Dear Sugar, you know what’s up

From Tiny Beautiful Things:
(emphasis my own)

Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do. Don’t stay when you know you should go or go when you know you should stay. Don’t fight when you should hold steady or hold steady when you should fight … Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore … I know it’s hard to know what to do when you have a conflicting set of emotions and desires, but it’s not as hard as we pretend it is. Saying it’s hard is ultimately a justification to do whatever seems like the easiest thing to do – have the affair, stay at the horrible job, end a friendship over a slight, keep loving someone who treats you terribly. I don’t think there’s a single dumbass thing I’ve done in my adult life that I didn’t know was a dumbass thing to do while I was doing it. Even when I justified it to myself – as I did every damn time – the truest part of me knew I was doing the wrong thing. Always. As the years pass, I’m learning how to trust my gut and not do the wrong thing, but every so often I get a harsh reminder that I’ve still go work to do.

-Cheryl Strayed


to clarify yesterday’s post

I wrote a post yesterday that may have been more aptly titled, This should have been a journal entry. I was pretty candid about the emotional, er, baggage that’s been nipping at my ass, and I’m so grateful for the vote of confidence and support from friends. (Thank you. It really means the world to me.)

But, after I posted it, I started to feel like maybe I should clarify one important point.

That is …

I’m here in Spain by choice. I can leave anytime I’d like.

My friends in Portland will proffer up their couches and welcome me back. (And I absolutely plan to take them up on these offers when I do decide to come home.) My parents will give me a room rent-free and let me stay as long as I need, while I look for  new job.

To put it another way:

My problems are the problems of the privileged.

While I don’t want to diminish the emotional experience I’m having, I don’t want to exaggerate it either.

I can make my rent payments, though not as easily as before. This is a problem of privileged.

I’m well-fed, even if not eating the quinoa and sweet potato and spinach that I’d like to. This is a problem of the privileged.

I fell in love with a man. He couldn’t be faithful (though I didn’t know it at the time), and I couldn’t walk away (he used that fact to the best of his advantage). There with other incompatibilites and issues, of which I caused a fair share. But, there was no physical abuse. No children involved. No economic dependency. This is a problem of the privileged.

I’m living in a beautiful neighborhood in a beautiful city that boasts a beautiful climate, and I’m homesick. This is most definitely a problem of the privileged.

I’m educated, white, debt-free (at the moment) and have a strong safety net.

Whatever I’m going through, no matter how it rattles my confidence, no matter how it makes me question what the fuck I’m doing, it doesn’t jeopardize my health or my safety. I’m not a victim, and I certainly don’t have it bad compared to what some folks are bearing.

So, yes. Perspective might be the operative word. As well as ownership.

I’m throwing around some more clichés today!

But, really, I know I need to take ownership for where I sit right now. I have a choice in all of this, including the patterns I replicated over the last six months (or, maybe, six years? Oy.), including how I choose to deal with the challenges that Barcelona is throwing me right now.

So, thank you, thank you, for your support and love, but don’t go too easy on me, okay? :)