remember how i upset i was over the breaking of my red teapot, some months ago? my houseguests of this past weekend gave me a new one, because they are just that fabulous and loving. more importantly, they seem to think i’m pretty great, which is nice, because i honestly haven’t been feeling quite as rad as usual. it could be stress, it could be hormones, it could be any number of things… all i know is that i spent some time on sunday evening crying and asking my lover if i’m a good person. rather melodramatic, i know.
on sunday afternoon, while working at the bike shop, a longtime acquaintance came by to fix his bike. to be clear: i think this guy is lovely, and i always look forward to talking with him at parties. having said that: as we chatted, i was reminded that he is friends with a couple of my exes as well as a few other people who don’t like me (such as the partners of exes, and the exes of partners). it’s not that i didn’t know this, but rather that i’d never thought about it before, not until we were at the bike shop and these folks were being referenced throughout our conversation. it was… overwhelming, to say the least.
basically, i think i’m a good person: i mostly live up to my core values, and i try not to be a hypocrite. i don’t expect everyone to like me. also, i know that relationships (and specifically, the end of relationships, as well as the start of new relationships) are complicated beasts that aren’t always easy or comprehensible. still, it’s hard, especially in a town like this: small enough to be incestuous, large enough to feel alienating. we inevitably end up dating each other’s roommates, exes, and roommates’ exes. cold shoulders freeze, and it’s not as easily ignored as it would be in a bigger city, nor as likely to be forgiven nor overcome as it would be in a smaller community.
my life used to be so much more public. even a year ago, i was more invested in socializing than i am these days. now i’m just not that interested in seeing and being seen. it doesn’t feel important anymore. i still enjoy my volunteer commitments, and i love my friends, but i don’t crave to know *everyone* like i did in the past. maybe it’s cuz i’m getting older, or maybe it’s because of the changes of the past 12 months. even though i’m happier and more satisfied and excited about the future, i still feel… worn out, and more than a little bit sensitive about my place in social networks.
so it’s a balm on my angsty soul, to be given a gift that is a replacement for one that i broke and mourned while depressed this past autumn. the first red teapot was a much-loved object that i bought for myself when i moved into my last apartment, the first home in which i’d lived alone. for a couple days, it was just me and the teapot, because i’d broken all my bowls and everything else was in storage. at that time, i felt strong and giddy and out of control but very optimistic. i’m hoping i can recapture some of that energy now, with this gift reminding me of friendship and community and stories and adventures: it’s a risk to place so much importance on an inanimate object, especially given my habit of dropping anything ceramic, but i don’t care because i’m so thrilled by it.
[photo: dear em and mimi, thank you.]