I got back from Portland on Monday morning and was back into the swing of my life a few hours later. Even after a chocolate-covered, cream-filled "cock-and-balls" donut from Voodoo, I'm still not inclined to move there, though Eben and I discussed the possibility of me substituting for him from time to time so he can travel. That would definitely be a shot in the arm. I found a coffee shop near the academy that was great for extended hanging out, and Portland definitely has many things to recommend it, including and especially my friends Jon and Alison, with whom I got to take their 9-month-old trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.
It was bittersweet to see them. Sweet because they are fantastic friends from way way back, and there's no substitute for that. Bitter because they have a lifestyle that I don't have but am thinking I would like to have. But maybe I don't want that lifestyle, because I haven't chosen it so far. But maybe I'm ready for it and am frustrated that I can't find it. I have been trying to explain what I want to selected friends, and the only/best way I can articulate it is that I don't only want to be a grappler anymore. I want to be a person and, God help me, a woman. And I don't feel like I am making the time/effort to be either of those things in any meaningful way. And I don't trust that I'd be able to express all of those facets of me if I stay here. But maybe my preoccupation with the geographic cure is just in my head. In other words, I have to work on that shit regardless of where I am. But I don't know how to work on it.
So in some ways I'm back to square one: dissatisfied with things but not sure how to fix them. So I'm also back to doing nothing. I don't know exactly what I want to be doing, so I take it literally minute by minute. I HAVE to make money, so I'm teaching my writing and qualitative methods courses online. And I HAVE to eat, so I'm fogging down some non-Paleo stuff this week before I get back on a mostly Paleo diet next week. And I HAVE to sleep--and I do as much of that as possible. Other than that, my life is a crap shoot. I'm signed up for the no-gi worlds, but am reserving the right to bail; I hemmed and hawed for literally hours before making my decision to register. I'm thinking that one way to signal to the universe that I want something different--that I want to be a PERSON--is to retire from competing. So, assuming I compete this weekend, it could be my swan song. I know I have threatened this before, and maybe I will again. We'll see. I'm on the edge of my seat as much as anybody.
I'm traveling again for the next couple weekends starting next weekend, through Thanksgiving, and that seems again to reflect my ambivalence about being here. I won't bail on any of those trips, but in my day-to-day life, I am doing what I want to and nothing more.
Eventually I hope I'll get tired of my own dejection and snap out of it. It hasn't happened yet. Usually the people around me get sick of it first, but nobody has called me on it. Maybe because I am cranky and everyone is avoiding me. Meh.