By the time I was 10, I’d lived in 3 states and three countries. In fact, every 3 years or so from the time I was 4 years old, I moved. Now, before I start the “how this fucked me up” portion of our show, I would like to sing praises of my charmed life. While other kids were hanging out in the burbs in places like Ohio (no offense, because like, I know offense, but seriously, name a more vanilla place), I was running around Italy. I spent Thanksgiving in Turkey and ate Chinese food in Paris and hung around with 5-star admirals and diplomats before I could drive. I don’t think these are bragging rights as much as to be called out for vast difference between my upbringing and most people’s.
There is something to be said for the level of maturity this life instills in a person at a young age. By maturity I mean, I was 15 going on 26 and that damn sure made me a pain in the ass. I think my parents refer to them as the Dark Years. Once, I was 14 in Austria on a family rafting trip and this girl and I snuck out, told our river guide we were 18, and hitch-hiked to a party in Germany. I told my parents this story for the first time just a few years ago and they just looked at me like, “You’re…impossible.” But I digress.
The other amazing benefit to this is that I can make friends in an empty room. Seriously, stick me in a place with strangers for longer than five minutes and I will leave with a best friend. One I will likely never talk to again, which I think is indicative of this whole thing, but with them feeling really really strong feelings of connection with another human nonetheless. I’m GREAT at connecting…some times even sincerely. It’s just that, that connection is likely ephemeral for me. I can’t tell you how many times a date has explained to me that they thought we had chemistry, to which I always reply, “No, I have chemistry.”
So every three years, while you guys are all hanging out with the people you went to kindergarten with, I am showing up on your scene all, “Hey. I’m new. And since I’m me, I assume you love me instantly and that my immediate integration into your lifelong situation shouldn’t be difficult for either of us.” The part we don’t probably need to mention, but should for good measure, is that I expected to do this while being a person who completely lacks empathy and refuses to budge on most everything. (In high school, popular and infamous tread a very fine line.)
Which brings us to the flip side of all the glitz and glamour of a whirlwind life of traveling, and that is that I am REALLY good at leaving. Man, my college best guy friend even had a catchphrase for me. ”I’M GOING HOME.” Said in a voice of SUCH disdain. If I don’t like a single thing, I am out. I jump ship on people, places, jobs. Funny enough, never my band. J But really. I don’t, as we discussed, like compromise much so I’m much better at being like, fuck this. That’s not very good. Or something. I keep waiting for the fight to go out of me, but no.
You know how most people have to learn to get along at some point? Because you’re going to see each other at church or around town. For me, if I just held out long enough, I’d blow that pop stand and never have to see that person again. This is called avoidance or something, yes? I don’t know what I call it (the military calls it packing out), but I know if I don’t like you or want to be around you, I call it resolutely so. The Ice Queen, along with the gangsta rapper, runs deep in this soul. Using the power of social media and scenes from Mean Girl, I literally erase people. Man, it feels so good. (It’s also a great way to make sure your TimeHop doesn’t romanticize some bullshit a year from now.) Whether it’s healthy or not I’m not sure, as I have frequently been accused of not dealing with things. Ok, cool, well, you sit there and cry and I’m gonna go get on with it. Sorry if this does not meet the National Grieving Association’s criteria for how one must process life.
People tell me all the time that my life seems crazy and stressful and that I should find stillness. That I should settle down and seek peace. Slow my roll. Do. Fucking. Yoga.
If a shark stops moving, it dies. That’s all I have to say about that.