jpeter: (can you still feel the butterflies)
[personal profile] jpeter
been struggling lately with getting older, 37 going on 40, 20 years out of high school and so little to show for it. this hopefully momentary existential crisis was prompted by my dad clearing house in preparation for selling it and retiring to hawaii -- he gave away to goodwill my beloved book collection and can't seem to find my boxes of juvenilia/memorabilia from high school. i don't know which is more devastating to me, the loss of a library i wanted to someday bequeath to a struggling youngun searching for meaning as i once did, or the loss of the few fragments of a very itinerant, troubled youth -- old photos, letters i wrote that i never sent, my old high school yearbook, my varsity letter and pins, poems friends wrote for me. i feel very unmoored at the moment, lost in life, unsure of how i got to this point, missing old friends and old times and who we were together. it's been keeping me up at night, accompanied by this song by the goo goo dolls that i can't get out of my head.


And even though the moment passed me by
I still can't turn away
Cuz all the dreams you never thought you'd lose
Got tossed along the way
And letters that you never meant to send
Got lost or thrown away

And now we're grown up orphans
And never knew their names
We don't belong to no one
That's a shame
But you could hide beside me
Maybe for a while
And I won't tell no one your name
And I won't tell 'em your name

And scars are souvenirs you never lose
The past is never far
Did you lose yourself somewhere out there?
Did you get to be a star?
And don't it make you sad to know that life
Is more than who we are

We grew up way too fast
And now there's nothing to believe
And reruns all become our history
A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio
And I won't tell no one your name
And I won't tell 'em your name
I won't tell em' your name
Oooh, oooh, oooh
I won't tell em' your name

I think about you all the time
But I don't need the same
It's lonely where you are
Come back down
And I won't tell 'em your name

poignant yet trite, right? lately i've been feeling very much in need of being surrounded by old friends, in order to get my bearings on who and where i've been all these years. unfortunately these friends are scattered around the country at best, at worst the globe. that's what happens when you go to an international high school in bangkok for junior and senior year, and leave michigan after college. i just feel very unsettled, very vulnerable and confused, because ordinarily people draw on their past experiences and early foundations in order to world-build and trek onwards. i don't have a strong foundation. i don't have family and a history of world-making. all i have is an abusive, broken home, perpetual exile, depression/anxiety/ptsd and umpteen memories of being an outsider (moving from school to school every 2-3 years) -- constantly being uprooted all the while being trapped with a deadbeat dad and a mother with psychotic depression. the few friendships i managed to form were constantly being tested and interrupted by the ebb and flow of my violent life at home. luckily that changed somewhat in college, and i have solid relationships with my midwestern friends to this day. and thank god for the midwest rave community. don't get me wrong. in many ways i am blessed.

still, i can't help but miss the pre-rave era. the "me" before drugs and parties and wild incandescent nights that burst with a brilliance that wiped away the shadow of my upbringing. for all the power of the music scene, i miss very much more innocent times, like palling around seacon square after school with grace and ote and kat and niki, sneaking wine coolers into movie theaters, stealing smokes in empty bathroom stalls. ice skating at the rink near ramkamhaeng after school on fridays. late night scary movie marathons at tony's, nintendo parties at kathleen's. i miss fun without substances, good old fashioned wholesome fun, and laughter that wasn't so heavily mediated by social lubricants. i guess in that sense i'm a purist at heart. or have become that way as i've gotten older.

all this is just to say that i'm a little lost in life at the moment, having second thoughts about school and my public health trajectory. why not just pack up and move to thailand and teach english for a few years? but what would running away again solve? i've been running all my life, i'm a long distance runner, and it's gotten me nowhere at 37, save an academic career i long since detonated. survive but never thrive, isn't that the problem with child abuse survivors?

wish more than anything i could spend a few weeks with christos at his house in dearborn heights and just sit around a fire mulling over what's next. he's in d.c. now so that's not an option. or really, i wish i could go back to sophomore year in high school -- field studies in the chesapeake bay. or field natural history, same year, scouring a beach for fossilized whale bone with friends, knowing i'd soon be leaving to move to thailand, soaking our presence and time together up as best i could, in preparation for the unknown future.

my future is now equally unknown, a dark shadow in an otherwise empty room. i just wish i had more warmth and solace around a campfire to keep the embers in my heart burning.


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