It was the phone call this afternoon that tipped the balance. A simple call to Verizon, to ask if the payment I’d scheduled for next week was going to prevent their threatened suspension of service. Been there before, and yes I get touchy when finances are tight, but it always works out. I had to wait through their menu 3 times before my “0” would get me an actual human, but I was connected right away. Gave my name, and he looked me up, but when I tried to answer his second question, he suddenly couldn’t hear me. At all. I could hear him clearly, but he obviously heard nothing. I hollered to no avail, and he hung up after saying it was due to a bad connection.
It broke me. I don’t know why exactly, but suddenly turning invisible to someone and being cut off unleashed something that I couldn’t stop. I’m sure PMS plays a part, as does the social isolation of moving out of the city. Finding friends around here takes time and effort, and most likely a class of some sort (soon!) as we don’t have the schooling connection. But why did getting hung up on send me into a tailspin? I know I hate getting ignored by my kids, and struggle with how to react to it. I’ve never been a super verbal person, but am usually the one in a group who doesn’t talk all that much. (Get me alone and I probably won’t shut up, that’s a whole different scenario!)
I’ve always been hesitant to voice opinions, probably thanks to having learned early on, in the church I grew up in, that dissenters weren’t welcome and non-conformists suspect. Besides, it’s my nature to listen, mediate, and sift through the pieces to find the bits that fit together. I’m comfortable with that role, and play it most of the time, though I’ve gotten better overall at saying what I think. But what does that have to do with feeling invisible? I’ve lost my mirror, and haven’t found a new one yet. I’ve always been defined by either my role in a group (ie church), or by the space I carved out for myself in a community. Right now though, I’m feeling community-less, and so I guess having even the Verizon dude not be able to hear me was kind of the lowest of the low.
Part of moving to the sticks (to borrow SAJ’s word, it just fits) appears to be about learning to confront myself, and not do so much measuring and fitting, but a little more BEing. I just finished reading The Happiness Project last night, and while it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I did get some ideas out of it. The one that comes to mind now is her continual reminder to BE Gretchen. Not fight her core, but bring it out and embrace it. Not pretend to be who you think you should be, but be who you really are. Unvarnished is good. When I’m short on mirrors though, it’s quite honestly a bit terrifying. Rather like my fear of the dark my first few weeks up here. I fixed a light or two, and stopped spooking at shadows. I don’t think it’s so easily fixed though, nor it it something that’s wrong, just something to figure out. Who am I when no one’s watching?
I’m finding my creative juices flowing a lot more, that’s one piece of BEing Bethany I’m enjoying again. I’ve done a bit of sewing and a bit of building, as well as dug deeper into some new cookbooks to my family’s delight. There’s writing too, and then music … which is due for a big kick in the pants if my husband pulls off the birthday present he’s promised me, I won’t believe it till I play it though :).
In the quiet it’s the still, small voices that I want to hear. I go to the river sometimes, alone, and it has it’s own music and depth. I’m looking for the courage to shout a bit, and the willingness to only hear an echo, or even nothing. To find the treasures I mined in Brooklyn, polish them up in the firelight, and add them to the foundation of the dream we’re chasing. To BE, not belong. Tall order for my structured psyche, but it’s the truth I tripped over tonight, so I’m going with it.