All posts tagged: new expat

on control

Control is crazy-making. It’s impossible to live and let live when information, opinions, and judgements invade the screens we live by at a breathtaking pace; when we organize our time on calendars in clouds; when modern impulses conspire with gadgets, driving us to decide, allocate, schedule, confirm, reach out, touch base, and on, and on. I am victim to these same urges, even as I realize the mechanisms control me more than I care to admit. Control is a wicked illusion; it is a mindset of denial, of keeping fears–inadequacy, incompetence, chaos, confusion, imperfection, disturbances–at bay through sheer will. Control is a (highly soothing) barrier to reality, but it is ultimately futile, and exhausting. So here I am, newly without a home of my own, without a car of my own, without a smarty-pants phone. I eat the food that is fed to me; I go to the places others are going and I stay there until they leave; I use electricity when it is available and I don’t when it’s not; I bathe from a …

on moving

to move: to pass from one place or position to another.  A notedly simple, and full, description. Uprooting is a wild choice, not by definition prudent nor foolish, though it could be either and is, more likely, both. I once moved a distance of half a city block, and carried my belongings over dozens of trips in suitcase-sized loads, like the would-be runaway child that couldn’t, quite. Of the organizational challenges pursuing me, the most interminable is the issue of stuff. I’ve long been a purger; I haven’t too many things. And yet, I have too much, and must make choices. Which isn’t impossible in and of itself, except that the stuff we carry relates directly to the lives we live, and a largely-unknown life is difficult to provide for. Oh, there are sure bets: underwear enough, toothbrush and floss, sensible shoes, a bucket of insect repellant, Pepto Bismol. But I’m meant to forge ahead on a separate continent with only two suitcase-sized loads to start, and I’m intent on fulfilling that charge, so things keep falling into and …