Living multiple lives

…well, not really; it just seems that way sometimes.

I’ve always had this odd sensation that I’m living several different lives. For instance, school and home. Mysocial life existed almost exclusively outside of my own home (with a few rare exceptions) until recently, and the two almost never overlapped. I’ve had friends over a handful of times during my childhood, not because my parents didn’t allow it or because I had something to hide, but it always felt like an invasion of my personal space to have people over. It was pretty unusual even for my parents to have people over; we were just a really close knit family, I suppose, and to have “other” people over was just not done very often. It was not for lack of friends, either – I just came to them instead of them coming to me. When people did come over, it felt very strange. To me, at least.

Likewise, because my love life arose as an offshoot of my social life which was a dependent of my school life, boyfriends came over next to never, or stayed no longer than it took to get in the car and go somewhere. It was like, depending on where and with whom I was, the other was sort of a non-tangential figment of my imagination. Sort of.

When I went to Japan, I was completely isolated physically from my boyfriend and my family. I was never especially homesick (boyfriend-sick, for sure), but its like I went into ‘survival’ mode and my subconscious just accepted where I was, then and there, as “reality”.Were it not for daily e-mails and regular phone calls from home, I almost feel like I would just re-established my identity there. As though my entire life at home just didn’t exist.

Of course, it was just a strange sort of feeling, but it struck me as soon as I became aware of it. I settled into a routine, got to know people, watched relationships and drama flare up and die around me, and went through a couple of my own. That was my new reality.

I wonder if that’s just another manifestations of what I’ve started calling my “selective, adaptive apathy”. Its not that I lack any kind of emotional attachment to my home and my family, but during the short time I was there, it was really my boyfriend who kept me from completely submerging into my new life. And that’s a strange thing in and of itself – no one person has ever had that much of an immediate, emotional hold on me. If I’m honest with myself, not having him there is what made me look forward to coming home. It didn’t make me miserable or keep me from enjoying myself, but the longing was tangible.

I’ve moved around a lot during the last year, too. Almost every school quarter, in fact, I stayed with someone new. The first summer, it was with a friend of my uncle; the next 3 quarters, a friend from community college and his family; this last quarter, a friend of my mother’s. Every time, not only a new schedule with new classes and teachers, but an entirely different “home” dynamic. I still go to my “real” home a couple times a week, but  that’ s also been split up into a few days at my boyfriend’s place (and even he changed residency last summer).

I’m a creature of habit, though – I insist on eating oatmeal and yogurt every morning, and I will fight storm conditions to get to my aerobics classes and Starbucks. But. I would almost say I live in a self-contained bubble, which contains all my little routines and thoughts and defenses that I just carry with me into each new situation and adapt them as needed.

Hmm…

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