Monday, September 02, 2013

What I learned on my mid-life vacation to Texas

I want to talk about climate change. No. Not Global Warming... although that is real and dangerous and still needs much dicussing.

No, I have moved to Oregon. Where. It's. Cooler. And I haven't slept past 6:30 a.m. yet. Not one single time. I'm exhausted and I have a terrible sinus headache. Yesterday, I got a nose bleed at bed time. Don't ask me how. It's humid here. And we spent the day at the ocean, where salt was in the air. And it was definitely NOT hot. Nor even really warm. Really.

So although I am exhausted and hurting, it's really very nice here. The climate is awesome.

Well, except maybe the political (Small p - from the word polis, meaning the people) climate. You see, when I moved to Texas, I had to learn not to be so rigid. Because, well, no one thought like me. 18 years ago there was NO curbside recycling, there were very few coffee shops, the idea of wearing no makeup to work, not shaving and letting your hair grey naturally was as foreign as kimchii. And saying you were pro gay marriage was likely to get you tarred and feathered.

So I learned to build reltaionships on commonalities, and let things roll off my back. Texas, you made me a better person, and for that, I do love you.

Oregonians, it turns out, are a self-righteous bunch who need to leave their little green shire and visit some places where people's happiness is not granted by sheer physical beauty and a comfy climate, but requires the choice to be a good, happy, productive and joyful person. You can make a life anywhere. And you can make anywhere miserable.

I am fairly sure I made several people completely miserable yesterday and ruined their entire day by failing to accede to their particular view of right and wrong. Maybe I've got a little Texan in me after all. Or, maybe I'm just a lot more sure of me after 18 years of being allowed to reinvent me in a foreign place.

Either way, I'm kinda struggling here. In Texas, I had friends with entirely organic gardens and I could go next door where the Red Neck Lesbian and her Diva wife would fix me guacamole and let me sit on the floor and cry. Riding my bike to the restaurant made me smarter than everyone else. Wearing chaco's caught people's attention. Rescuing dogs seemed noble and not self righteous.  And knowing how to buy and cook a salmon steak made me unique.

Here I'm conservative with my lack of tattoos and piercings, I lack indignation over cruelty to kelp flies, and I cannot get my head to stop pounding in my tired, tired skull.

Ah... Change.... maybe I can find enough in the junk drawer to go buy myself an organic, single source, locally roasted, fair trade cup of coffee with hemp milk and honey from backyard bees.

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