The Exhale

[insert the many things here]

That’s a pretty good summation of what this post is going to be about. It’s going to be all over the place. A lot has happened. A lot has settled.

For starters the whole Momma Drama has settled. Mostly.

We postponed the July trip. She’s supposed to be here this week but, it just didn’t happen. It was mostly a cost thing. I planned to purchase the tickets but, well… lemme run down the conversation for you:

Me: So your flight would leave early in the morning on Sunday. You’d be back on Wednesday.

Mom: How much is it going to cost?

Me: It’s okay. I’m going to pay for it.

Mom: I know, but how much?

Me: About $800.

Mom: What?! That’s insane! No. Forget it.

Me: What do you mean? I’m paying for it. Not you.

Mom: I know, but that’s too much. That’s a waste. Think about, I’m only going there for a few days, plus whatever spending, that’s easily over a grand. No. Forget it.

Me: But I thought you wanted to come–

Mom: Yes, but if you’ve got a grand to burn just send me the money instead. That’s too much for just a few days. Like I said, I wanted to see you… discuss things. But, let’s just wait.

Just wait? Funny. Although the whole “conversation” looming over my head still drives me nuts at times, I’ve learned to let it go. I’m happy. For now she seems to also have settled with the idea of me being gay. I’m still me. I’m still her son. She’s still my mom.

The day job…

It’s interesting at work and yet not. There’s a changing of the guard and I’m not entirely sure how thrilled I am. I have a good rapport with management and I don’t like change as much as I did in my youth. There are new opportunities and I’m ever so grateful for the opportunity. I’m very happy with my job. I like the people I work with and I love what I do. For the first time in a long time, I’m really happy. Almost settled. Almost.

I find myself many days just smiling to myself going, I’m really happy. I’ve never said “I’m happy” so many times in my life. Washington is home.

The reason I say “almost” is because I still find myself lacking a few things. I’m not sure what. The sense of belonging is certainly greater here than it’s ever been anywhere else I’ve lived. Yet, something is missing… someone is.

I joke how much of a “broken toy” I am. There are still things that elude me. I’ve always joked about “waiting on the mothership,” feeling this disconnect from most people. I can’t really share in a lot of your typical upbringing, and there are still lessons to be learned.

I recently posted on FB a meme about schools teaching some of the “fundamentals”; finding a job, cooking, balancing a check book, replacing a tire etc. A dear teacher friend pointed out that a lot of that lies on the parents. And she’s completely right. She is. She’s absolutely right. And it’s moments like that that I realize just how much my parents weren’t ready to be parents. Of course, I’m the first child, that burnt pancake–the first one that almost comes out… damaged.

My friend didn’t mean anything mean or ill willed, I certainly understand today’s overburden and under appreciated teachers. It’s a fickle system… a doctor jekyll and mr hyde scenario where parents expect so much from teachers and then pull back; teach them science, teach them religion, but don’t indoctrinate them. Teach them to be moral, but not ethics.

So the meme only pointed out my odd upbringing. I didn’t have many friends growing up my age. The only friends I had were three times older than me, the senior and elders of my local church. Ah, yes, this atheist was once very much a church-going person. I spent many vacations and trips with people much older than me. In many aspects it was a great growing opportunity, but a part of me feels I was robbed of a childhood. But I don’t blame anyone. It’s just how things happened.

Music and movies, I missed on most of the cultural phenomena, until my mid teens. That’s when I was allowed to listen to music beyond “the oldies.” Friends and coworkers often tease me over my lack of pop cultural references.

Certainly religion played a role in my sheltered life, but I also had the understanding that everything in life is transient. A part of me has this Buddhist ideal of no attachments. For the longest time I had no favorites. In fact, it’s STILL hard for me to name a favorite anything! People are dumbfounded when I respond “I don’t have a favorite [insert item here].” I just don’t.

I can’t say that everything happens for a reason, but I’m not entirely sure. I can’t say either way. As I get older, it’s interesting to look back and just appreciate things for what they were. No anger. No hate. No regret. It’s amazing how much happier I am when I just let things go. The self-discovery is more entertaining than anything–it’s certainly book fodder.

A song comes to mind from a local Seattle band, “Tracks of the Green Line” by Deep Sea Diver. 

“This is your harmony… how could it get better?”

For now, life is one big exhale.

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