Starting Over

February 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mom says we’re loners. We’re just picky about who we like and are fine being on our own, appreciative and protective of our alone time.

I can see where she’s coming from. Our family has never had a superfluous number of friends, always just a select few who are often hundreds of miles away since we all move so often. I like having friends but I can acknowledge that I’m super picky about people, liking less than 10% of everyone I meet (as in liking them enough to be good friends), and most people don’t seem like me very much. My sharp edges have softened over the years in my opinion, but when do we ever accurately see ourselves? I have good family, though, and really friends are just an added bonus.

I’ve decided to give up on the friends group I had in Birmingham that imploded when I moved back from Dallas. It’s so painful to think about because when I left for Texas, I was so happy. I had a large (for me, anyway), solid friends group and everyone seemed to be getting along so well. Everyone seemed really happy while I was in Texas and the friends group grew. Then I moved back and everything crashed and burned so now the friends group is fractured with multiple canyons between people.

I feel like it’s my fault, that everyone would have been better off had I not come back. People would still be talking, laughing, spending quality time with one another. Now everyone is split apart and upset because I moved back to Birmingham and threw a major wrench in the group dynamics. They would have been happier had I not come back, but now the damage is done so there’s no point in focusing on the guilt and regret I feel about the situation. The damage is done.

Instead of trying to pick up all the shattered little pieces to try to reassemble them into some sloppy approximation of the shape they used to form, I feel like it will be better to simply leave the pieces where they fell rather than glue them back together. They will just be prone to break again once those cracks have been made. No amount of glue will fix that.

So I’m letting go, burning bridges, starting over.

I’ve started applying to jobs out-of-state, close enough to still be a short drive from my family which is the reason I moved back in the first place but far enough away from the epicenter of disaster to start fresh, feel new.

Am I running away? I guess so. Depends on how you look at it, I suppose. I just hate that gripping anxiety you feel walking around knowing that you could run into so-and-so with all the awkwardness and discomfort of two people with a messy history connected only by the smoldering ashes of the bridge between them. I like the anonymity of new places, the sense of freedom mixed with a feeling of isolation. Everything has potential in new places whereas staying put, staying in Birmingham, means that I have to continually confront my past which makes it hard to focus on my future.

It’s too bad, too, because I’m in love with my apartment in Birmingham. Perfect location, perfect size, perfect type. So rare for me to use the word perfect in reference to anything in my life, but I really do love that apartment.

If I get offered a job in Birmingham, I’ll stay, but I’m going to try my damnedest to brainwash myself into treating the city as a new place, to see potential in everything rather than continually feeling the pangs of my past. New people, new friends, new possibilities, new Alexa. Well, not new, because I’ll always be who I am and to the disappointment of many I can’t change who I am. But I’d like to be better, more active especially as far as fitness and volunteering go.

But until I get a job interview, I’m staying put down here at the beach. Having the company of my parents and cousin has been unexpectedly wonderful. They’re great folk and the best anyone could ask for. I’m going a little crazy with lack of things to do so I’ve put in an application for volunteering at the local museum (which is an interesting space but they need a lot of help) and I’ve got a lead on a temp job which would be awesome. I really need the money. And lord do I need to do something with myself. Sitting around isn’t something I do well for an extended, open-ended period of time. Unemployment really doesn’t suit me. I could always get a job at a restaurant, I guess, but I’m really not feeling THAT desperate yet. We’ll see how I feel in another week (when rent is due…).

So for now I’m just trying to hold steady, trying not to dwell on who and what I’ve lost. A tall order, absolutely, but with enough grinding of my teeth, I’m pushing through it. Always try to look forward, envision an open road, rather than looking back at the people you’ve had to leave behind. Rehashing the best days and the last days, reliving each fight and each moment of happiness, trying to pick apart what happened and make a definitive decision if you’re okay with how things are now isn’t productive, it just twists the knife. Clench your jaw and push forward even if it feels like you’re trying to drag a tank up to Machu Picchu. Drag yourself by your nails inch by inch until either you rip all your nails out and have to stop or you successfully make it to the top of the hill and can gently roll down the other side.

This is always going to be the hardest part.

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