Pachinko

I was going to cuddle up in bed, but it’s a clear night and I can see the sparkly lights of the northern suburbs out of my living room window. So I’m back on the sofa. Two blankets deep, a pillow behind my back. I knew I wanted to get my thoughts out. I’ve been eager to have a little internal monologue and response since the beginning of my week. I was really excited to do so as a wind down tonight, but I realized that I always fall asleep when I try to write in bed (oh the ink stains) and –far more depressing– I type faster than I write. So here we are. Saturday night. Almost 9:30. So gladly at home.

So, welcome 2012! How ya feelin’? Are you up to speed yet or still just feeling out the scene, ramping up? No, I can’t tell. I mean you seem like you’re doing just fine. You even mustered up a bit of real winter to remind us all that it is, in fact, January, so good work. Predictable. Conservative, maybe, but absolutely on par with other years at this time. Me? Well, I’m mostly really busy. Keeping myself occupied with all the ideas, and dreams that I made so important last year, that I am trying to take a step back from now and feel if they are still important. Yes, well I do that; reassess. Yeah, I know it opens the door for all sorts of trouble, but I’d rather do something briefly and genuinely than forever falsely. I mean forever is a long time (you know that!) and I’m not very good at false. I’ve proven that before. Twice.

I’ve been lucky enough to be entertained and distracted by the always welcome presence of good friends. I feel really cared for and really lucky to have people continually knocking and asking for a few minutes to come into my life and visit for a while. There seems to me no greater flattery. Yet, all that time out with them has left little time in with me and also made me tired and a little bit sick. Tonight, for the first time in perhaps a month, I am looking forward to a tomorrow that is completely my own. I don’t have to set an alarm or be anywhere at a certain time. I am also for the first time in several weeks actively defending myself against getting ramped up about this or that. I have projects. I have ideas. I have projects and ideas that I want to execute, but I think I might want to daydream more. Tomorrow I may carve out time to lie on the carpet and stare at the cold, winter sky and let the thoughts sift and jounce through my brain like balls in a Pachinko machine.

So here I’ve talked about thinking, but not about the thoughts. The food ones are big for me. I spend equal time reinforcing my current leading idea –to commit to getting paid for both food and education– and trying to step back and hear if that is what I really want. However, the thing that has been making me both smile and scratch my head is that I don’t want to be anyone else right now. I fill a lot of my time daydreaming elaborately and sometimes grandly. I use it as a form of rehearsal (daydreaming about getting a performance just right) and I use it as a way to understand what I’m feeling or try to figure out who I want to be. For many many many years, I always daydreamed through the lives of characters I had invented. I would live their fabulous (or miserable or interesting or extreme) lives in my head. I always got something I needed out of it, even if what I needed was sometimes just escapism. I’ve been trying to daydream lately to draft my perfect food and education job situation. I relive telling someone how wonderful I am at [fill in the blank: restaurant job] that I just took at [fill in the blank: restaurant I desire]. I am often feeling like the daydream isn’t genuine (doesn’t represent something I genuinely want to do?) and in the daydreams I am picturing my real self, not my fantasy of who I want(ed) to be. Both of these factors are new for me. They aren’t totally unwelcome. They make me feel that I am acting like an adult (in the positive sense). I’m proud to finally, after all these years, want to be myself. But I’m also caught between wanting to be honest with myself about how I’m feeling about food now and accepting that giving up or even significantly changing the food dream scares me. My conviction about that course for me has produced some of the most wonderful, calmest months of my life. It will all come clear. Perhaps even as soon as tomorrow after my idea gut check via  Pachinko. Even if it does not, I feel blessed to have choices.

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