I had a five day weekend, and four of those five days I spent looking at apartments.
I love my current apartment, but it’s just such a long commute to work and I’m tired of spending 4 hours every day in a bus or train or having to spend lots of money for a 30 minute commute. The trade-off is far too much… I barely make it home in time to teach my night classes, which means I’m usually unprepared and not a very good teacher for those students.
The thing about apartment hunting this time is that I’m in a completely different position. A year ago, yes it will be a year since I moved to Thailand on Thursday, I was kind of desperate. Well, maybe desperate isn’t the correct word. I basically had a kind of freedom that I had been missing for 5 years. I had been living in frankly terrible conditions, so the fact that I had a bed and a shower were relatively new experiences for me. I felt lucky to just have those.
Now things are different. I have time, money and expectations. I actually want space. Not a lot of space, I’m still fairly Spartan in my style, but I’m tired of hitting my head all the time. Being 195 cm tall in an Asian country is bad for my brain health, I’m sure.
I know exactly what building I want to live in, what floor plan I want and exactly how much I’m willing to spend. It’s so strange being in this position because I haven’t been this financially stable since I was in my early to mid-twenties. My late twenties and most of my thirties have been times where my choices were limited and my family intentionally kept me in poverty to prevent me from straying too far from their vision of what my life should be.
I’m not blaming them, I was the one who willingly submitted to them, but I think it’s been a difficult lesson. Learning when people that society says are supposed to have good intentions for you turn out to be the very things that are keeping you in life-destructive cycles is a process that I’ve heard sometimes doesn’t really begin until after those “loved ones” are dead.
I called my mother the other day mostly because I don’t miss her at all, and that left me feeling a little guilty. More apocalyptic racism, complaining and family drama. I’m so thankful that I don’t have that aura poisoning me any longer.
Instead I have friends. There have been times where I’ve drifted outside of my body to regard my reactions to having friends once again. My friend Haydie invited me out and I started crying at one point. It had been so long since anyone had invited me to anything that I felt overwhelmed at feeling wanted.
But even that has a flipside. Haydie has to return to his home country (which I still haven’t quite figured out yet, his accent is a little confusing to me… I’m unsure if it’s South African, Kiwi or Australian… but he’s leaving) and he invited me out for a little going away party… Now, in my head I spent years bitching to myself about how nobody invites me anywhere and now that people are inviting me, there’s this strange internal pressure to go and show my appreciation at being included.
But I was on the train talking with my friend Marc when I realized that I just wasn’t up to it. I would be bad company, I would be too tired and I would probably make people NOT want to invite me next time, so I sent a message telling them I was going to stay in and went home… after buying a gallon jug of mashed potatoes because I had a craving.
Haydie sent me a message just this morning telling me that he barely made it out, it’s a short trip and he’ll be back in three weeks so he’ll see me soon.
That would have never flown with my mother. Things like that are ammo for her. Even on our long-distance phone call, she brought up some perceived-slight I had committed in 2006… fucking really?
I’m not used to grace and forgiveness, compassion and understanding… I mean, of course those are new concepts, I was raised in the Christian church!