Re-Orienting My (Onely) Self November 8, 2011Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Just Saying., single and happy.
Tags: beirut is beautiful, destressing, learning to relax, post-international move
It’s been about six months since I started the process of moving, and I’m finally at the point when I feel like I can say, with relative confidence, that the worst is over. And in saying that, I don’t mean to suggest that I don’t anticipate challenges in the future. It’s just that now the challenges I face will be everyday challenges – rather than challenges unique to the biggest decision of my life. And for this fact, I’m grateful.
But what does this have to do with being Onely? Well, now that I’m finally unpacked (no thanks to the elves, who were MIA all this time), now that I’ve got a relatively predictable (though still hectic) work-life schedule, now that smelling salt in the air and seeing the Mediterranean on a daily basis seem somewhat normal – now I feel like I can reorient and return to my Onely self. Ever since I finished my PhD and started planning my life overseas, I’ve been in survival mode. I don’t know how to explain my mentality except that it’s like I’ve been on “high alert” – every day I wake up early, with a long “to do” list in front of me – and until I cross off each item, I don’t feel that I can truly relax.
So, although much of what I’ve had to do to “survive” this move has required a great deal of personal strength and independence – virtual trademarks of the Onely spirit – all in all, I haven’t really been able to enjoy my daily life. That’s not to say that I haven’t had enjoyable moments (I did get to visit Christina in DC before I left the U.S., after all!). But most of my focus for the last six months has been on managing my time and overseeing the logistics of this move. And overall, I wouldn’t call this focus a pleasant one.
This past weekend was a long weekend here in Beirut (Eid Mubarak, ya’ll!), and for the first time in a very long time, I took time out for myself: I slept in past 8am (for three days in a row!). I haven’t gone running; I skipped out on yoga; friends enjoyed two big dinners on my back patio; and I’ve begun to feel more like a normal human being.
It’s strange feeling normal again, but I think I’ll get used to it. Right now I’m at the stage where I’m slowing down from the constant state of maniacal energy I’ve been in for the last six months, and it feels a little unsettling. But as I readjust, I am slowly remembering my Onely self – that is, the self who explores the world with an open and curious mind. The self who refuses to work all hours of the day and night (which is entirely possible in academia) so she can enjoy her friends and neighbors. The self who sometimes travels alone. The self who enjoys being at home. The self who relishes the great outdoors (why haven’t I joined the hiking club yet?). The self who looks around and wonders out loud, how am I this lucky?
Fellow Onelers, have you had experiences where you’ve “forgotten” what it’s like to be Onely due to major life events or other distractions? How have you reoriented your Onely selves?
photo credit: loridelozier