Belenen (belenen) wrote,

high-speed growth / realizing&breaking self-imposed taboos / affirming experiences / amazing concert

So, for the past few years, I've spent a good chunk of summer in high-speed growth -- when Hannah visited or when I visited Hannah. This year that wasn't to be, and I wondered what it would be like to have a summer unmarked by such a time; I still won't know, because these past few weeks have been just as high-speed. I've been running headlong and just barely pulling my feet up fast enough not to fall on my face.

There's just so much that has happened that I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'll try and put things in order and then go back and explain bits:

July 30th -- lil sis & Ash & I went out for coffee at the Daily Grind, then to the Thursday night pagan meeting and then picked up Viv and went to Taco Mac with the group.
July 31st -- dropped lil sis off at the aunt's house and went to see Funny People with B.
August 1st -- went to help Viv move for a little while, picked up lil sis, picked up Ash, and then went to coffee and the drum circle with them, and afterward we stopped at my local coffeehouse and listened to live music (they were having an open-all-night weekend!!!!! which they might start doing once a month!!!!) and I lent my drum to one of the musicians who was drumming on an empty case ;-)
2nd -- went to Sharee's birthday party with Ash and Viv and my lil sis. Viv's place to stay fell through, so Viv & lil sis & I slept at Ash's.
3rd, 4th, 5th -- in the morning I drove Viv to the bus station so ze could go downtown for treatment (ze was going to rehab -- the 5th was zir last day because they felt ze'd gotten all ze could out of it), went home for a nap, picked Viv up in the afternoon, and went to Ash's for dinner & to sleep.
3rd -- Ash got zir nipple pierced! I watched :-O
4th -- Ash, Viv, Stuart, & I went to the Clay Cafe pagan meeting
5th -- went to Tali's birthday dinner (Viv's friend, whom I'd randomly friended on facebook for being awesome) which was SO AWKWARD because I didn't really know anyone and they had that super-intimate-group vibe going on. But they were really interesting and pretty friendly so I enjoyed it anyway.
6th -- met up with eviltwin for coffee, then went shopping for a bathing suit for Viv (hot³!), swam for a few hours, talked with some awesome neighbors of Ash's and met up with them at Stevie B's for dinner after.
7th -- we got all dressed up and went out to Le Buzz, where I got drunk for the first time ever, then went to Ihop and bothered our favorite waiter.
8th -- picked up Bethany at some point, can't remember what else happened.
9th, 10th, 11th -- can't remember! everything's all blurred.
12th -- went to an open mic night with eviltwin
13th -- got my hair done! went to the thursday night pagan group with Ash and lil sis where Paul led the discussion on tarot. Afterward we went to dinner and Paul gave me a reading which was really helpful.
14th -- met up with Viv for coffee and then went to zir friend Alex's birthday get-together. Met an interesting queer Christian with whom I talked about soulforce and polyamory. Then Alex & Viv & I went to a leather bar/club (I KNOW, WHAT.) and Viv and I danced... I expected to feel really out of place, but I actually didn't, even though Viv and I were the only females there and I was dressed so casually. It had a surprisingly warm vibe.
15th -- dropped Viv off at zir parents' house, took a nap at my place, and spent the evening with Ash & lil sis, listening to a local artist play at my coffeehouse. Crappy day, emotionally.
16th -- went to justben's birthday dinner with Viv & lil sis & Ash, then to a coffeehouse (more on that later!)
17th -- went with Viv to see Bat For Lashes in concert! (more on that later!) spent the night at Ash's even though Ash was out.
18th -- lazy day with Viv, putzed around my flat together, drove zir to Atlanta.

So, first of all, I'm used to going out three or MAYBE four times a week. I'm pretty much 50/50 introvert/extrovert, and I need my alone time as much as I need my time with others. Although I don't have to actually be alone, but I have to be in my own space with no one making demands on me. Fortunately driving works like that for me, and since I've been driving ALL OVER THE PLACE I haven't gone mad, but I haven't felt quite grounded either. Today is the first day I've had mostly to myself (B did come home and talk to me for a bit) and I'm feeling really protective of my own space. I'm anxious to talk about some things in person or on the phone but I really can't bring myself to do that just yet.

