If I could have my way I’d check out right now I’d say out to lunch honey thanks a bunch It wouldn’t work out anyhow But this desire’s too much It’s rented out my brain It’s showing previews of your body Driving me insane And that’s crazy So all that I can do Is to beg, plead, won’t you tell me please What am I gonna do About you Brave….and crazy…
The changes on my personal horizon are formidable. And I’m not oblivious enough to march blithely through my life with no regard for the value of reality checks. I have my feet firmly in reality all the time, except for those moments when I knowingly allow my more fanciful nature to take over. Reality and Fancifulness… I’m knee deep in Fanciful Reality, I suppose, because both are happening right now. I am allowing my heart to feel, to have hope, to dream of the future wistfully, rather than claw away from the future in nightmares. And I am planning, thinking, devising, strategizing, researching, brainstorming to make it all happen in the quickest, most painless way possible.
On one side, there’s this person who came into my life like full-blown technicolor against the backdrop of grayscale, and she gave me back my hope. She exemplified the tenuous nature of love, and how any alternative path or decision, no matter how minute, might mean the difference between meeting your soulmate and not meeting her. She embodies the Quixotic list of characteristics i made years ago, when considering what the perfect mate for me would be like. And on the other side, there are so many unknowns. So many things that are for me a collection of the most terrifying specters possible for someone like me. I am aware that I tend to have a lengthy list of things that scare me. This, even though I think I have fleeting moments of courage. One friend once said to me, during my relocation to Denver, “You are the bravest person I know.” I didn’t really think I deserved the label. I had to ask her why and she pointed out that I had picked up and moved to another state, all alone, knowing no one there, dealing with all of it myself, 30 hours of driving, and while also being a person prone to panic attacks–and all because I wanted to find my life partner, and I just knew she had to be out there somewhere. Well, fair enough. I guess that was brave. Maybe I am brave. Maybe I’m also a little crazy. Brave and crazy. It continues to come back to that. Perhaps the battle between love and fear requires brave and crazy.
I have been experiencing anxiety, what can be described as a low frequency humming in my consciousness that underlies all other emotions. Not surprising, since the usual paradigm of my life has been up-ended. All my comfort zones infiltrated by possibility, but also the unknown. And isn’t it the unknown that most often frightens us? I would never have imagined visiting another country–the idea was at once frightening to me. And yet, here i am making plans to not just visit, but MOVE to another country–one at “the bottom of the world” as AmericaCentrics are fond of saying. New Zealand. My Kiwi partner and I often rib each other about those perspectives:
“You’re at the bottom of the world…”
“No YOU are.”
…and even had this conversation, which I shamelessly used in our upcoming co-authoring project, Hanging the Moon:
“No, ” Lily quipped back. “I’m on the left side of the road.”
“Right, which is the wrong side.”
“No it’s the right side.”
Jade shot back, “I thought you said it was the left side?”
They both burst out laughing with delight.
I admit to a generous portion of fear in my brain. I am afraid of heights. I am afraid of flying. Afraid of being helpless, trapped. Of not being in control of my immediate environment. Most of this stems from my brain architecture as an HSP with Sensory Processing Sensitivity. But for me, as I try to discern what this feeling is like–this moving to another country– it feels like migrating to another planet. An earthlike planet where the locals speak English, even though a modified version filled with colloquialisms with which I am not familiar, and with accents derived from Britain. It’s not like the air there will have different percentages of oxygen or hydrogen, nor that the grass is blue and the sky green, nor that I will be required to learn how to maneuver in a space suit. Nothing so dramatic as that. But there will be, I surmise, a certain geographical confusion that will take some getting used to.
That even happened as I arrived in Denver the first time. It seemed so HUGE, and I was so displaced, and overwhelmed by it. Within a few weeks, it didn’t seem so big anymore, didn’t feel so foreign, but perfectly normal. Funny, how the human brain does that. Let me just coin a phrase, here, and call this Neuro-Geological Translocation Syndrome. The point is, human perception is different in initial exposure to a new environment, than it is after the environment becomes more familiar. I noticed that as my brain adjusted, my neighborhood and the surrounding areas seemed to contract; appearing not so expansive as it did when I first arrived.
That slight digression aside, I know that the same will be true when I board that plan to New Zealand, and will continue when I disembark, and on into a period of time when I arrive at the house I will be living in with my partner.
And in New Zealand, I know there will be products I don’t recognize, customs I find strange, and I will not have access to all those creature comforts and conveniences that served to soothe or steady me. I will likely make my coffee in something called a “coffee plunger” or “press pot.” Coffee grounds are dipped into a usually cylindrical carafe Kiwis call a “jug” and then a plunger presses the grounds to the bottom, and you pour the strained coffee out into your cup. Quite a different concept than the American Mr. Coffee drip brewing system, which most of us use on a daily basis. To say that there will be an adjustment period, flirts with piquant understatement.
But as I awakened this morning from a dream of reciting vows with my partner on a beach near the Moeraki Boulders, I see that the wonder and beauty of true commitment and partnership is quite capable of trumping any visceral, primal fears I have about moving through that unfamiliar landscape toward my future. I will be free of the rat race cacophony found in the cities ( honk honk! fuck off!) and into a more idyllic and serene environment, which is more suited to my nature. I am already feeling the relief from purging all the material possessions I have carted around for so many years. It’s liberating. And yes, still frightening. But that doesn’t mean I have any intention of second-guessing the decision I made. I will do what I have to do to be with the person I have grown to love more deeply than I ever thought possible. I will face that screaming fear head-on, for the reward that it will bring. Not doubting for an instant that it is something I must do, and that I will forever be glad I did.