I absolutely hate going to restaurants with oversized jumbotron menus. The kind of menu that is more like a novella, with pages and pages of options, things I love on each page mixed in with things I’ve never tried. I’m always overwhelmed at the thought of having to choose between all my favorite things, and all the things I’ve never had that could be my favorite things in the future. Usually, completely immobilized and panicked, I pick something I eat on a daily basis, something I can cook at home like two eggs over easy with bacon and hashbrowns, or spaghetti with bolognese, heavy with the parm. Dining facilities that are devoted to a widespread variety of foods also leave me flustered. How can they offer Italian, Japanese, Chinese and hamburgers all in one place? How am I ever going to decide between any of those? Is it wrong to order one of everything just so I may have a bite of them all? I go with what I know, what I’m comfortable with, and never end up getting anything new.
Today, I got something new.
Two new things actually, among a menu of things I regularly eat and things I sometimes eat. Today, I ordered steak frites and bought Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Toffee Crunch. Today, I got a little wild. But then again, today I have 6 months sober, and that is cause for celebration. 6 months is way outside my regular menu, actually, a week is way outside my regular menu. And in experiencing these new things, the new ice cream and lunch order, I realize I’m also experiencing other new things, without even knowing what I ordered.
For instance. I notice more and more how socially awkward I am. This is a totally new thing and maybe it’s because I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable, maybe because I’m not putting up the game face, maybe because I’m not entering into situations where I’m trying to exert some illusory sense of power. Then again, maybe I’ve always been socially awkward and I was just too arrogant to realize how retarded I am.
I notice that I don’t know how to act around people if I don’t know what they want from me. Or if they even want anything. I trip over my words, find myself spacing out and then doing exercises that keep me grounded (feet are on the ground, hands grasping fork and knife, sitting at table, kind of have to pee), anything I can do to make sure I maintain some appearance of normalcy, whatever normalcy is, and in the process end up missing small things, like a word here, or a gesture there. I end up missing the crucial little things that make life so amazing, and I’m afraid I will end up missing life if I don’t figure out how to just be.
I’ve noticed it in painting. Even though it is one big picture, one massive painting with a ton of tiny brush strokes, sometimes I forget that it’s a ton of tiny brushstrokes that have made that one huge painting. When I would smoke pot I would stand in the garage all day, and only commit to one stroke. Now, I realize that once the foundation is laid, I can pay attention to the finer detail. But without that solid foundation, there is no sense in stressing over the little things, over that one stroke. With that solid foundation, it’s the little things that make the entire canvas beautiful.
I’ve started to notice when relationships are unhealthy. I had this artist friend and momentarily entertained the idea of hanging out with, but being that he was in a miserable situation (his words, not mine, relaying the fact that he had a girlfriend), and being that I cannot live a positive and healthy life if I have or participate in secrets or lies, I cut if off. Said we can talk again when he’s not attached, when he doesn’t have to sneak around to be friends with me. Soon he began texting me, a little bit too much, and would violate the boundaries I had previously established regarding communication. Now, here is what I notice. When I’m not having sex with someone (and I’ve only noticed this because I’m not having sex with anyone), this kind of bullshit is way too much drama for me. When something in my gut says that this is not a relationship that is going to be beneficial in terms of sobriety, or even sanity, there is no physical connection that has established an “emotional” connection to tell me stick around. In fact, it is easier to call out when I don’t feel good because I’m starting to identify when I don’t feel good. And that is huge. Before all I knew was that I felt like throwing up. Perhaps this is what they mean by progress.
And the biggest thing? I’m going to be brutally honest, and please don’t laugh, but here goes. There is so much pride attached to driving my stupid car that my ego has interfered with logic for over 4 months now. This insanity must stop.
Previously, I had discussed options for getting rid of the car. One: Swapalease. (no go.) Two: Carmax (they won’t take it because the buyout is insane.) Three: Find random porngirl to take over payments so I just swap it out myself (Not gonna happen.) Four: Voluntary repo. The voluntary repo had been a good idea until I looked into it thoroughly. I decided against doing it NOT because my credit score would suffer~I’ve already decided I’m going to keep my lease in Hollywood for awhile so no worries there. NOT because I didn’t want to drive around in another car~ Contemplated getting a vespa…side car for saucy with a helmet and goggles. It was because there is a slight chance Mercedes will come after me for the difference in the payments I owe and what they can sell it for at auction, which would be around 15k. So they might come after me for 10k, and I kept telling myself who wants to have 10k hanging over their heads?
Am I fucking insane? Right now, I have 25k left in payments hanging over my head and then I have to give the car back anyway in two and a half years! Right now, I have to worry about gas for the next two and a half, services, tires, all the bullshit that goes along with driving a nice car, and I’m worried about 10K??? It’s not like they are going to come after it all at once. I’m sure I set up a payment plan, and start the long and arduous process of paying off my terribly hasty decision in whatever monthly increment I can afford. 25K? Time to get serious about dropping the ego, letting go of the pride I associate with being able to “handle” the payments, and give the fucking thing up. I don’t mind the bus. It gets you there on time and then I can read more books, something I never get to do driving around my egomobile.
So today was full of decisions. How to react. How to look at things. What is a healthy relationship, and how do new friends progress into such. Can I really let go. And some of these decisions are life’s lessons, being revealed to me moment by moment. But some are just common sense.