I’d rather say ‘Goodbye’ than walk away

So I was throwing up last night… yup… gross… and I realized (number one) how much I hate throwing up, but (number two) how it is highly symbolic of my life at the moment. But first let me explain why I was throwing up.

I had had enough of never being able to eat gluten (I have Celiac disease). I was smelling this amazing fresh baguette that had a slightly tangy smell to it and I couldn’t stand it any longer. I cut off three pieces and sliced some butter to put on top and ravished them.

Then, a while later, I made this weird concoction we call ‘Gloop’ in my family. It’s basically yogurt with whipped cream with blueberries and chocolate chips. I ate a little too much of that and given that I seem to have developed a growing lactose intolerance, too, within a half hour I was bloated, distended, uncomfortable, angry, and – if I moved too suddenly – nauseous. I convinced myself that throwing up was the way out of this mess so I decided that moving around more and accepting the inevitability of throwing up was the best route. And it worked.

And when it was all spewed and done, I felt better and I was relieved knowing that I had passed that milestone of stupid choices. But I also was grateful that my body felt good again and it made me appreciate my body for when it does work well.

And still, I had to think about why. How did I get into this mess in the first place? By not listening to my body. By not doing what my body has been telling me all along. No gluten. No dairy. Deal with it. I hit a wall but didn’t want to acknowledge the wall.

But also, life is about making stupid decisions sometimes. Live a little.

So I don’t know. Three steps forward. Two steps back. One step forward. Five steps back. That’s how it feels.

And inevitably it comes to this. 10 o’clock at night. I’m tired and done for the day. All of the peppy zip and optimism is gone and I am left facing a feeling of emptiness. The emptiness you feel after a good deal of throwing up. Relief mixed with pain. Bile. Lack of direction. What do you do after you throw up? There’s not much you can do, except sit still. Or what I usually like to do. Write.

I write because I don’t like walls. I write because I don’t want to live in an empty bubble anymore. I don’t want to live in an empty stomach.

I don’t get why we all live in our little empty bubbles so much. Well I do. Phones. Computers. Screens. These bubbles make you feel full, too full for awhile. But eventually you have to purge.

I’ve experienced it firsthand myself. I’ve communicated with no one except computer screens for too many hours. I’ve limited my social time to those carefully constructed moments where I stand nothing to lose. And you get into this habit to the point where – when I am confronted with a human being whom I know – I don’t know what to say. I’m tongue tied. I get exasperated at the idea of being stuck in a long conversation and not having the finesse to get out. It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that – when I spend too much time conversing with them on machines (e.g. work email, personal email, facebook, texting) – I forget the nuances of how to maneuver my way through and around them in real life. And I get it. I think that’s why the world is becoming the way it is. It’s so easy and convenient. People there at your fingertips. Gone when you want them to go. Present if you need them. Delete-able if you don’t.  But in real life, people don’t just disappear when you’re done with them. They’re still there. Conversations go on whether you have time for them or not. And you have to develop other skills like how to gracefully exit a conversation when you really don’t have time to sit down and listen while they show you their favorite song on YouTube (even though you really would stay if you had time but you only have 5 minutes to eat before you have to be at another meeting). In other words, you have to give up control. You may end up being late for that meeting – god forbid! – but at least you remained human and politely came to a close with that conversation, a short but sweet declaration of farewell.

What if we ended real, live conversations the way we ended digital ones? What if we just walked away abruptly without a ‘goodbye’ or a ‘see ya.’ Maybe it really will get to that point eventually. Maybe it will be ok to just turn your back on someone who is mid-sentence and wordlessly strut away. Maybe. Anything is possible.

But I’m still going to try to not do that. So… goodbye… for now. I don’t want to live in a bubble.

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