December 27, 2010

Post-Australia Stress Disorder

I realize I’ve been pretty boring lately, maybe more than boring, maybe droning, robotic (and not in the really rad, classic, dance move way).  I guess it’s taken me a while to be able to write something about leaving Australia, and my almost-disasters on the planes, and being surrounded by family I love, and missing other people I love.
Oh, Australia, where do I start with you anyway?  Because I got so attracted to the landscape, and the mismatched assortment of fauna and trees, or so attracted to the people with their wonky accents, or just attracted to the boy in college shirts, who knows really?   (I really have no idea where this sentence is going because my Uncle is talking to someone on the phone in the room next to me and I have a funny feeling he’s staring into my room while talking and trying to dissect what I’m saying.  Plus, the whole house smells like pork chops and lasagna because my Aunt couldn’t decide what she wanted to cook.  By the way, these two people, completely unrelated).  And what more can I really say about Australia, other than I miss it….without mapping out all the gory details of the missing?
I always have a word for when I’m missing that other part of the world: Saudade (singular) or saudades (plural) (pronounced or in European Portuguese, or in Brazilian Portuguese and in Galician) is a Portuguese and Galician word for a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. Here’s another if you know me, then you know that I have words for all the different facets of my life, and my favorite word on the planet is kept. See below paragraph about why that is:

I think….right now…my favorite word is “kept.” I guess that’s kind of a strange one, but let me figure out why I love it so much by trying to explain.
The definition of “kept” according to a google search is this; unbroken: (especially of promises or contracts) not violated or disregarded; “unbroken promises”; “promises kept.”
I think this word really translates to me right now because I’ve broken a few promises in the past and I’ve broken a few hearts (har-har) and I’m really making an effort (within the last month) to start keeping all my promises.
I think “kept” also can relate to keeping yourself busy, keeping yourself hygenic, keeping yourself healthy which is something I’m also trying to do these days. I’ve been eating a lot more produce (and some cupcakes too) and been really making an effort to floss, and shower daily (ya know, college isn’t the best place for showering daily…sometimes you get a little lax and now that I’ve graduated I’m trying to end that cycle).
“Kept” heat is one of my favorite, well maybe my all time favorite phrase from a line in one of my poems. I love the mental image of someone walking in the winter, maybe upset about something, their teeth clicking back and forth to warm their face, and their cheeks rosy with winter glow. Their hands are folded indian style across their chest and their feet are clacking across the pavement, spurting up water puddles with each step. But between their arms, right where their heart lies, they have kept heat.  Heat only they can feel that isn’t going into the outside world yet and they’re keeping, selfishly or not, for themselves. To warm themselves. It’s like a warming image of the soul. I don’t know, maybe I went too deep there but “kept” always makes my mind go there.
And lastly, it’s got the strangest letters forced together. Who thought of putting a k,p,t in one word. “Ke-pa-te” – you really have to use your whole mouth for that. And I love that, I love words that make you work to use them. And if I look in the mirror and say it to myself right now – it looks pretty on my lips. And a favorite word should definitely do that.

Right now I could used some “kept heat” being stuck in the snowy anti-wonderland of North Carolina.  Wonderland will forever be in Floriade, Canberra for me.  (My mom actually bought me a mini-Alice-tea-set for Christmas, which brings in everything I’ve loved about Australia.  The fact that I felt lost in a Wonderland, being surrounded by various animals-tons of breeding white-tailed rabbits-, falling in love with my own independence, falling in love with a whole land of obnoxious animal kingdom birthing and a land of people who once all came from convicts.  Oh, and not to mention I worked a few “high-teas” for the fancy-bonneted women when I worked at Adore).
Here are some photos from Carolina’s supposed “Winter Wonderland” with the family (aka our competitive side at beating the neighborhood kids in some stellar snow-man building.  He came out flaming homosexual according to my cousins).


It's like the Easter Bunny threw up all over me and came at the wrong time of year.

A happy cousin, and a pretty tree. Always good things.

I admit, I picniked the snowman, I couldn't stop myself.

