I Missed My Own Birthday. Final Project. Expanded thoughts On Isolation.

As I was standing in the grocery store looking at packaged slices of cake I was thinking I could just get some candles and secretly celebrate my birthday all by myself, belated no less. I thought about celebrating not secretly but thought that would come off as passive aggressive rather than the celebratory act I'd want it to be.  I realized, standing there looking at cake slices, I have not had birthday cake that was intended for me in 30 or more years. I haven't had a wrapped birthday present addressed to me in 18 years at least -- this makes my heart sink. My family is not of the ilk to not celebrate birthdays, it's just that mine happens to be jammed up next to Christmas. I used to go to other peoples holiday parties and just pretend it was a birthday party for me and that Christmas decorations were really Qathi's Birthday Decorations. I don't know people here, so there are no holiday parties to attend. As I have said previously, I'm feeling a bit isolated here away from home and it's bumming me out.

I miss having a birthday.

... seventeen hours a day for six weeks straight, the last week included my birthday and the most intense working hours. I was at school working the night of the 16th when the clock rolled over, and back in the studio bright in the early the following morning and worked until they kicked me out of the building at 1:45am. I'm not the type to announce my birthday, nor do I have expectations that my classmates (who don't like me anyway) would say or do anything about my birthday, (other's, sure. Mine, no).   

This is definitely more about the isolation than the birthday. I don't know people here and because of my attention to school I don't have time to do the social friend making dance.  I miss Seattle, but I'm not homesick. I miss Oakland, but I'm not homesick for there either. I guess I've learned how to compartmentalize "homesick" so that I can focus on school without wearing myself down with nondirectional longings that aren't resolvable.

I've always been surrounded by people, out of my house and in my house. Here, I've got neither. I miss having conversations of any depth with people who have had life experiences. It's not that I'm uncomfortable with being alone - I'm absolutely fine with being alone, and I'm not alone, lonely is not it at all. Tony is great!  It's the sitting on the couch smokin and joking, waxing philosophical about stuff, or standing over a fire barrel shit talking with friends. I have brilliant, quirky, thoughtful, creative  friends and I miss them! I guess that is homesickness isn't it?

Two brief thoughts on where I live:
  • When I moved here I lived WAY THE FUCK OUT IN BFE a whole four miles from town - a quaint idea really, but totally true. 
  • Where I live now is not easily accessible, nor does it seem kosher to invite friends over for a chill night of bevvies and chatting. 
I knew that shipping off to school in a foreign land would produce this effect, and here I am feeling it. (I also know that being broke is a contributing factor). I have one year of unergrad left to do here in Portland, I may stay here for grad school, I may end up in another far away place for another year or two depending on the school. I must learn how to endure this. There is no going "home" on breaks to reconnect and visit, I'd have to leave my own household of two cats and a boyfriend to do that.

I'm looking forward to finishing school and moving on to a place where we can settle, where I may  reestablish my friendships. I'm needing to put my roots down and this is not the place.


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