Monday, June 4, 2012

The Inevitability of Change, or My Break-Up with Caffeine

Me and my two best pals: sugar and caffeine.
When I was a kid, I loved moving. I loved getting a new bedroom, a new school, a new opportunity to be a new me. I felt much the same way about school years. Each fall promised not a return to last year's grind, but a fresh new new world. In a certain sense, I was never disappointed: the walls were undoubtedly new and the courses one notch more difficult. Then again, I was always disappointed: no matter what happened, I was always me.

Before I moved across the state, I told my mother that I was afraid I would end up living the same life, only a few hundred miles away. She told me I might be right; that seems to be the way things go. It's possible that I can link all the new changes in my life to that very conversation and my dread that my mother would be right (sorry, Mom). Maybe that's why she told me that in the first place: She knows how stubborn I am and that, when told I cannot do something, I'll probably try to do it (in which case, thanks, Mom).

Since moving, I've started getting up between six and seven (I used to drag myself out of bed around eight) so that I can make breakfast for my husband and then walk him to work (my daily walk used to be to the coffee house and back; I've cut back extremely my coffee house visits since moving here, plus this walk is longer). In the past few days, I've cut out alcohol and caffeine and cut back greatly on diet soda, which I plan to remove entirely from my diet before long. I've found myself leaving the house without makeup on occasion without feeling naked or terrified. I've barely looked at Facebook and I haven't checked my Duotrope page for days.

Of course, with all the positive change, there is bound to be some negative, too. I've been eating a lot of sweets, for one. I also haven't sat down to work on my novel since before the move, two weeks ago. I plan to break that streak today, but who knows? There are cupboards here that need reorganizing. Jobs to apply for. Bathrooms (that's right, in the plural) to clean. Plus, I've been battling caffeine headaches and afternoon fatigue and allergies and my cat's tendency to get lost in the new apartment. And I swear, time moves more quickly on this side of the state. It feels like I just got up but it's after eleven already. I've been up for five hours. Wow.

Maybe this is me growing up, experiencing time more like an adult would. Maybe things will calm down once I get my life settled, stop job hunting, and find a regular routine. Or maybe things will continue to speed up for the rest of my life, as every adult I've ever known promised it would. Maybe I've been living in Neverland and have finally moved back to the real world. Maybe without caffeine to speed me up I'm experiencing time from a slower vantage point and find it difficult to keep up. Maybe I should just give in and have a cup of coffee.

But I won't, unless it's decaf. I won't stray from my resolutions for change. I've played Peter Pan long enough. It's time to embrace my inner Wendy.

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