Sunday, September 14, 2008

A ghost (two weeks after move-in)

I got a bunch of new music recently, and almost all of it--almost every album--has a song with the word "ghost" in the title.
So, after writing that post this morning, within an hour after getting to work I was feeling better--like myself. Which doesn't mean that what I wrote was some kind of out-of-nowhere thing; I've been like that a lot. Sad and then back to my old self, either if I'm occupied or ESPECIALLY when I'm with people.
Yesterday, I found that I could walk to the grocery store in about ten minutes. This is very exciting to me. So I got my green bag that says "EarthSavers" on it, my wallet (which is really a beat-up clutch purse), and my iPod, and started down the street, trying to distract myself from melancholy by taking in the interesting houses around me, the people in the street enjoying the warm weather, and the wealth of cute white wood aster growing in masses along the roadside. I passed by a house where a bunch of guys were sitting outside; one of them had a guitar. When the man with the guitar noticed me, he turned and started singing in my direction, LOUDLY, just banging out chords (or perhaps just hitting all the strings--I still had my iPod on so I don't know), "Love of my LIIIIIIIIIIIFFFFFFFFEEEEE" and a bunch of other silly things. I tried to just keep walking, but I was laughing and laughing. It was just too silly to be annoyed or feel self conscious.
(Later that night, though, I was back to feeling blue.)

Anyway, I was thinking and thinking and thinking last night, and thinking that I was in a low place--which is sometimes necessary to being something better, later. I wasn't doing the things Sarah normally does. I make fun of people who are overly activist, who join silly Facebook groups and talk loudly about their ideas--as though they've just discovered The World and social conscience. But I'm no better and am probably worse than them, because I've become really lax in my own commitment to social change. I drive a somewhat fuel efficient car, I walk a lot of places (because I can; many people don't have that option), I buy a lot of organic groceries, I compost some of my trash, I carry my own bags to the grocery store. But I waste a lot of water and hardly give it a second thought. I waste a lot of things. I use a lot of plastic. When I was moving, I threw out a lot of things that weren't garbage. Maybe a lot of people will read this and think--you're not doing so bad. But it's not WHAT I'm doing or not doing; it's the attitude. I've been thinking more about myself lately, as though self-preservation is the highest priority, but why do I need to be preserved? I am better off than a lot of people.
So, in summary, I need to care more. I need to go back to caring more and doing more. That is an essential part of being Sarah.

Additionally, I've potentially made some bad decisions this summer. They can't be undone. And I can't decide if I would want them to be. I think about the consequences - what it would mean if they never happened. But they happened--and that's IT. That's fine, but I need to get off that path and not do similar things.
I had all these realizations when I was on the road, things that meant big change but could be summed up in one sentence. Such as: I need to tell people what I want from them. I need to tell people when things are wrong. I need to talk less because no one is listening to every word; I need to listen more. I need to make my own decisions about my life. But here is a new one:
Some people are not bad people. They are not mean. But they do not care about me. At least not enough. And when someone doesn't care about you, you should not waste your time on them. It's probably unfair to them in some way, but more importantly, it's not fair to you. It's hurtful and damaging, and it's also really unfair to the people who actually do care about you.
I need to stop giving the time of day to people who don't care enough about me.

People say that I forgive easily, that I forgive everyone. I kind of like being this way; but forgiveness isn't the same as what I do. It's not fair to give as much of myself to people who make some small effort, as I do to those who are considerate and nice all the time.

This is a post full of "I", but I write these kind of things hoping they're like when Crazy Aunt Purl writes things like this--things other people will read and relate to some part of and be able to apply to themselves.

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