Tuesday, November 25, 2008

(Sort of) Wild At Heart

My friend L.K. from NC made a teasing comment today about how "wild" I've gotten over here in Ireland. I know she was (mostly) joking, but the fact is that there is a kernel of truth in what she said. There's something about having made such an earth shattering (to me) life change that makes it that much easier to try things and contemplate possibilities that would never have fit with my old self.

The pre-Ireland, pre-blogger me was caught in a rut of her own making, and she knew it. I could have stayed in my mostly comfortable, largely happy life and kept on doing the same things on and on. Eventually, my sense of being boxed in and living inside skin just a size too small may have faded away and left me, and that probably would have been ok. But, you know what? I like doing more than ok. I like finding myself chancing things that I would have pooh poohed or talked myself out of (I'm a great overintellectualizer) or just been too darn scared to imagine before. The box, the limits, I'd created for myself and talked myself into accepting was very familiar and very comfortable.

This? Isn't comfortable. Not at all. And sometimes I really feel it. I miss my townhouse, family, friends and the other great things that surrounded me in Raleigh. I find myself flashing to the most random images sometimes... being in my car driving down the highway at 74 mph (if you keep it less than 10 under the speed limit, the cops probably won't stop you); meeting up with the Friday Night Girls for Maker's Mark and random conversations about bodily functions; spending a quiet Friday night till late in Barnes & Noble with a truckload of books and something sweet from their cafe (a bookstore open till 11 pm!); long, reflective conversations with E.J.; the final moments of the Maundy Thursday church service before Easter; getting my semi-regular massage from John (best hands ever!) while Narada-ish muzak plays in the background. But, the happy truth is that I'm still glad I made the move. On the face of it, my life here is pretty normal, but just being forced out of my routine and forced to examine my assumptions and beliefs about myself has been incredibly liberating.

So yeah, pre-Ireland me would never have put her thoughts out on the web for anyone to see, hosted strangers in her house, chanced making friends online, flirted madly via text, or considered getting inked. Considering my previous comfort zone, that is pretty darn wild. But then, as I face the last few weeks before the big 4-0, I'm thrilled I took the chance to see what life could be like outside the box.


N'Drea ~ the Storyteller said...

Here's to the new you!

Change is great. I think you've grown much for the bold decisions you've taken, and made many discoveries about yourself that you probably wouldn't have learned before. Sometimes, we need to step out of our comfort zones from time to time.

Shhh, but I'll be hitting the big 4-0 too, come July next year. Already, I'm looking forward to many changes before then. In fact, I've already made some, so your post resonated strongly with me.

I'm thrilled for you. Isn't life outside the box just grand?

Sirmelja said...

Thanks for the encouragement N'Drea, and yeah, I'm loving life outside the box, as freaked out as I get sometimes.

According to Oprah, life only gets better after 40. I'm thinking she's probably onto something. At least I certainly feel grown up finally. We'll have to see if the rest of her predictions pan out :-)

N'Drea ~ the Storyteller said...

I hope so too. :)

Anonymous said...

Girlfriend, I can't wait to see you when you get to MIA so we can celebrate - we have both made some crazy changes recently. And, yes, you're right - they're so liberating. It's as if I am starting to consider possibilities that I would have ruled out as crazy before. I'm wondering why I wasn't as bold when I was younger. So, yes, Oprah and many other women are on to something. I won't see you until after your birthday (and mine) but we'll celebrate properly - with salsa and merengue :o)

Sirmelja said...

Hey girl, can't wait for our salsa, merengue, catching up marathon! See you in Miami!

Sabrina said...

WTF? You turned 40, got INK, and did not show it off at your birthday?!?! i require details. Immediately.

Sirmelja said...

Now you KNOW I would have shown you if I'd had it done already :-) No, my plan is to get it done over Christmas in Miami.