Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Rest of It

For several years now I've been writing about my Antarctic and travel life and not the "rest of it" so much, but lately I've been doing the rest of the stateside life of what people consider to be "real life." I didn't like it before I went to the Ice and I'm not liking it much now. I've been struggling a lot lately with depression and despair as I feel like I'm going back to a lifestyle that didn't suit me then and really feels awkward now. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time adjusting...I mean I live in a gorgeous apartment in a cool city downtown, have a job starting next week and delish fall weather to look forward to, but the despair is hanging over me like a wool cloak. I have been thrashing around emotionally, screeching about not being able to go back to the Ice, feeling like my whole world, my joy and my tribe are there. I've never felt so at home and so alive, and so thoroughly happy with work. Antarctica is where I belong and where I want to be, but I have to take a season off, and I am not doing well emotionally around it. It seems so strange to pay for all these things that are free down there: apartments, food, gas, movies, clothes. I am trying not to resent my little dog, who is the reason I am staying stateside, and I'm embarrassed sometimes that I feel that way. What if I was to look at this another way, and see all the good things that can come from taking a season off - hmm, I'm thinking...oh yeah, I get to experience fall and winter with darkening skies in the late afternoon. I get to ski on my days off on Mt. Hood. I get to live by myself and not have to deal with roommate issues. I get to be with Fergus. I have a notion in my head that I cannot be happy off Ice...I know I was deliriously happy in Taos this past week, and when I'm on any sort of trip or even just in an airport or on a plane going anywhere. It is the daily routine of driving to work, having to think about every meal, and just being isolated so much that really gets to me. No matter how badly things may be going on Ice I am always glad I'm there...I am not able to fall into the pit of despair that I can fall into here. I thought moving from Texas to Oregon would help that, and it did help my reverse SAD symptoms a lot, but at the end of day I have returned to the rut lifestyle I had before I found the Ice in the first place. I am so sick of my bitching and complaining about not being able to go back. I just need to get over it and deal. There is a lot of cool stuff going on here, I have some great craft projects going on, and with my new job I will have alternating 3 day and 4 day weekends...I really need to overhaul my thinking on this or I'm just gonna drive myself crazy. I have been feeling completely insane with grief lately. I will be able to go back someday. It now seems surreal and unbelievable that I even got to do it was some epic miniseries that I was watching...mabye that is what is missing: the gratitude that I have found my place. I just have to learn to wait. Wait gracefully and not kicking and screaming the way I have been.