Take your pick – the Tom Petty original or John Mayer, which Im partial to.
Today is an obvious title, because after the last few days, thinking more than a little bit is off the agenda. I tried to switch my flight so I could take some meetings here in Turkey, but it turned into a disaster, including me having no flight back to the Middle East. It took 4+ days of calling and hours on Google voice (bless them) to finally get calmly booked on a flight for tomorrow. Now that its all settled there havene really been any downsides. I got to explore the Asian side of Istanbul, which is far more financial and residential than the European side. I got to experience traffic crossing the bridges multiple times during rush hour, and I got to spend all day doing nothing and ordering room service. Not a bad trip.
I think the best thing was the feeling of euphoria after I checked in for my flight tomorrow, which was the even that led to me knowing I didnt have a flight on Sunday. I am so outrageously happy. I have been happy this whole period of time, since it finally sunk in 2.5 weeks ago that I managed to escape Provo, school and any other weight of my former life. Traveling has allowed me to make a clean break with my former life and do all the prep work necessary for preparing for my new super-awesome life, apparently jetting around the globe, meeting really nice people, and most importantly feeling free. Free from worrying about what I look like, whens the last time I waxed my face, what do my clothes look like right now, how crazy is my hair. Free from worrying about what others think of my behavior, me staying home from church, or buying Taco Bell on a Sunday. Free from wondering what people are thinking about me. I basically know here – its shes really tall and foreign. And Im ok with that – cause I sooooo am. It wasnt the most comfortable feeling in the world, but at least its honest and transparent and obvious. Not all the insidious things I wonder if people are thinking about me in Provo.
Im not saying the box I was in was anyone’s fault but my own. I wanted to be one of them, and considered them to be my people – but I wasnt. I never fit in. The nice thing about being out here is that Im not one of them, so I dont try to fit in, which makes it so much easier to actually do so! Ive made friends on the traveling road, so much faster than Ive made friends at any point in my life. I already made a friend to meet in Paris on my way back to NYC, Ive made friends with a girl in my same company in Turkey. I feel at ease and confident with myself so I am open to the world. Im still working out how to say no to hawkers and aggressives, but regular people and I are friends. Its nice not to suspect the whole world of being against you, and here when I do think it, at least there is a rational why they might, rather than all the weird reasons I didnt fit in Provo.
I just want to learn to hold on to this feeling. I could conquer NYC, my new job, anything, including getting back in shape without all the bullshit that comes with whys, and shoulds. Im really so grateful for being free. Its why I left Southern California to go to the East Coast – so that I could be free and make mistakes on my own and learn from them, without being hemmed up by someone else’s ideas of what I should do, or at least my ideas of what I thought others thought I should do. Its basically the feeling I get every time I hit Vegas and start seeing minorities again, and the band around my chest loosens and I can breathe. You are just one of the crowd, so everything is ok again, rather than the squeaky nail that gets pounded down per the Japanese saying.
It may be extreme, but Im free for the first time in my life I feel freaking free! And man does it feel sooo much better than all the weight Ive been carrying around my whole life about being me, and big curly-haired, and Black, and Hispanic and female and Mormon, and smart and whatever else I identified as different from the norm. All the things that I let define me, but now there’s just me. One whole person, who has flaws but I can own my own feelings about it. No more guilt or shame. Just me figuring it out. Much easier to do without that backpack with all the rocks I put in. Good job George Clooney. You really did know what you were talking about.