I am very nervous for this trip tomorrow.
I used to never get anxious for trips.
When Megan and I went to Israel on one of those teen tours back in high school, she was so nervous. I was like why? I didn’t understand how scary these things are for introverts.
Well, now I’m more of an introvert than I’ve ever been (I’ve always swung between extrovert and introvert - people always assume I’m all extrovert but that’s because they don’t see me hiding away in my apartment reading for days on end!). Social anxiety is REAL. That much I know now.
On top of the limited social interactions these days, I get nervous as hell about transporting this body anywhere. What if I forget medical supplies? What if I have pain again? What if what if what if….
That trip to California seriously traumatized me. Getting on a plane again will require significant preparation. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to feel a certain way about traveling for many years (yeah! I love flying! I love going somewhere new! I love exploring new cuisines! I love meeting new people!) and then go 180 (I should just stay at home, I might get sick, I might not even have a good time, it could go awry).
When I tell people I’m not the same person anymore, I’m trying to explain: I am LITERALLY not the same person anymore. Hopefully, Julie 2.0 is a better version, a healthier one. But I’m not the same.
That’s apparent by who is disappearing from my life and who is entering. It’s so interesting!
In the end, I will go on this trip because I’m curious. Me and my curiosity!
I need to start packing so I’m not up too late. I canceled my plans for the evening - which I didn’t intend to have the night before the trip anyway, but was going to go forward with them until I start panicking this morning.
It’s a horrible feeling to be so vulnerable, and not be sure what could go wrong. I hate that part! I like to plan and it’s very nerve wracking to know I can’t even anticipate the problems I will face.
And I’m doing the drive on my own.
I think if I didn’t already have the airbnb, I would have bailed. That’s how scared I am. Even though my friends are waiting on the other side of the drive. Even though the weather is PERFECT for me. Even though I’ve always wanted to go to a sweat lodge ceremony. Even though I love the Oregon coast.
That’s how terrified I am.
However, I know this is a dangerous thing for my mind. If I start to shrink my world because of my MIND, and not my body, that will be bad. I need to do things like this to figure out what I can do and what I can’t.
It’s just so dangerous! The trip where I ended in the hospital with an infected port that nearly went sepsis. The California trip narrowed my diet so much that my entire body has changed shape.
A bad trip could mean really bad things for me long-term.
But am I going to really stay at home all of the time? A home I don’t even want to be living in? Am I going to hide away and not explore what I CAN do? Short road trips in the area have worked out quite well for me. Trips under 4 days seem to be low risk.
Ok that already makes me feel better. I’ll also be really close to an old friend who is a nurse practitioner. She is super smart and her husband is also in the medical field. I have a lot of support in Portland. My friends that I’m visiting are super caring and attentive to the fact that I have health issues.
I can only spend time around those people. I’m finding that out slowly. If people aren’t going to be at least respectful of how much I’m struggling with physical issues or mental health stuff, then I just can’t keep them in the inner orbit anymore. I used to be so casual with who I let into my inner orbit.
I just had a long, good chat with my friend who is SO good with setting boundaries and establishing parameters. I learn so much from her! She is always cheering me on and reminding me that it’s ok for me to insist that people respect my physical limitations as a chronically ill person. That’s why I’m drawn to more alternative communities. There is so much transparency and kindness.
How sad that it’s such an unusual to find such compassion and kindness in the world these days.
That’s not to say that I don’t have AMAZING monog friends who are fricking angels and teach me a ton about empathy and compassion!
Overall, though, I’ve found it’s easier for me to communicate with people who have already done some personal work, can communicate their boundaries, etc. They help elevate me and my mind. It’s not like I’m that woke!
It’s always interesting to encounter people who think they have all the answers. Especially the people at the very top of the food chain.
So many people under the Patriarchy swallow the pill and then think they are justified in being shitty to sick people, or poor people. They legit think that going to church or synagogue makes them good humans, but voting for policies that hurt entire demographics is no big deal.
