Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I'm settling into Albuquerque much more easily than I expected to. Do I sound pessimistic? That's because I am.

Anyone in my family or my close circle of friends can tell you (who are you, anyway?) that I am very much resistant to change. I don't like to change my habits- I like to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. I don't like to change my workplace, though I do appreciate the changing of workplaces every now and again. Heck, I don't even like to change my moisturizer (my skin is sensitive; let's not get into it).

My mother kind of eyeballed me just before I moved out to Albuquerque and declared me a changed person. I was shocked, because I never change! (Oh, I thought up one thing that I change frequently- my haircut. I'm not afraid of chopping off my hair!)

My mother and I had a whole long conversation (probably all through Arizona, in the car, while I was driving and gulping down massive quantities of coffee) about how I've changed. And the craziest thing about this change? It happened because I went traveling.

I have never had the yen to travel. I like to spend my vacations cleaning my house, watching movies, reading books, getting my hair cut, getting manicures and pedicures, and going out with my friends. I don't really enjoy packing up and schlepping somewhere in order to "appreciate nature" or "go sunbathing." Admittedly, most of this is due to my aversion to the sun, but a large part of this is also due to my dislike of change.

This year was quite different. I finished up "Alice in Wonderland," then a few days later, ran up to San Francisco. After San Francisco was a hastily planned trek to Korea. And finally, after wintery cold in Korea, off to summer-esque weather in Hawaii. It was the first time in my life that I've done so much traveling. I think it was a bit like going swimming- just jumping into the cold water is a quicker way to take the plunge than wading in an inch at a time. I dove off into the deep end and immediately learned that I can, indeed, swim. (Mixed metaphors ... I'm confusing even myself.)

Along with the realization that I might actually enjoy traveling came the sharp and rather unbelievable knowledge that I could live with very, very little of the crap that I actually have. I am a hoarder, by nature, because I, like my dear father, am rather paranoid- what if I end up needing that one spare button and I don't have it?? What if I ever run out of tape?? What if 99 out of the 100 pens that I own stop working??

On my travels, I soon learned that I don't need any of it. I can buy buttons and tape and pens. I can use hotel shampoo, I don't need to lug around full-sized bottles. I can live without a blow dryer, which means that I also don't need hair products. Though I didn't realize it at the time, these understandings lightened my paranoia.

My vacations this year have made me want to take more vacations, and I want to travel lightly. I want to be able to run amuck in a foreign country without being tied down by three suitcases (that was me, in Korea, in the subway with three suitcases). I want to be able to buy plenty of souvenirs for people. And I don't want to lug something on vacation that will end up being dead weight.

The pack rat has been converted. My mother thinks that it was almost magical, how quickly I changed. While packing for Albuquerque, I threw away at least 3/4 of my stuff, to my mother's shock. I brought only the things I knew I would need, with a little extra as just-in-case. Unpacking in Albuquerque, I've thrown away much of the just-in-case items and am running a pretty spare household.

I love buying furniture, for some reason (I don't know; it's weird), but have very little of it here. I still have yet to buy a bed, because I dread the amount of space that it will take up in my bedroom. I like living this crazy minimalist Zen life, at least for the moment.

That is not to say that I don't have things. I still have too many kitchen things- baking dishes, ramekins, whisks- and I still have too much clothing, but I am hoping to pare down my life so that when I move next year, it is an even easier move than it was this time around. And trust me, after the throwing away and the consolidating of crap, moving to Albuquerque was not difficult- two cars, my parents, and me, roadtripping through three states.

Another change is that I've been trying to meditate in the mornings, since I have become a morning person here in New Mexico, but I find that my mind is too chaotic for me to really focus. I don't know why; work isn't too crazed right now, I have no friends here, so there's no drama, and my family, though they miss me, are super supportive. My friends that are in LA or elsewhere are also nothing but nice, so why all this noise in my brain??

Hopefully, my year here will enable me to quiet my thoughts and get more in touch with my own moods and reactions. I am possibly the best (worst?) self-denying person that I've ever met in my life, to the point that I cannot even admit things to myself that others can see as being true.

Time for more work- just had random thoughts in my noggin that I wanted to spew forth. After all, isn't that the entire point of a blog?

2 comments:

Amanda April 29, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

Excellent post. Seriously.

My first trip abroad I went solo. I came home from Stockholm and my lover said, "Hopefully that got the travel bug out of your system."

In retrospect, that's probably when I subconsciously knew we were going to break up, though it took much longer to consciously realize it.

jeanny April 30, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

Thanks, Amanda!

I love those little realizations that we can see when looking back.

That ex sounds like a tool, frankly- what's it to him that you're traveling the world? Pfft.