Last week I was running around in circles, both emotionally and physically. My mind was mulling and churning through all the untied details of my life dangling around me. At one point, there were so many things to do and think about I nearly just gave up. I couldn’t cope. I was a wreck—I couldn’t get it together. The parts that were missing in my life were playing on repeat on my mind’s drunk monkeys’ tape deck. Drunk monkeys. That’s the name and image I’ve given those nasty little voices in my head—the ones that cackle and throw beer cans trying to rattle my window from time to time. Last week they were having a hay day. They just would not SHUT UP.
They sang merrily while pointing at me, hissing, baring their garish teeth. No job! No house! No car!
They were even doing the math for me:
No job = no money
No house = homeless
No car = no hope of getting anywhere anytime soon
They were relentless, like mad scientists, concocting worst case scenarios, pushing me further into panic.
This is not the first time they’ve ever shown up. They come around every so often, always unwelcomed and uninvited. I know them well. But even so, I was still falling for it. Not only was I listening to them, I believed them. I thought for a minute, or more like a week that felt like an eternity, that I was going to have to bail. Moving to a new country, having to start all over again was just too much for me. I’d underestimated the strain of adjustment. Apparently I wasn’t as up for it as I’d originally believed myself to be. I was going to give up, cut my losses and go home.
That word made me wince. I would go home, but I didn’t have a home to go home to.
I didn’t have a home to go home to.
That thought made me sad. It made me angry. It made me feel frustrated, not to mention inept. As if I’d failed somewhere along the way. But I couldn’t get caught up in the emotional connotations of what that sentence meant because that would only worsen my problem, sea salt in a festering wound.
Either way, in any direction I chose, I had to get out of my mental rut. I had to figure out what to do.
First, I decided to stop crying about it.
Then, I called my mom.
Then, I regretted calling my mom.
Perhaps you get to a certain age where your mother can no longer be of comfort to you.
That’s what my best friend said anyway when I called her in an even more traumatized state than I was to begin with.
We talked, my best friend and I and she didn’t actually say this but she reminded me that I just needed to be quiet for a second. What she did say were a lot of things that helped me remember who I am. While I sniffled and snorted, she told me that she wholeheartedly believed that I would be okay. Actually, she used the word fiiiiiiine in her East Texas lilt. It calmed me and brought me right back down to the very floor where I was already sitting. I thanked her and then I hiccupped again saying how hard it is to see everybody else I know on Facebook with their beautiful homes and families and feel as though I am starting over from scratch.
“I know. I know it feels like you’re starting over from scratch but you’re not. You’re building on all that you have already and you’re just doing it differently from everyone else.”
I took that and taped it to my heart.
Soon after, things shifted.
1) I bought a car (an ’88 Nissan Sentra) for $300. It’s white and has a bumper sticker on the back that reads “Have a Nice Day! (But hey, no pressure)”
2) I found a house I love–an old dilapidated but charming place nestled in a lush, green garden with a palm tree in the front.
3) I bought a brand-new comfy bed with a ten year warranty (it cost way more than the car) but it’s okay because
Needless to say, I am grateful and humbled.
Drunk monkeys beware: the end of your party is nigh.
TO BE CONTINUED….