It’s very irritating to me that some - not all - people in the more widely “acceptable” communities can be (not all are!) SO judgmental about people who are a little different, or a lot of different.
Yet many lie.
Yet many play head games.
Yet many aren’t transparent about what they are looking for or even, who they really are.
And the people in the alternative communities are the odd ones? REALLY?
I find that people who FULLY subscribe to the Patriarchy. I get that a lot of people live underneath it by default. We all have! Sometimes to survive, sometimes because we weren’t meant to wake up yet. That’s all part of the journey.
The ones who REALLY think they’re “better” than others because they have money and an able-body? Or because they are married or thin or whatever. I find it so…baffling. Sorry I’m trying not to be judge-y,…not judging them back is still a work in progress.
I’ve had to live in that world my WHOLE life and hated it. I had women snicker behind my back at parties for not being married. I’ve been shamed for not having kids. I’ve been pitied because I support myself.
As if being a badass single woman who runs her own business is something to pity!
But according to their “script,” it is.
I’m done. With that bullshit. The young people are changing the landscape of our culture and I am ALL in.
I’m living under the Matriarchy now - where I’ve always been - but I traveled over to the Patriarchy because I was too much of a wimp to outwardly show the world where I really wanted to live. I wanted to be liked and approved by people who subscribe to the Patriarchal bullshit. I admit it!!! (Though, it doesn’t hurt that I played by their rules for so many years…gives me credibility now.)
I have a lot of wonderful people now over in the Matriarchy. Yes, some might be considered “weird” to the look-alike crowd.
I LOVE it. I love being around people who embrace their weirdness and uniqueness and who welcome and support others in their weirdness and uniqueness.
If anyone wants to be my friend, they’ll need to operate under the Matriarchal rules. I’m making this a STRONG “internal boundary” - I have the rule inside my head and abide by it.
Respect other people’s boundaries.
Be honest! Be transparent!
Share your real self!
Honor a marginalized person’s situation and their experiences - BELIEVE them.
I’m done with asleep people. I know it’s harsh to say, but so many don’t even realize how they appear from my perch.
Not nice. Let’s leave it at that.
Oh yes, that’s a big rule under the Matriarchy:
BEING NICE, COMPASSIONATE AND EMPATHETIC.
It’s amazing how proud people are of their dick-ishness. Now, I’m proud of mine, but only because I plan on unleashing it on evil people. The ones who deserve it.
Not shaming other people on the internet for how they look, or how they raise their kids, or whatever the hell the bananas world behaves on the Internet.
All of America is seriously codependent. Thinking they have the right to tell others what to do.
I’m going to be brave and go to some meetups soon! My friend talked me into it.
I’ve GOT to find some open minded people who are respectful and compassionate about my body and how much I struggle with mental health issues now.
I simply can’t afford to continue giving energy to people who don’t get it.
I wonder if anyone is even reading this blog.
Before I really start sharing it, I need to go through and clean up a whole bunch of posts! When I start editing them, I’m mortified by how many mistakes I’m seeing.
It’s time. It’s funny. I’ve been waiting for this next chapter for my entire life.
And now, I don’t want it.
Of course, that’s why it will happen.
I want to live off the grid in northern washington and grow flowers and food.
But there are children that I need and who I think still need me.
Plus, I have work to do. It just sounds so hard. What if I start getting a zillion emails? What if I can’t handle the pressure? What if trolls shred my mental health? What if people in my family aren’t supportive?
Oh wait. I’ve been through all those things. And I survived. I have to remember that.
I’ve been on other road trips and survived.
Yes, that was what I needed to be reminded of.
Funny how writing helps work these things out!
I’m just tired today and everything sounds hard when I’m super tired.
I can do this! I can pack! I can drive! I can get all of this done in time so I don’t go to bed at 3am!
I am capable.
I am stronger than I realize.
I CAN DO THIS.
My old mantra from when I was in chemo!
Full circle. Five years later.
Ok, gotta go pack.
After I shut my eyes for a few minutes… :)