Also, looking back over this, a lot of the things I've done would have absolutely TERRIFIED the me of three months ago. I'm kinda amazed at myself. I fucking DANCED IN PUBLIC (which I've done before, but not WITH someone, which is a lot scarier to me). I got drunk! I went to a leather bar! I drove in Atlanta quite a few times! I hung out with people who seem intimidatingly cool, and (mostly) wasn't intimidated (heh). I know these things are probably not scary to most people but they certainly were to me. I think there is something behind that (besides the whole recovering-from-social-anxiety thing) -- they're things that I've always thought of as stuff that the 'cool' people do (referring to social status) and I expect rejection because I'm not one of that group. And I stress myself out because I feel like I have to pretend to be something that I'm not. But I think when I'm with Viv it's easier, because ze doesn't ever pretend, ze just is, so I feel like I have permission to be my uncool self even in a 'cool' setting. I kinda hope that the day comes where I am comfortable enough to be publicly uncool all by myself. I'm not there yet but I feel like this is movement towards it, because I'm losing my fear of people-I-admire. (I've never cared about the opinion of most people, but if I admire someone a lot I get painfully self-conscious and sometimes even self-loathing if I can't tell what they think of me)

And you know, I think that I've had these taboos against doing things which I labeled as 'cool.' Some people won't leave the house without being smartly dressed and groomed because to do so would be a violation of their self-image as a person who is always put-together. I've felt that way about doing things like going to clubs/bars/parties and/or drinking because my self-image is a person who Does Not Fit in those places and also Does Not Act Stupid. And I think it's fine to avoid those things if I genuinely don't enjoy them, but to avoid them out of a taboo is limiting. And I do enjoy them, to an extent. When I got drunk, I felt stupid but I also felt expansive and connected. I can feel those things without drinking, of course, but it's interesting to feel them among others who maybe don't have another way of feeling expansive and connected. I think that was what I enjoyed most about the experience, actually -- the sort of breaking down of boundaries among strangers, which I've only felt before at Christian festivals/retreats. I hadn't imagined that there could be something transcendent about getting a little drunk and dancing with strangers, but it felt that way to me, somewhat. It was lovely to feel openness and connectedness among people whom I'd usually feel vast worlds apart from.

I really enjoyed going to coffee with justben, Nicole, a friend of theirs whose name I've forgotten, Stuart, Ash, and lil sis; not only for the company and conversation, but because the coffeeshop we went to was just INCREDIBLE. The art on the walls was SO my style, and they had a gorgeous glass converted vase with real cups for water (less waste, yay!) and all the lighting was beautiful and the coffees they made were beautifully artistic. I impulsively asked the barista if they were hiring and ze said maybe, but it would be irregular and not a lot of hours as business fluctuates. Ze asked if I had experience (which sadly I don't) and said that ze would have to consider those with experience before me, but that I look like I'd fit in well there (!!!) and asked me to leave my name and number. That was so VASTLY encouraging to me because my hair is quite a bit weirder than it was (photos soon I promise) and I was starting to get depressed thinking that I'd have to go normal to find a job. Apparently I'll just have to move to east Atlanta, oh darn :D Then when we left we stopped down the road to get gas, and when I went in to pay, someone ahead of me in line said "hey beautiful, how are you?" I grinned and said "I'm good, how are you?" and ze walked around me looking at my hair and telling me how awesome it is. And THEN after I paid and headed out, ze was reading my bumper stickers and said "I knew this was your car!" when ze saw me heading toward it. XD XD XD THAT WAS SOOOO COOL. And I decided that I LOVE that area and am gonna move near there! My sort of people live there :D

I went with Viv to see Bat For Lashes (whom I discovered only a week before the concert!). It was the most incredible show! Other Lives opened for zir and the beauty of their music almost made me cry with awe. I've never had such a profound experience with live music that was new to me, and not had as intense an experience since the last Benjamin Gate concert. Their sound is so unique! Unexpected, complex, raw but rich -- and I love that they have a cello player. Then Bat For Lashes played -- almost ALL of my favorite songs -- and that was incredible too. Ze's got a really fascinating stage presence, shamanic, really vibrant and commanding. And the things that I'd felt in zir music really came alive when I saw zir perform.

I still have a lot to write about -- developments in my relationships with Viv, lil sis, Ash, B, and eviltwin, but since that will probably be as long as what I've already written I'll break it into another post.
Tags: ace, ashe, bumper stickers, conversations with strangers, dancing, destined happenings, eviltwin, growth, identity, localtribe, music, risk-taking, viv

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