I wake up. Thank God it’s not a workday, I think. Actually, I knew that already, since my alarm didn’t go off at 7:15am. I never wake up at 7:15am on my own. My internal clock likes 8:30am … or, some days, 10:00am.
The cat who wasn’t sleeping on me has heard me rustling, runs upstairs and jumps up on the bed, next to me.
I reach for my phone. My glasses. Coffee. I look at Facebook, Twitter, emails.
Facebook tells me it’s a friend’s birthday. It didn’t need to… I remembered. I should call. I don’t want to. Not because I don’t *want* to… but because, I don’t want to. I don’t want to call anyone. I hate the phone.
We have plans tonight. I don’t want to go. Not because I don’t *want* to… but because, I don’t want to. I don’t want to go anywhere. Not because I don’t care! I do! But going to a gathering, a party, a celebration… takes so much effort. It drains me, completely.
If you’ve known me for years, you may think this can’t be me. I used to be called a social butterfly. I loved crowds. I loved people.
The thing is… I DO love crowds. Why? Because I can be alone in them. Besides my husband, nobody knows me. Disneyland, the beach, an airport at holiday time, a traffic jam? Bring it on! I can get lost in a sea of strangers.
I used to be… different. “Community” meant everything to me.
And yet, here I am, among you… from behind my keyboard. The Community of Us, behind keyboards. So, maybe it’s still important… just different from the way it used to be?
You’re probably reading this and thinking I am in the middle of a depressive episode. Or a panic attack. Or, both. You may think I’m unhappy. You may think I have no friends. No job. No life outside my bed, my husband, our cats.
None of these things are true. Or maybe they’re all true. Or maybe, it’s just the new normal. Because it sure feels normal to me! I’ve been watching and listening to myself for years. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, actually. Seriously!
I’ve thought about how I used to dance around my office with my friend and co-worker, Eileen, while listening to the B-52s. I remember how I used to leave my family waiting in the car after church services while I fluttered around for another half hour, visiting everyone. (Mom! Hurry! We want to go home!) I used to look forward to dances when I was in high school. I loved going out (with my friend Debbie) to a disco in a distant city, where “everyone knew our name” (Hi Sheryl! Hi Deb!) Boy, we had stories to tell! Later, Princess House and Tupperware parties, baby showers, work functions. All of it. For years and years and years.
What happened? Could it be that the fullness of life… just happens to mean something different that it used to? Or maybe, I’ve just lost the desire to play games… the game… the one where adults like me pretend. Was I pretending?
I suspect old friends would not recognize me. And by “old” I mean… before 2010. Because that’s about the time it all began to change… this new me.
Is it good? Bad? Does it need a label?
No, actually, it doesn’t.
I hate labels.
Whatever this is… is what it is. And today, I’m okay with that.
Tomorrow, who knows?