Monday, July 7, 2014

An Unintentional Mini-Memoir

I always think I know what's good and best for me, but now I'm having to humble myself & see that maybe I don't always know...playing god in my life instead of letting Reality run my life is always the dance that I am dancing. Example: it seemed perfectly logical to move to an area with weather that I loved after living someplace with weather that I hated for most of my life. I moved across country to that place and even though it is beautiful and lush and green & wet, I am not happy there. I have really really tried to be happy there. But since I have been back in Austin for over a month now, I see all the things I took for granted here: tons and tons of friends and a history that would make a most excellent mini-series or memoir. I moved here when I was 18 & that is when it felt like my life began. I went to that punk rock club the first day I moved here and my life has been steered by that scene since that day. So I am actually considering moving back here, even though I hated it so much when I left I felt so relieved to be going...I am also starting to let go of the fact that I cannot be happy unless I go back to doesn't do me a damned bit of good to feed that story's just a boring old sad story now and I have to focus on the continent I live on now, while still holding on to that tiny tin of gold glowing in my soul, the little glowing ember of joy that was burst into flame by Antarctica and will be stoked again when I go back. I am tired of tormenting myself about the dog. My sister brilliantly said "No one quits their job to stay at home and watch a pet age"...well, that is what I have done. I am not staying home 24/7 like my parents do with him, but I have given up my work, my happy place, traveling at the drop of a hat, going out late at night, and probably having a boyfriend take me seriously because of my neurotic focus on the dog. He is 17. How much longer can it last, and yet I love him dearly. And then there is the yoga. The hot 90 minutes a session yoga. It is hard. It is really hard, and sometimes I don't know if I can take another minute of it, and then it is over. I feel like I am a part of something really amazing doing this yoga...and I almost want to devote a lot of my time to it because I feel so good after doing it. Since I got back from my trip to Europe, I've totally forgotten about it! It's like I almost never went! I went through 7 days of HELL not sleeping on a 14 day trip, then come home with NO adjustment issues whatsoever.

Fully intending to drive back to Oregon this week, I was delayed a week by another health issue with the pup. He needs to be monitored closely over the next 10 days so I am staying in Austin two more weeks. I thought it would suck because of the weather but I am having a good time. Every time I go to see friends I meet some wonderful person & have some epically good hang and intimacy. I went to a music show last night where I felt the bones of 35 years of my history with Austin weaving it's warm & loving soulful hands around my heart...yes it is like my heart is being massaged by this web of history in this town. The friends, the history, the 35 years...the 35 years that Antarctica was just a part of. A big and awesome part...but I remember being as headily intoxicated when walking by Les Amis for the 10 years after Raul's closed as I am now by remembering the Ice. Yes, I get it usual the truth is revealed through the process of writing: Seven of those 35 years were Antarctica...but the other chunks had juicy life stuff as well: 1979-83 was college and the wildest 4 years a person could have in love with a music scene and a city. And we knew it was something special that we precious few were swept up is magical now, even when we have reunion shows. Then NYC for a couple of years, which I could write a book about, but all that needs to be said about those years is that by some miracle I survived it. I lived very very dangerously there...but I was SO IN LOVE with the city...I would walk around New York no matter how hung over or love sick, and the city would hold me...the city would hold me...but I couldn't take the lack of support and friends so I moved back to Austin...85-87 were some crazy years...worked full time and partied hard on the weekends...worked crappy jobs & felt like a loser cuz I wasn't using my degree...fell into some hard times and bolted to Nebraska for a fresh start - lived there for 3 incredible months and moved back to Austin in Fall of 87, started my first UT full time job and worked there full time (with a few breaks) until the middle of 2004. From 87-89 I was really wild...hung out with a guy named Tom Smith I met at a Raul's Reunion & was off  & running on an even drunker, crazier I was just partying and running around and going to clubs and slam dancing for 10 years...I was TIRED! I met the man who was to be my husband in 89 or 90, and we married in 91. I had a full time job and so did he & we bought a cute house. I painted a lot and had art shows and became steeped in religion and quit drinking and the marriage fell apart. It was very sad, I did not know how to be happily married & did not understand why I was so miserable. So in the middle of 1995 we divorced & I was single. I was 50 pounds overweight and 34 years old & was scared to death that I was going to fall apart. Nothing could have prepared me for the 5-6 year euphoria that followed: getting really skinny & feeling like I was 19 again and had just moved to Austin except I was sober and gorgeous! I was absolutely boy crazy again. I dated bikers and big tattooed guys and rock starts and crazy guys, I had a biker boyfriend who got in a crash and had a serious head injury...I had tons of girlfriends and we all hung out at the same coffee shop stoop every single night for YEARS! I finally met a super guy who moved in with me & we had 3 happy years together. It was with him I adopted the dog I still have. When this boy moved out and moved on I got even skinnier and went into a knew level of babeness (and insanity). I was nearly 40 now, and had never looked better, felt more badass, and was a known life was so exciting & I wanted a prize, and I got it in the form of what I thought was to be my dream man. I GOT him! We dated for two years and he wanted more (which is what they all want) and now we are friends. Thank goodness I'm friends with most of my exes. He told me to "dream BIGGER" when I was going on & on about my terrible work planted a seed. I decluttered my house in a frenzy, sold the empty house, bought a condo with the cash & was debt free! The freedom of that made me dream of bigger possibilities...I hated the condo - it was a lemon. I was also dating someone who turned out to allow me to hit "bottom" in my relationship issues. It was insane...he was crazy & so was I. We had intoxicating chemistry & good hang out but he was scary with his unresolved anger. By early 2004 I was really sick of my life and the patterns and office work and I was sitting at my desk at work & a little voice whispered in my ear "working in Antarctica" and that is exactly what I typed into the google screen - what popped up was the hiring website for antarctic workers & I felt my entire universe shift & every fiber of my being knew that I was going to do whatever it takes to get there...I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life...I had finally finally found it...I put 8 hours a day into networking with Ice people, polishing my resume & buying a plane ticket to the hiring fair...I worked my ass off for it & it paid off.

There is an entire blog devoted to my life on that has been the single greatest joy of my life, and this section of the 35 years was the cherry on the cake. Or more like the cake, with the other parts being the cherries....those 7 years were so beautiful, so carved out for my personality, so beyond anything I could have ever imagined for's all I ever talk about on the other blog, so not time need to be spent on it here...

Feb. 2011 redeployed back to the US and to my mom telling  me she would no longer take the wee pup for me to go to the Ice. I used this fact to make the decision to move to Oregon -I had a man there so it made it easy...the first few months were great but then I found myself calling to get a job for the next season on Ice..ugh, 3 years in Oregon I've blogged about too...three different moves, tons of different jobs...and not a deep connection at all to the place. Nope. Some sweet things as a result of my really hard work I put into it...but no, it will be very easy to say goodbye to Oregon. (But I still might keep my sweet ski cabin).

So here I am at the 35 year mark of when I first moved to Austin as a terrified 18 year old...and feel like that girl again as I'm thinking of doing it all over again...moving to Austin after a time away was always so fun - but this time I am a middle aged woman who probably is not desirous of the typical middle aged women things. The world feels wide open & filled with possibility once again.

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