Snowman creators - badass

I wish I could encompass everything a person should feel when they return from someplace they love, only to be back someplace that they once loved, but now look at completely different.  (Wow, my cat just brushed his whiskers up against my ankles and it felt like a spider and I FREAKED out a little bit).   The most I could grasp of this idea, that you’re in love with two places, for two completely different reasons, and you might just love one more than the other, even though the other has been your home since you were just five and still wore frilly socks, was learned in the bathtub this morning.
My whole family is in town, and by whole I mean, 4 cousins, an aunt and uncle (who are not related at all), my parents, and obviously my brother and his mini-clan.  And since I’ve been home, most of my friends have been really itching to see me, even though I think I did a pretty good job of keeping up with most of them via skype, but they want crazy stories, not sure I have that many, but I have pocketful. And so, I desperately needed some alone time in the bathtub this morning.  Now I admit that my mother’s bathtub hadn’t been used in so long that I slipped my naked body into a bit of rust colored water just because the urge was so strong to sink into my own dirt.  I can mark that off the list of semi-disgusting things I’ve done in my life, so we  got that over and done with.  But the key to a good bath (sometimes equal to the key of a good shower, but I would argue a bit stronger) is that you are literally washing off all the decay from that day, or that month or even that year with just one dip into the porcelain depths.  I read a bit of a book that was written by someone who has a twin soul to me (her name is Ursula, so you can already see the connection).  I lounged around, rubbed my ass against the bottom, let my knees feel the chill outside of the water, stuck my toes just above the knob that determined when the experience would be over, watched the shampoo swirls surround me and dipped under the water and closed my eyes feeling it drowned my ears (I hate that feeling, but it may be the closest feeling to that of being on a plane and feeling your hearing go in and out.  That’s almost a funny image because it’s like being in the height of air, and being in the deep of oceans and water, is almost the same for your ears.  Scary a bit, and ironic).
I think my language is getting fruitier as I go deeper into this blog, and my psyche on missing Australia, just bare with me.
Okay, so, going home from a place you love, to a place you used to love and how to do this in a very classy, non-flaky way.  (Hint: Don’t cry a lot like I did…everyday…since last Monday).
I’ve spent my entire life in North Carolina pretty much.  I’m not born and raised, but I’m definitely raised.  I went to elementary, middle and high school all in the same place, five miles from my cookie-cutter neighborhood.  I went to daycare, four miles away until I was eleven after school.  My mom works within walking distance and my father is retired.  I progressed to go to NCSU for college, a total of thirty long, hard minutes from my house and am now, back here, from Australia which is literally across the globe (I know I sat through each and every flight…four times now).  I know my favorite coffee place is New World near where my best friends, the Joyner brothers used to live.  I know that the best Mexican food is on Hillsborough Street and the only place that serves peanut butter & chocolate ice cream is there also.  I know the exact layout of Crabtree Valley Mall, and Brier Creek and I know where my friends work and I can get free food on a regular basis.  I mean, I know this town.  I took driver’s ed and almost killed a few people on the highways.  I’ve gotten speeding tickets here in the middle of the night, I’ve swam across town every morning of high school for two hours.  This is my home.  This is where my childhood bedroom still has the same bed, and where the wall color has changed probably nine times since I’ve been five.  It is currently back to pink.  Australia, was not like this.  I landed in Australia, full of tears, and only had been there for three weeks, two years before.  I knew one person, and had one relative.  I would never drive there, I would always take public transportation (and if you’ve been reading my blogs you know this was not always safe, or handy).  I worked two jobs, I learned the art of drinking tea, and I tried to sneak back plant seeds in order to create a yard like that of Australian people.  I found a beer I actually liked.  I walked to the library and the grocery store twice a week.  I ate lots of Schnitzel, and only had brownies called “American Brownies.”  This wasn’t my “home.”  If you asked me today where I lived, and if you looked at my facebook, it would still say “Canberra, Australia.”
I think the best way to say this is that you find homes in people.  If your parents move from your childhood home, and they move states, your new home isn’t in that home you grew up in, it’s where your parents live.  This isn’t a Miranda Lambert song, this is real life.  I have a home on two sides of the planet and I want to be, as of right now, in the one that I didn’t grow up in, with someone I’ve only known for 3.5 years and where I eat noodles everyday because I’m not the best cook.  Oh, and where it’s SUMMERTIME.
I’m being boring again.
I don’t want to be boring.
I can’t help being boring sometimes.
The book I’m reading was saying that no one likes to read about people with perfect lives.  (And in my final year at State, someone yelled at my fiction professor because this chick didn’t want to have a “dark side” of her story, she wanted her characters to be happy).  So, I guess my dark side is that I’m not used to Raleigh anymore.  Today in the movie theater (where I saw the third Focker movie, even though I hate watching a million terrible things happen to Ben Stiller and then he finally gets a fair chance at the end – and Along Came Polly really made me believe I was Polly reincarnated)…today in the movie theater, I saw one of the “mean girls” from my high school, I don’t want to see these people.  I don’t even want to see my neighbors.  I liked being in a place where I wasn’t seeing kids I coached in summer swimming shopping with their mother.  Or going to a restaurant and having my waiter being my ex-bestfriend’s older brother.  I have a little Emily Dickinson in me to where I like to hide in my room and read a good book and drink hot cocoa out of my large, cat-lady mug (it literally has cats all over it, I’ll post a picture) and wear my mismatched socks.   None of these things happened to me in Australia, I was allowed to spend days in bed reading thrilling novels.  I was allowed to go talk to Christina downstairs for four hours at night about her boy crushes, and my issues at work, and our silly lives.  I was allowed to ignore people (this may be key to my discovery of how I form friendships too…but that’s another therapy session.  Well maybe not, I have a few good friends, and I push everyone else away.  It’s like having a “Circle” from the Focker movies.  I have an inner circle, and if you’re not in it, you get nothin’.  That’s not healthy, nor is it friendly, nor does it create good networking skills, but it is a fact of my life and probably why I have a blog).  And probably why I thought Australia was just so perfect, because the bulls-eye part of my inner-circle was with me pretty much 24/7.  Oh, and the fact that I literally had no worries, other than quitting my job at the tea place near the end, since they thought I was working until July, oops.  That’s one planned lie…in heaven are pre-mediated lies worth more naughty points than lies that are just made-up on the spot?  These are questions no one will be able to answer.
I honestly have no idea when this blog will end because I have no idea HOW THE EFF I’M FEELING RIGHT NOW.  I guess this would be called some sort of depression (thus the title of this blog).  So, anytime you want to quit reading, feel free.  Even my best friend, Jess, couldn’t really make this one feel better, I was totally flaky and ridiculous hanging out with her and I created the most ugly black and brown painting while sitting around a house (that she was house-sitting) that was unbelievably inspiring (there was even an old-fashioned type writer, I mean WHAT is not to love there).  That and currently, Chris is explaining to me how hot & bothered I’m going to get while watching his highlights package of his football season, I do love that though, THAT is the opposite of depression, that is pure bliss.
I guess I wasn’t as ready to write about this as I thought.  Sorry for the manic-ness.  It’s my new found personality trait.
I’ll try again in like three days. Bore-bot out.

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Hi, I’m Cass

I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.

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