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name: Alicia
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Monday, January 28, 2008

[The pupil in denial]

So it's finally coming to it, and the range of emotions I feel is off the charts. More than anything I'm just anxious to get the show on the road, start this new chapter and get the hell out of the old routine. But there's something funny and bittersweet about that: I already am out of the routine. I no longer live in Chicago.

In looking forward so long and in yearning for something different so strongly for such a while, I failed to realize what a hold on me the city obviously has. It is fun to hang out with my dad and stepmom and stepbrother, and it's fun now to be hanging out with my mom but, really, I've never felt such an emptiness. Somehow it's like the void that's left after all the crying and tears of a breakup are done and the remnants of the life you had together are scattered in the wind; you'd think that you'd be happy to be moving along but you are really just heartbroken that you aren't heartbroken anymore. That's not to say that I'm not still sad to have left my Chicago life behind - I miss my friends so much.

But aside from these normal reactions to a formal goodbye, there's something else, something more depressing. I almost miss my anger and frustration with my Chicago experience more than anything else. Doesn't make sense, does it? It's like the opposite of a breakup, really. When the dust settles after someone tears out your heart, and you get over the hollow feeling - you know, that feeling that your bones are as light and as empty as a bird, that anything could crush you - you usually start experiencing the joys of life with the sweet tentativeness of a longtime smoker who quit and can smell shit again. But I am feeling the opposite. I know that when all is said and done it's my love for my friends and the city that will last. It will be the good memories that I turn to. For now, however, isolated in Michigan with nothing to do except exercise, eat sensibly and be responsible, I have found myself dwelling on the bad thoughts. I feel like some kind of ghost or something, like I died and the world just kept on spinning but I didn't get to leave, I was stuck in the same rut with the same bad feeling with nothing to do for eternity except to dwell on it.

I think my constant consideration of all of the bad situations I left behind is three-fold, so bear with me. One, I think that there is a sense of guilt. I never resolved any of the problems with people, I just parachuted out of there like some cowardly soldier leaving everyone else to save my own skin. Two, I think there's more than a touch of arrogance to the feeling that I've been left behind. I feel like I did the work without any payoff. I spent nights grinding my teeth and drinking away bad thoughts and believing in the good in people selfishly, perhaps. All the stress I thought fell on my shoulders was supposed to be my redemption, maybe? That in the end everyone would turn to me like a surprise party, and all the angry, tense faces would melt into smiles and they would all explain it was a test, like Miranda July expounded, and that they just thought I might appreciate it more than others. Yeah, right - as if I'm the only person to ever have to go through anything, as if the things I have been through are even all that bad. Also, the arrogance of feeling left behind includes just that - I'm sad that I'm not missed. It's extremely difficult for me - a person who wants everyone to like her and will compromise almost anything to believe she's right even when she isn't - to realize I'm not different, or a martyr. I'm just a regular person, and time goes on.

It's really the third reason that makes the difference, and that's probably the most true. It's that I had bottled up so much emotion, good and bad, that by the end it's as if I needed a full body transplant just to survive. I'm out of the situation and now I can see so much negative crap that has to be identified, owned up to and then removed. And it hurts, like a snake bite that you have to suck all the venom from, only there are so many a body shouldn't have lived through it in the first place. It isn't like I'm unique in that. The only difference is that I haven't dealt with any of them as they happened. My own stubborn will kept me from acknowledging the necessity of dealing with pain and life's many unhappy occurances, and I turned to a bottle or another distraction until the waves passed and I felt normal again. Only now do I realize that I wasn't ever feeling normal. I was feeling like a liar. And I was.

I realize that most of this probably is rambling and incoherent to some people, and overly negative to others. Really it's not that bad. I'm just realizing some things and I needed to get them out of my head, I think. After all, what is a blog for? To sum it all up, I guess, I'm just kind of in a weird place. I am between lives right now, and, although everything is moving really fast, it feels like I have this moment suspended in time to contemplate what I left behind before I look forward again to all the brilliantly wonderful things that are coming. Really, I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. So, I suppose while I wait for this show to get on the road and all that, I should start to feel some more gratitude for the things I left behind, even the bad stuff. I know how many amazing experiences I have ahead of me. I'm just making room for it.

[Life goes easy on me most of the time]

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