Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Butterfly Builds A Cocoon

Allow me to take a moment to point out something obvious: I have changed a lot since I moved to Tucson two years ago.

I like to think that the changes that have occurred are good ones, that I've matured, become more confident, and generally healthier.

This month, some doubt was cast on those thoughts.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with my friend Kerry Ann, who I haven't seen since I left Rochester. Kerry Ann is great fun: outgoing, carefree, and loves to dance. When we hung out in Rochester, we spent time at The Bug Jar, waving our arms like crazy to indie dance music. We stayed up late, and dressed up for a 70s themed going away party. In some ways, I feel like the carefree person I was at the time was epitomized during the times I spent with Kerry Ann right before I left for Tucson.

When I found out that she would be spending about a month in Phoenix and wanted to visit me, I was excited. I was looking forward to showing Kerry Ann around, being spontaneous, and most of all, dancing.

I let myself down.

I went to bed early. I spent a lot of time fighting off a strong desire to stay home and be alone. When we went hiking, Kerry Ann explored the view from atop the strange silo while I stayed down and to the side for fear that someone would emerge to yell at us.

On another day that we went hiking, Kerry Ann wanted to continue up the mountain until the very last moment before it got dark. I kept checking my watch and comparing the time to the level of the sun in the sky, anxious that we might get caught in the desert at dusk.

Finally, on Kerry Ann's last night in Tucson, we went dancing. I dressed up, I drank, I danced. But after only an hour I began to get tired and frustrated with the crowd. By the time we were ready to leave I was full blown grumpy.

I am disappointed and a little sad. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time. But the time I spent with Kerry Ann in Tucson drew attention to how much I've changed since I felt a surge of courage and moved across the country two years ago. I often found myself explaining, "I'm a lot different than I used to be" while feeling apologetic and confused. 

I know I've wrestled long and hard with my problems over the last two years and this fight is probably what has made me so anxious and withdrawn. But I was also under the impression that I was healing and that I still knew how to have fun. I guess I still have a long way to go.

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