Saturday, September 20, 2008

Control (the Remote kind) and Home

I think I´m understanding for the first time what it might be like to go through withdrawal of a drug.

Boredom.

Emptiness.

The daunting task of searching for something that will fill a void with something that resembles joy.

Hiking?

Yoga?

Reading?

Art?

Additional family members?

Yes.

Will these things give me (at least) the illusion of having an ounce of control over my life rather than being a receptor for other stronger-willed stimuli?

Will they help me convert into the person that I try to convince myself that I am?

This week I read Xbox4NappyRash´s post about pressing "play" and not keeping your life on hold waiting for something outside of your control (in his case, waiting for his partner to become pregnant).





I´m waiting. I´m waiting to find "home" here, in its abstract sense, as a construct that my own unreasonable thickness will allow and accept.

Home and also other things. And in the interim I´m missing a lot of good living. And there´s a person in my house that shares my life, that loves me, that doesn´t know why I won´t press "play" so our lives can go on.

But why, when I contemplate all of these things, am I suddenly filled with homesickness, as a twisted sort of way to convince myself that my problems originate in my geographical location and not in that useless mental module that sits between my shoulders, when I know damn well that is not the case? I do this to myself to evade responsibility.

I know it.

But I get out of bed.

A flash through my mind.

Brown Road and Stapely intersection in Mesa, Arizona is suddenly there. Why? I don´t know why. There´s a strip mall there with a Mormon-owned restaurant called Fudgeworks, and maybe a smoke shop or something. It´s there in my mind, I haven´t asked to recall it, it just pops in and I go "oh yeah, thanks for the reminder of that random place, brain". This continues throughout the day, on my walk to work, while I stare at the screen, while I inhale a tapa for lunch. Random shreds of home make their appearance in my brain in a spontaneous spectacle I´m forced to watch.

And then I read Keywork´s latest and it hits me that at least my pieces of home are still standing and not inundated, and I could potentially be there in a matter of hours, finances and time permitting. Not like other people whose homes, in both the abstract sense and very real physical sense, are now under water. Home is out of reach for me, but at least I sleep soundly knowing that it does still exist somewhere.




Both of those posts I linked to above made me realize that I do in fact have some control over my life, unlike others that really do not, and I need to wake the hell up already.

Time to get ma shit together.

-Bluestreak



"Remote Control" by ThunderChild_tm from Flickr.

"Dwelling" by
DistractedMind from Flickr.

19 comments:

Fned said...

It's funny you mention not feeling in control over your life. Over the weekend I had a big brout of the big D word coming over preventing me to even leave the apartment however sunny and bright the weather was (thus the two "couch-potato" posts on my blog over the we) and I realized that a lot of the crappy behaviour (both towards myself and towards El Marido) over the past months is due to the lack of self control that comes when you are have lost your direction in life.

I too often feel like I'm on a non-stop spiral towards hell.

However, I'm not sure it's due to a sense of missing "home" per se, but more to the sense of not knowing WHERE "home" is anymore (or ever was?).

I left my parents place a long time ago and thus I know "home" is not there, at least not "my" home because we each go out into the world to create our own home. But this country doesn't feel like "home" either even though this is where I have built a "home" with my man. Because in order to feel like you're home, you need to feel like you belong. And I don't. Not here.

Is it a question of missing your own country/culture, then? Not sure.. I have lived abroad for too long now to go back to my "home country" and be able to feel like I belong... cuz I don't. Not anymore. And yet, I will never belong here either, not matter how long I stay. Not 100% belong at any rate.

So then what is it? And THIS is the question that makes me stay in my pj's with the curtains drawn on a bright beautiful autumn day.

Beacuse if I don't know where "home" is, if I don't know where I come from, how can I know where I am going? Where I WANT to be going?

So in the meantime I fill my time and my brain with hour after hour of youtube videos and Dexter episodes and leave the hard thinking and painful introspection for another day..... until...

Damn you girl! You got me doing a lot of soulsearching I'd rather would avoided! :)

Fned.

Bluestreak said...

Fned - I know what you mean. I think in my case the homesickness is what comes up whenever I have a problem, as some kind of scapegoat. I´m glad I´m not the only one addicted to hours of youtube and other distractions so I don´t have to deal. Fned, go outside! You live in fucking Paris and it´s autumn! Ok, I could tell myself the same. Sometimes I just need to wallow (and write depressing blog posts hoping the self-reflection will help, and promising I´m gonna get my life sorted really soon).

the cubicle's backporch said...

Your talk about homesickness reminds me of this thing I noticed myself doing. We lived in Indiana until I was 15, then moved to Kentucky. When we lived in Kentucky, I always told people that I was from Indiana. Now that I'm living back in Indiana, I tell people I'm from Kentucky. I think at the time, each place held a comfort that I was longing for. I can imagine that living outside the US would be 'worse' in the homesick sense.

And here lately, I too have felt like I need to be redirected in life. Remember to have fun instead of thinking "I'll be happy if we just get this paid off" or "Life will be so much better when we get enough money saved for a down payment on a house." Sometimes it's nice to get a reminder that today only comes around once so you need to do what you can with it.

Bluestreak said...

Cubicle - EXACTLY. When I´m there my missing part is here, and vice versa.

Dirty Pirate Hooker said...

well at least you recognize it...

perplexus said...

There is a type of crisis we go through being ex pats. I have been going to a therapist (obviously not versed in expatness) and she told me you need to feel happy where ever you are, happy within. I just replied, do you think a man taken from his country side home will ever be totally content in the city or visa versa. She stared at me with a blank look and went on to the next topic.

