Some weeks ago I was asking for some kind of sea change in my outlook, looking for some kind of change in my life, something to make life less stale, more inspired.
I got what I was asking.
Last week I got curious and spent a few evenings looking through the boxes of photographs I’ve taken, all of them from 1993 to the present. This encompasses several eras of my life, from the latter half of my time at OBU to my first post-college residence in Texarkana, to my time in Greensboro, to my time back in Texarkana, and then the 5 years here in Austin, so reviewing these pictures was a flood of memories. The exercise gave me a more level perspective on my current life and I drew renewed ideas as I looked at those pictures. The people, the places, the memories. The ex girlfriends.
I found the pictures of a girl whom I consider the best girlfriend I’ve ever had, the girl from North Carolina. Our relationship in ’97 was incredibly brief and bright, interrupted by my sudden but necessary move back home. Things were starting to warm up between us and then *foop* it was cut short. We kept in touch in the early part of ’98, and she spent her spring break in Texarkana visiting me for a wonderful week before she returned to North Carolina. Some bad stuff went down in her life shortly thereafter and during the following summer we lost touch.
A few months after I moved here in 2000, I was in my bedroom cleaning out my wallet of all the crap that had accumulated. Pulled cards out, slips of paper, receipts. I found her old number and froze. All I had to do was call, but the uncertainty and trepidation took over and I put the number to the side. I drummed up the courage some weeks later and called only to find that the number was dead. So I made the determination to find her; but each time I searched online and found fresh leads, I felt creepy about digging for an old flame and put the information to the side, to never act on it. And I’ve been doing that dance for 5 years.
Well, the pictures I found of her Wednesday night enboldened me. Enough. Enough of the waffling, of the creepiness, of the uncertainty. If she is with someone else, then I will know. If she is still alive, then I will know. If she still thinks of me, then I will know. So I did a new search for her, combined it with the old searches and followed those leads. I sent out emails to people who had websites that referenced her asking if they knew her and could do the contact info forwarding thing. Done. That was easy enough.
Friday morning I awoke to an email from her in my inbox. Elated, I wrote her back before I left for work and after work called the number she provided me. We talked for an hour and it was good. Gave truncated, annotated histories; tried to compress 7 years of the past into a phonecall. She’s had a rough rollercoaster ride since ’98, the troughs and peaks fiercely overshadowing my own thrillride. But there’s still so much more to catch up on, much more to explore. We’re back in touch, and it is good that we’re talking again.
So. These new developments have me rethinking my own lifestyle, about my future, about my state in life. Without going into much detail, I’m looking for a renewal in my income, in my goals, in my motivations. I’m at a heavy time and I have heavy concerns now. It’s time to put the unnecessary parts of trepidation aside and take some responsibility instead of floating along on hopes and comfort zones. I’m taking the little steps to examine the way I think, the thought processes, the emotions, trying to understand them and, finally, to control them for my own betterment, like a watered-down method of zen buddhist meditation. If I can help myself in any way to take things into my own hands, I won’t find myself irrelevant at 40 and hungry at 58.
And so there it is. There is my sea change. These are heavy, pregnant times.