“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

It’s time to touch back to why I started blogging. 

As I have mentioned multiple times, blogging for me is a form of cheap therapy.  I had this discussion with one of my friends recently who said that she just didn’t “get” the whole blogging thing.  She didn’t understand the point.  When I told them it was just a way for me to get things off my chest, test out ideas, or just plain talk with my friends, she said, “Well, I do that every day over my kitchen table…”

Well, yeah.

I used to do that, too. 

Back when I lived close enough to my friends that they could drop by for a cup of coffee, grill some sausages and watch some movies. 

Even though I had a blog pre-Katrina (pre-K and post-K from now on, because I can’t even stand writing the name or hearing it in my head anymore), I didn’t really keep it on a particularly regular basis.  I started it originally as a kind of pregnancy-diary, but my main pregnancy side effect was extreme (and I mean extreme) fatigue, so there was an inherent problem with keeping it updated.  It was not unheard of for me to be asleep by 8 o’clock at night.

It was only post-K that I took to blogging like a duck to water.  And yes, I am sure that the feeling of displacement had a lot to do with that. 

Probably 85% of the time, I think we took the whole episode in our lives relatively well.  The remaining 15% of the time, I don’t feel okay with it AT ALL.  One of the most psychologically difficult things about the whole post-K experience, is the guilt that results from cutting yourself one bit of slack on the self-pity front.  I have talked to others about this, and I think it is a universal thing.   The whole thing was so incredibly huge that, no matter how bad off you were, no matter how much you lost, somebody else was ten times worse off than you were.   There is no feeling that you can legitimately grieve over your losses.  I tell myself that I should be allowed, but that little nagging voice in my head pipes up every time I try to have a pity-party and tells me “Quityerbitchin’ – you have a job, a house, and everyone you love survived, what’s your PROBLEM?”

I would like to say that if I found the bitch with the little voice I would kill her, but fundamentally, I realize that is the one thing that kept me going forward without wavering through the worst of the first months post-K; those numbing months spent on the road going from one city to the next when the question “what’s your zip code” asked by an unsuspecting store clerk got met with a vacant stare.

But right now, I am in 15% mode.  Right now, I am not okay with it.

Likely there are a lot of reasons why now, fourteen months later, I am getting the funk.  First of all, my new job, which is the best-paying of my career, is also the most challenging.  It is challenging in a way I have not been trained to handle.  The skill-set required is not scientific or technical, it’s administrative. Many of you know my record with tact and diplomacy.  I come by my red hair honestly.  I am in unfamiliar waters and having to learn a whole new set of rules regarding the expectations of my job.   This wasn’t a planned career change.  It’s pretty much the only option I had at the time, and I felt damned lucky that it landed in my lap.

Second, Kris is not finding work up here.  It’s not for a lack of trying, but a combination of factors is making it a problem.  Tulane paid him a salary that places him at the top of the local market for his type of work.  And the market here for his type of work is slim – there are lots of programming positions, but the pickings are more slender for user analysts.  We can survive on my salary, but it doesn’t leave a lot of room for extras.  And Kris doesn’t get a lot of adult interaction or the opportunity to make friends.  However, considering that we lost our nanny when the evacuation was permanent, we felt damned lucky at the time to be able to keep Kris home with Harry in unfamiliar territory.

Third, is that we just don’t own anything over a year old.  There is still this persistent feeling that something came along and wiped out your past and reset the clock to August 29, 2005.  The memories are there, but nothing tangible really survives that connects us to our pre-K life – the life we built together in the home we built together, with the family we built together.  We have a very nice house, but it really isn’t OUR house.  It’s a house that we decorated, and really haven’t been able to do much more than get furniture in it.  It looks both more like “us” and less like we live in it at the same time.  More of our taste, but less of our imprint.  The same goes for our clothes.  It’s a bit surreal.  But we were insured and we voluntarily chose that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trade in all of our stuff to be debt-free (aside from one mortgage and one car payment).  We considered ourselves lucky to come out of the whole affair about as financially stable, if not more so, than we went in.

But the biggest problem is the lingering feeling of social displacement.  As nice as the folks are up here, these people are not OUR people.  We are not used to having to make proactive social contact.  We are not used to “inviting” people over.  The one, single, biggest way that we “fit” with the Louisiana culture, the thing we feel the loss of most acutely, is the social “fluidity” of life in New Orleans.  People floated in and out of our house like extended family.  My refrigerator was their refrigerator.  My table was their table.  We had so many keys distributed to our house, we literally forgot who had them.  Here, the feeling of isolation is a low-level persistant ache.  But, even though we had to leave our Louisiana “family”, we considered ourselves lucky that everyone survived intact.  We also considered ourselves lucky that we ended up in a place that was not entirely unfamiliar, with at least a few phone numbers we could call in an emergency. 

Call me ungrateful.  Call me a whiner.  I do not regret my choices, but I am not sure I can take anymore luck.

November 15th, 2006 at 3:44 pm
2 Responses to “Some days are better than others”
  1. 1
    Bambi Says:

    Your strenght amazes me. I don’t know that I would have made it through everything you have been through.

    I miss y’all so much, I love you all dearly.

  2. 2
    Cinnkitty Says:

    Oddly enough, I feel like I “see” you more now than I ever did before. Thanking the Gods of technology for this. I can reach out and ping you on google chat (when neither of us are busy), I can leave a happy pic on your blog, I can comment on things that you write. While there is a sense of loss in that folks aren’t traveling through your house, they are, in essence, traveling through your LIFE via modern technology. We may not be in your guest bedroom, but we are ALWAYS in your life!

    Much love and many, many hugs!!!!