MOVING IS HARD: A THEME IN MY LIFE I WILL EVENTUALLY STOP GRIPING ABOUT, JUST NOT TODAY

I need to establish a theme for this blog, or it isn’t going to last long. The problem is that my life kind of lacks a theme at the moment. I’m a pretty categorical person by nature, so this is a little bit embarrassing.

I mean, yeah, “Europe” is kind of a lazy theme for a life, but it was definitely functional, and it’s really all I had to work with for the past year (I’ll probably be falling back on Finnish Exchange Student Stories to entertain near-strangers for the rest of my life) – but the issue there is that it was a transformative theme. A slow process of becoming more confident, more independent, more fluent. Not so much a series of adventures as one giant adventure broken up into little bits. All of the individual stories are stupid (“Let me tell you about the time my best friend and I got on the wrong bus and ended up stuck in the middle of the Czech countryside in the rain, with no breakfast and absinthe hangovers, with the only word in our vocabulary being ‘train station'”), and I don’t have time to tell the whole year that gave them context.

The year was a story, I guess is what it is. Or, you know, like, a subplot, or a series of subplots, within a larger story. I’ve got to get a little farther ahead in the novel before I know exactly how it fits into the pacing, is what I think I mean.

Another problem: I divide periods of my life up into places. Changes in my life tend to be characterized by physical movement across huge distances. I am a tangle of increasingly tenuous connections to three states and two countries, and my address in Germany is, technically, the most permanent one I have. This is fine, and something I hope I’m getting better at living with, but I’ve figured out that I’m not very good at coming back to places. I know who I am in each individual place I live/sometimes live/have lived; I can explain, in detail, who I became in each of those places. I know who I was in Oklahoma last year, and I know who I became in Germany, but I’m not sure how to be who I am since Germany, now that I’m back in Oklahoma. If that makes sense. I haven’t quite fit this new person into my old routine. I walk the streets in outgrown shoes.

It’s not a source of stress (for once) – but man, does it make choosing a theme for a blog difficult. I don’t have any constants in my life! How am I supposed to write in any kind of constant manner?

…Rephrase! How do I write about my life in any constant manner when the one constant in my life is reading a lot of scholarly articles on things I’m not academically qualified to discuss??

This is a thing I will have to figure out this week. Ideas I’ve played with before include Sarah’s Catholic Blog (because I have more feelings about Catholicism and my practice of it than I have ever felt comfortable discussing in public); Sarah’s Let Me Google That For You Blog (specifically to counteract ridiculously stupid regurgitated Internet political rhetoric [MITT ROMNEY NEVER KILLED ANYONE, HOLY SHIT TUMBLR]); and Sarah’s Best Thing That Happened This Week Blog (though this depends on something interesting happening to me every week, and as this week so depressingly shows, that isn’t always the case). I’m still thinking about it!

I think it will be fun, whatever I decide, to get to have a writing project divorced entirely from place, though. I need to stop putting so much store by that in general. Maybe something will happen this week to make next week’s post more… structured.

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1 Response to MOVING IS HARD: A THEME IN MY LIFE I WILL EVENTUALLY STOP GRIPING ABOUT, JUST NOT TODAY

  1. mmjordahl says:

    I hear you re: study abroad subplots the meaning of which don’t become clear until YEARS later. I know a number of people who came back from their study abroads and just fit right back into life like they’d never left, and I will never understand those people. Like, how do you not feel too BIG for all of this now? How are you not constantly plagued by the knowledge that while you are here, you are also missing in another place?

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