Resilience and Keith Richards

Yesterday my friend Andrew wrote a comment on my blog:
“After the apololypse, there will be cockroaches, Keith Richards, and Becky saying, ‘Ok, that sucked; let’s get on with life.'”

You know, I was just thinking about that. Things happen periodically here (like realizing that this little card is a notice that I have a package at the post office… and it’s been there for a week but I can’t read the card! HA!) that illustrate how crazy it is that I moved to this foreign country, not speaking the language, because it matched a collage on my wall and I couldn’t really think of any reason not to.

“A collage?” you ask. Yes. In January this year, when I’d returned from the lovely holiday in Park City, I was clear that the life I wanted to create with this post-Colorado, post-marriage re-do wasn’t going to happen in Moscow, Idaho. But where did I want to go and what did I want to do? I wasn’t sure. So I started cutting out images, pictures, colors, anything that appealed to me. I arranged them on a poster board and stepped back. It looked like the life I wanted. There were sea kayaks and happy families and European travel destinations, snow excursions, kitchens clearly cooked in, comfy reading nooks, books… I was looking at the life I wanted. This job, this place fit the collage.
I threw the collage away on my way out of Moscow. It was getting crunched and in the way in the car. I wish I hadn’t done that, but I also know that every time I take a major turn in the road it’s time to redo the collage, so I am gathering my materials for now… soon I’ll be ready to make a new one.

I read an article the other day (I can’t find it again now) about resilience. It was something like that resilience is the key to happiness or sucess. I used to have the idea that I couldn’t let go, I didn’t move on… and maybe with some things that was the case. I kept reading the article, though, and I realized I am resilient, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. I still have guilt about moving, think that there’s something wrong with me that I don’t settle down. (Secretly, though, I love this gallavanting. It is challenging and lonely sometimes, but it suits me. I just wish I had a gallavnting partner I could trust.)

Finally, I am still periodically reminded of something a former friend said to me in Colorado. My marriage was violent and frightening, but I didn’t want to just leave. That never seemed right to me. I desperately needed ideas, somebody to talk to, help managing and surviving, and love… and a girlfriend said of others in our circle, “They’re just sick and tired of hearing about it.” Besides making clear that those people weren’t my friends, her comment threw into relief for me the difference between talking and action. It was one of things that prompted me to leave.

And though I always thought life would one day be steadier and static and settled, I will be there at the end saying, “What’s next?!”

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