Oh, how I would love to talk about ideas…

sunrise behind clouds over the oceanSo, this trip has been interesting. I have 11 hours to go (and yes, I am counting), till I get to leave the office, get in my car, and drive to the airport. Then, I’ll have yet another bite to eat, board the plane, and fly home.

I can’t wait. I’m done here. I was supposed to have dinner with an Aspie friend, last night, but I ended up having to do a work team-building thing — going out to dinner with my coworkers, and then having ice cream afterwards. It was a good time, and I enjoyed hanging out with them. Just like I’ve enjoyed spending time with other folks, discussing work and other subjects, and everything that goes along with networking for work.

Sure, I enjoy spending time with these people, but when do I get time to decompress? All this peopling has been incredibly taxing. It’s exhausting, no matter how much I enjoy it. There’s too much to take in, too much to process, and all of it’s happening in an environment that’s inherently hostile to me and my sensibilities on a profound level. Everything around me is too too loud, too bright, too frenetic, too superficial, too political, too… everything.

And not an in-depth idea in sight, from what I can tell.

I’ve spent the last four days skimming the surface of life, and it’s about as much as I’m prepared to indulge. Everybody’s saying I should stay longer. I should spend more time. I should even move out here. They like me. I like them. We get along. There’s a fair amount of love between me and my coworkers here, and they enjoy working with me.

But it’s a one-way street, social and mentally speaking. I’m the one working overtime to fit in and adapt to their ways. I’m the one putting out the effort to blend and be a responsible individual who cultivates positive social interactions. I’m the one who’s bending over backwards (metaphorically) and putting a cramp in my back (literally) to adapt to their schedules, their food choices, their priorities, their values.

Very, very little of what goes on here and what people care about appeals to me. Living a classic American conspicuous hyper-consumer lifestyle in ways that support and further the dominant paradigm (as well as  the economy), and structuring your life around your popularity, social standing, and political connections are about as far from my main priorities, and you can get.

It’s just so vacuous… I feel like I’ve been living at an extremely high altitude for the past week, with very little oxygen, no trees, and no signs of diverse life to be found.

And nobody around me seems to notice, which worries me.

I mean, I like the people I work with. But at some point, I need to talk about more than office politics, as well as their mainstream lives. I need to discuss more than what people had for dinner the night before, or what the school schedules are. I’m out of  place, but I’m the only one who notices, because I follow other people’s leads, and I play to their strengths. It’s much easier to interact with people, when I make them the center of attention. They love it. They love to talk about their lives, their cars, their kids, their hobbies. But very, very little of it has anything to do with queer little ole me.

Which is pretty much the story of my life. Not much around me has anything to do with me or my values, my priorities, my interests. Never mind what I would have talked about, if I’d been able to go to dinner with my friend last night. We would have riffed on abstract concepts for hours. But alas… alack… All I have to show for dinner last night is a dessicated, intellectually barren experience, where I’ve worn myself out interacting with people nothing like me at all, doing things that don’t interest me… and there’s always the chance I’ve insulted someone without intending to.

Ah, well.

I get to go home today. Back to my books, back to my routine, back to my regular eating and exercise schedule. Back to my house, my partner, my queerness, my nonbinary, noncompliant ways, and the life that I’ve structured exactly the way I want it. Back to my quiet, my peace, my steady cadence. Back to my ideas. Back to a place where I can actually think, instead of being rushed and pushed and cajoled and coerced into meeting someone else’s cookie-cutter social needs, on someone else’s time, according to someone else’s idea about how things should be done.

Well, I’m sure I’ll get some insight from this trip, on down the line, but for now, I’m just really relieved to be finishing up my stay here and going home this afternoon. I’m sure I’ll be back here, sometime in the not-so-distant future, but for now, I’m looking forward to getting my life back to how I want and need it to be.

The day is starting. Let the games begin. Again. For the time being.

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8 thoughts on “Oh, how I would love to talk about ideas…

    1. VisualVox

      🙂 Thanks. Yeah, I’m actually wiped out most of the time. I’ve figured out how to go on “autopilot” and save my energy for myself. I grew up in a chaotic environment, so I got my training from an early age. It’s not my first choice, but I can make it work.

      Still, would love to not have to…

      Like

  1. I can relate to so much of this! Well done on getting through it, I really don’t know how you’ve coped without the down time to just breathe and be yourself. It would have broken me. Pleased to see it’s nearly over and that things have gone so well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      Yay! It is almost over! It’s actually getting easier, now that I only have an hour left to deal with it, but midway through the trip, I question the sanity of it all. Oh well, at least there’s an end in sight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh I can relate to this so much.

    In fact, I just said this to someone in an email last night about a small function I am invited to coming up soon: “Of course, I don’t want to go but will probably go and will probably have a fine time. The conversation is always just so much trivial drivel with saccharine politeness and smiles. They are pleasant to visit with. I just wish we could talk about interesting things. Or things I’M interested in. That’s not going to happen, though, so I will go and smile and play the game and laugh and it will be fine.”

    The part I left out is the cost. It is WORK for us to do those things and the other side doesn’t get it at all. We have to give up who we are to play along and, for me, it just reminds me of how different I am. Then I will need to retreat and recharge. Then I will avoid these types of functions for awhile until I forget why I don’t like them. Then I will go to another and say “Ah, that’s why I don’t like these things!”.

    It will be a big relief for you to get home and be yourself again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      Thank you for writing. I can totally relate. We do what we have to do, but in the end it really does cost us a lot. I suppose there is a payoff, or we wouldn’t keep doing it, we just need to take care of ourselves as well as other people.

      Like

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