With that said, I have become some kind of hybrid freak that is now able to exist in both worlds (USA and Spain) and get by. However, I never feel quite right anywhere. Living abroad has its daily struggle but now when I go to the States I dont feel understood.

What have I done to help myself feel better recently...

One: I laugh at the freaks I live among. They are hysterical. When they ask me where I am from I name some small village nearby... and they stare at me questioning whether I really have an accent.

Two: I reevaluate who I am and my needs. I think often when we live in another culture it is easy to lose who we are (especially when married to someone from that country) and we need to more often (than in our own cultures) stop and think, who am I and what are my needs.

Youtube may fill that void for some time but we also need to look inside and think what am I going to do for myself today, this moment. Perhaps a dinner at home and forget about the world outside is nice on an occasion. I met an expat who had planted her own garden and said if it werent for that whe would be lost. Probably a walk through Paris looking at those silly women with their poopoo dogs would give me the laugh I need or hell just a train out of the city.

Three: Start planning. Currently, I hate my job, my life too is more than topsy turby ..husband moved out, I fell out of a truck..bla bla... but what I know is I am starting to try to have future plans that excite me again and realise I am still alive under it all.

Fned said...

Bluestreak: Ah! Using the "I'm homesick" pretext when stuff just seems to get too a)hard, b)boring, c)frightening or d)confusing. I know the tactic and I use it quite often myself... but lemme ask you this: Do do you get the same way when you're "back home"? As in, when shitty stuff happens while you're visiting in the US and you realize that back "home in Spain" things are better/easier/more fun/simpler...

And actually, late yesterday evening hubby finally DID get to kick my butt into gear and we went out for a stroll in Paris. It was nice and autumn-y. I guess I'm simply a whiner. ;)

Perplexus: I like your way of looking at things. As in "dude, you got a problem, find a way to deal with it, just remember to take it one day at a time". I often CAN deal with it (I'm not all THAT messed up as my previous comment might lead to think)... I think currently I'm working on part one of number TWO of your list... part two is a bit more difficult because it involves taking action...

.... and sometimes it's so much more easier to huddle up and say "fuck it, today I just can't deal with it, so go away people and leave me the feck alone".

:)
Fned.

Bluestreak said...

DPH - yeah, I guess you´re right. That´s the first thing right?

Perplexus - I fucking love your name, you crazy freak. You´re right about everything. We´re fucking hybrids.

Fned - yes I use the same exact tactic when home. But not usually when visiting, I used to do it when we moved there for a couple years.

A Free Man said...

Beautifully written. Glad that I've clicked my way over here, can't remember how. I can relate in a big way to that feeling of homesickness that rears up from time to time for the expat. I've been feeling it a lot lately, because my expatriation is now pretty much permanent.

As for control, I try to let that go entirely. Whenever I try to control things they tend to go pearshaped.

Maggie, Dammit said...

Oh, dear.

(((you)))

Bluestreak said...

A Free man - oh goodie, I love finding new expats. Australia hu? Can´t wait to check it out. My expatriation is permanent too, I think that´s why I´m feeling it more than I did in prior years when my life was just one temporary phase after another.

Maggie - thx!!!

miss hell said...

you have a way of expressing the way i have felt my entire life. i have always felt split in two... eternally homesick, yet i don´t really know where this place called home is. i guess i just feel permanently displaced uuggghhh... i love you blue streak

neil wykes said...

Weirdish question bluestreak: Did you do much moving as a kid?
As a young child my family moved to another part of Britain. I had to change accents and leave the bosom of a large extended family. I never felt completely at home in the new place. I went back to my hometown for university nearly twenty years later and felt no more at home there. I've never felt it and I've come enjoy it. You can feel not at home, but still enjoy it, you're always as different from everyone else as you want to be. Dunno what a kid would do, beside meaning that your life is no longer yours to worry about, it's merely a conduit for another's..?

Bluestreak said...

Miss hell - I know you get it.

Neil - weird, actually. My parents were divorced and my dad moved around endlessly but my mom had a stable home, so it was a bit of both.

RTL said...

"Guess who's back in the mutha fuckin hey'ouse, with a fat dick for yo' mutha fuckin' mouff..." Snopp Dog.

Hi Blue,

Will you please blog when you are in a good mood, for christ!

Spain watch: Spain the spot now for food. You know I was in Japan and they not only have cooking shows, they have eating shows were "tarento" go around, well, eating. There's a camera there too so we all get to watch. The Japs are born foodies....

But now Spain is the Dish de jour.

Recent time magazine in its weekly 10 questions page picked Mario Batali to interview. If you watch Iron Chef America(my Jap wife does and I like it too) he rules. Pretty famous cook.

From Time(10/06/08):

T: What country is the current epicenter of culinary vision?

M.B.: Spain. It is the place where the most outlandish and yet most often delicous places are.

(later in the interview)

T: If you could choose any chef in the history to face in a cooking competition, who would it be?

M.B.: (blah blah blah).....drop us in Japan.

His show is on PBS and is in Spain with a spainish speaking Gwyneth as co-host. Take her spot blue......

Bluestreak said...

Ryan, for the love of god. So glad you posted that snoop dog quote, very profound and just spoke to me, you know?

I get your point though, I need to look on the bright side. Either that or just eat instead of worrying. But then I won´t be keepin my ass in check, and I know how you feel about fat asses.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

I just came to you thru AAYSR. I fucking love your blog. I want to be you-- that would make my flight home to visit shorter.

You're an amazing writer and I'm completely sucked in. Now I have to go read everything else you've written.

Bluestreak said...

thank you so much Florida Girl. So glad to find another expat.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Can an Irish man use 'Oi Vey!' ?

I get it. A bloody million times over on different levels to boot.

nice one.