I’ve seen more people and done more things in the last month than I have in the previous 3+ years. It has been everything I could imagine and hope for, but being so unused to such activity I find myself exhausted more often than not. And I’ve found that the busier I am during the day, the lonelier the nights become. The darkness falls heavy and thick as I am trying to fall asleep each night.
I have been in Chicago for two weeks now and on the road for a month. Every stop has been a nostalgic tour, attempting to form new memories that are essentially steeped in the past while trying to stay with the present moment without getting lost in old ones.
The last time I have had this much to do and this many friends around was in college, some 10 years ago. People went their separate ways, dispersing across the country, and I still have no idea how to make friends as an adult. Any trip is bound to result in unexpected events, and certainly a long-term one such as this should see a fair number of them, but one thing I didn’t count on was how it has affected me psychologically.
Knowing how much I live in fear on a normal basis, I figured on a general unease at rarely being in a known situation, but instead that has been more exciting than anything. What has gotten me is that I’m clearly the kind of person who needs time to digest things that have happened and have been unable to do that. I wake to busy days and fall asleep exhausted by the end of them. Times to just sit and contemplate the events of the day have been rare and far between. So far, out of 30, I’ve had one day when I didn’t have anything planned or anywhere to go. I spent most of it laying in bed, tired. I find myself feeling unstuck in time, unable to create a clear timeline in my head and find memories from long, long ago butting up against ones from a few hours prior and getting all mixed up. I often feel disconnected from everything, including the words that are coming out of my mouth and the ones I’m writing down here.
The mind seems to absorb so much stimuli that without sufficient time to process it all becomes disjointed and fuzzy, almost a sort of intoxication, but not a useful or enjoyable kind.
But anyway, this is not to say I haven’t been enjoying myself. In fact it has been wonderful, especially reconnecting with great people who I haven’t seen in much, much too long.
So on to the fun stuff. Here’s some highlights of the past 10 days: