The hardest part to a move -- other than the revelation that we are severely attached to useless material possessions, and tons of them -- is reestablishing a Rhythm of a Routine. For the last three weeks I've been distracted by setting up and getting settled, decorating and getting reacquainted with the area. But now, I'm feeling a little limboesqe wondering, How did I used to spend my days?
This move has been a complete uprootment from a Grand Facade and a plopping back to Home. But I haven't lived in SM as a smarter, more stable grown up. I lived here as a broke and lost kid and teen. I find myself thinking a lot, What should I do now? So much to do. Should I do this particular thing regularly . . . Establishing the new routine makes me feel a little spun. Even regarding myself in the new mirrors -- this apartment for some reason has a lot of mirrors -- makes me wonder, Have I always looked this way? How should I dress now? What exactly IS my style? It's the oddest of identity crisises. I feel so close to becoming Me. But I feel caught in the last part of the maze, like I'm only one rung away from the labyrinth's exit.
I have clawed away at facades for years. I've built up new ones, and stripped those down too. Or left partial up. It's all part of a personal evolution. And this move has been the most drastic self evaluation I've done in years. Who am I, again? I'm close to knowing, I think.
I am a girl that thrives in routine. Often I think abstractly, but a routine is my life line, the grounding, so I don't go so far out that I can't come back. The fact that no routine is set yet makes me nervous, makes me a little lost in my mind, but I'm also excited at the prospect of a clean slate. I get to schedule in things that seemed impossible to squeeze into my old schedule. Things that are an important part of who I am. Things that may seem impractical in a well-flowing and productive routine. But I'll sneak them in, set them in stone, and then no one can touch them. Not even me.
I walked to the farmer's market yesterday morning. It was a good walk, a couple miles I think. I had my canvas bag and a straw hat. I passed a ton of people because my immediate neighborhood is proudly pedestrian. I have reestablished a habit that I didn't do as much in The OC years; I smell everyone that walks by me. I breathe in the waft that remains as we pass each other and I spend the next two minutes telling myself stories on how they live, who they are. I think I remember Marigoldie listing this habit as one of the one hundred things about her too. When I smell someone and the initial impression reveals itself, I then wonder if Marigoldie would come to the same conclusions as I did about the person. I laugh sometimes, like she and I are having a conversation.
At the farmer's market, I bought vegan bread still warm from baking and lemons, tangelos, avocados, romaine & butter lettuce. I bought Japanese spinach and strawberries and black plums. I saw a homeless guy that I used to see when I was in junior high. He looked exactly the same. I think, in my mind, I had named him Jocelyn way back when because he used to hang around the Jocelyn Building. He allegedly stole this kid Carter Armstrong's backpack once too, but I found that hard to believe. You never know though. Jocelyn was wily and erratic, much more energetic than some of the other homeless people in the area. I almost went up to him to say hello, but he was involved in a conversation with someone I couldn't see; he was wagging his finger and tapping his foot to a personal rhythm. I said Hi from afar. A few months ago, I saw another homeless guy that I used to see frequently when I was a kid. We called him Bird Man because he used to ride this rusted beach cruiser with high, chopper handlebars and he would caw like a loud raven. "CAW! CAW! CAW!" Back in the day, Betsy and I would yell, "Bird Man!" And he'd say, "CAW!" When Husband and I were first driving around SM, when the call to move back was just beckoning, I saw Bird Man. I couldn't believe it. He was still riding the same bike, or one very similar. I rolled down my window and yelled, "Bird Man!" He looked around startled like maybe he hadn't been called that in years. When we were about a block away, I heard a faint, "Caw."
At the last booth of the farmer's market, I bought a bunch of white roses that had small and tightly wound buds. They were so lovely, but when the flower guy wrapped the bunch in a sheet of newspaper, the contrast of everyday and elegant set my heart soaring. There was nothing more beautiful to me than a big canvas bag of produce and newspaper-bound roses tucked under my arm. I walked home in a thousand-degree weather almost embarrassed by my giddiness that I wanted to shout, again, to you guys and maybe to a couple of the people that I smelled walking along the way. The Saturday Morning Farmer's Market Trip will certainly be the first activity that I etch in stone for my new and improved Routine.