I have a sticker that says “wag more bark less”. I haven’t stuck it on anything yet because it reminds me of puppies, and I like having it right next to my keyboard. My desk is filled with paperwork to file and a few bills, a couple pieces of art, foreign coins, a big collection of writing implements, stacks of handwritten notes, but the sticker is definitely the most playful thing there. I’m starting to think my friend was psychic when she sent it to me.
I’ve been stressing out too much about Life in general, and that amount of anxiety has actually gotten me pretty sick. It’s likely what explains how ill I was during my entire trip and since I’ve been back. I had no idea stress could mess with your body that seriously, but apparently, I don’t know how to not stress out and that is poisoning my quality of life. I wish I had a real puppy instead of a sticker, I managed to ignore the stress very effectively when I was back home, playing with Tommy. At some point I should return to my routine of nighttime walks, cooking my meals, etc. I need to learn to live around it and cope.
I was driving home a little while ago and noticed the the lack of pitch black night sky we have from living in the city; ours is purple with orange glows from the street lights and my image of the Los Angeles area are palm trees against that background. I was trying to figure out if that felt like home. Then I started to think back on Paris, and my image of Paris was mostly grey: grey buildings, grey rooftops, grey streets, grey skies. But what sticks out are the rooftops of Paris, all the same height, and being able to look out on a sea of rooftops from my apartment window. That was my image of Paris and so were plane trees with sun streaming through them, and their specific scent. That was never home to me. Congo is probably the only place that really feels like home when I look at it from dusty littered streets to mango trees. But I think my sense of home is when I’m doing something I’m connected to, it’s inside me. When I write, I most often feel at home, even if I’m in a dingy cybercafe with a bad connection.
Those two ideas are sort of connected. I’m looking for work and trying to listen to my heart in my applications. That process is taking me away from higher-stress work and large corporations and bringing me closer to after-school programs and smaller-scale operations. I need less barking in my life, and maybe honing in on that sense of home will help me find my wag.