Unpacking, and not.

I’m back in the Rose City, the Pearl of the Willamette, the Pride of Oregon, the…well, you get the idea. I’m back in the land of flowers and oxygen, where vegetables don’t need to be convinced to grow and water literally falls out of the sky.

I’ve unpacked my suitcase. I still need to wrench my Chase Element, that absolute peach of a bike, back together (she travels in a golf bag because airlines charge extra for bikes, but not golf clubs. The bag even says “DK Golf” on the side, which is intended to be tongue-in-cheek because anyone who knows anything about BMX knows that DK is a bike brand. I found it humorous). But otherwise I’m fully unpacked and ready to do laundry during work hours tomorrow.

On a less obvious note, I’ve also tried to start unpacking my feelings. This is harder. I’ve written a bit about it already, two or three private and public posts, but I can’t get anywhere with it yet. All I can do at this juncture are state facts. I can’t really delve into the feelings that came out of this weekend yet. It’s too fresh.

There are a lot of facts. I’m still going through them. Here are a few:

1. It was very easy to slip back into my Albuquerque existence.

2. It was very easy to slip back into my known role with M, like a needle slipping back into a well-worn record groove. That feels at once safe and dangerous.

3. M and I are really good at some things together. BMX is one. Traveling is another. It felt very good to ride bikes with him all week and to be at the track together. It was a 180-degree change from the national I went to in Phoenix. See my post “Bereft and Befriended” if you’re remotely interested in the agony and heartbreak I experienced during that trip.

4. I felt loved and cared for in the bosom of my Duke City BMX family, who fed me watermelon and fajitas, Oreos and strawberries, and who cheered for me along the sidelines. I heard you, my friends. I heard every “Go Christina”, and it set my legs on fire. I tried harder because of you. I know that Albuquerque is the only place I would hear those words right now, and I love you guys so much.

5. I don’t know where I’ve left it with M. I mean, I sort of do. We might make some future plans. We might not.

6. I get angry when I have to think about this past week too much. The anger stems from my inability to cope with it at this point. I need to take a deep breath when I feel that way, and just let it be for now.

I do some of my best thinking in two places: while I’m running, and when I’m in the shower. Today I did both. An 8-mile run along the Portland river esplanades and Springwater Corridor was a catalyst for introspection and understanding, and I had a few more bright ideas in the shower tonight.

A couple of things occurred to me that I feel need further exploration in future, maybe in conjunction with my therapist. First: I need to understand how my childhood and upbringing affect my relationships. Second: I need to accomplish what I set out to do when I moved here, which is to learn how to be alone, to be self-sufficient, to be self-aware and to learn how to self-parent.

I think those two things are connected. I think that the success and failure of my relationships hinges on my nasty, harsh childhood that was full of fear and desperate people-pleasing. I also think that my inability to self-parent comes from having miserable role models, and that my lack of self-sufficiency further fuels relationship disintegration.

Beyond that, I just, just want to leave this past week be for the moment. I want it to simply exist for now. I want to swim in the joy and comfort and safety of it all. I want to remember all the laughs and the kindnesses and the cheering and the hugs. I want to remember my best friend and me wrapped in the comfort we felt together. I’m going to stop trying to analyze it all for a bit. I’m going to let myself have this for now. I just want the positive vibrations to oscillate until they peter out. Then, then I’ll think about the rest. ❤

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