Stranger in a Strange Land
Friday, August 07, 2009
This morning I was reviewing a few of the blogs I've posted and noticed that when I write I always write "to" an audience; I'm just not able to journal in a self directed way. I became worried about what this says about my state of mind as I'm writing "for" myself. In the end I'm the audience that's most inspired and invested in my blogs.... Do I see myself as Other as well as Self? Oh dear, it gets a little convoluted in here sometimes. As I'm one to really mull these sorts of questions over; I spent the better part of my afternoon thinking about why I do this.
I was hauling mulch - yes, AGAIN, but today's the final day. The Mighty Mulch Monster has been defeated! Note to self, 4 cubic yards - TOO MUCH! Next year only 2!
As I shoveled, hefted and hauled for the better part of an hour, I started thinking that I might have a slightly disparate writing style because I equally value dissimilar experiences. Case in point: I left what many people think is the ideal geographic location to move to a sleepy town in central PA. I did it for specific reasons and chose this area intentionally; I didn't just end up here through circumstance is what I mean. Many times I get a "But, why???" coupled by a confused expression.
I really enjoyed the overall culture in terms of food, music and politics of the San Francisco Bay area. My experience is that there was a much greater acceptance of an individuals' personal choices in SF than there is in my corner of PA and that's a BIG deal to me. I don't subscribe to any particular belief system. SF? Totally cool. And in PA? Not so much. Because of the nature of my job it isn't wise for me to enhance my appearance and I don't wear makeup to work. I flat-out refuse to dress up to go to a dive bar - whoah - MAJOR social faux pas here... Yes I actually wore flip flops, jeans, and a tank top to a hole in the wall bar (my favorite kind!) and I got the stink eye from the other women... I broke the unspoken but well known rule - you aren't allowed to make other members of the sisterhood look overdone...I get the OMG! face when most women see my back - its pretty heavily tattooed (and not with typically feminine artwork). Oh and let me not forget you can't buy alcohol in the grocery stores! And yet I LOVE IT HERE! I value the less frantic pace of life, the simplistic outlook that many share (whether I agree with it or not) the historical architecture, etc
Fundamentally: SF is to PA as the sun is to the moon - they share a solar system but that's about the summation of their similarities. I can be a person who accords equal importance to both, despite the lack of logical relation in their best characteristics.
In the end I've decided I'm okay with being Other and Self all at the same time. It's ok that I wrote to "you" and me at the same time. Sometimes I'm you, sometimes I'm me and on occasion I'm even "one of them" I can navigate my issues better when I can see them from a couple of perspectives. Mostly...