK but essential has not been an easy task.  That question, "who does he want me to be??" doesn't apply here.  He simply wants me to be me...no matter how weird, or tomboyish, or whatever.  Even though there are going to be things about me he probably doesn't really like or get, that's just something I need to understand and deal with.  Allowing the weirdness to shine outward isn't easy, there is always the fear of being chastised or simply looked at strangely.  I call myself a metal smith because using the term "jeweler" conjures ideas of diamond solitaires and tennis bracelets.  I have no desire to crank out work and do cookie cutter things that have all been done before.  I crave the unusual and uncommon...I love the technique more than anything else.  I crave being surrounded by thoughtful, like minded folk who will chat about things not mundane and not entertainment related.

Story of my life:  I'm still the weird girl searching for my place.

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