Living in My Head

We are a good solid six weeks back into school. A good month and a half of getting back into routine and a good month of catching every stinking germ that goes through a school of 400 kids aged 5-11. I know our locality isn’t the only that’s been hit hard with the viruses, but it seems early for as many kids as have barfed in class or the lunchroom, sneezed on me and wiped a snotty hand on my pants or shirt as I help them.

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So last weekend, as I crawled into bed at 8:30 on Friday night, exhausted and achy, I laid my congested head down and silently apologized to all the dirty places in my home that were not going to get attention that weekend and wandered through that doorway in my mind that takes me to another place.

Many years ago, in junior high, I read The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber for the first time. I remember a distinct discomfit at how well I, a fourteen year old girl, understood this pitiful man. I was alarmed that an adult would need to escape in their head, indeed, I was looking forward to adulthood and the opportunity to live in the real world. It never occurred to me that it was a comedic short story.

Fast forward a few decades and there I sat on another Sunday evening, having spent most of the weekend living in my own head. Knowing, in part, that it was because I’d been unwell, and in part because I spend so much of my week in face to face contact with kids, teachers and bosses, and it takes a lot out of me. But as I took a hot shower, I felt my throat close, felt the tears burn as I wondered if I’d ever allow myself to live out loud again.

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Until recently, I thought it was how most people coped. I was sure everybody thought about their actions, played out every possible scenario in their heads, practiced their conversations, indulged in their fantasies, all in their own heads before acting on them. Imagine my surprise when I realized, no, most people simply do what they want, say what they want, when they want. It’s shocking!

I’ve done that twice. Two periods in my life where I let go and lived. The first was a complete disaster, a nervous breakdown, a move from the United States mainland. The second, while much more successful, showed me things about myself that disappointed me and sent me scurrying back to the safety behind my eyes. And here I stand, a step inside the shadows, biding my time, knowing the moment is almost here that I step back out of my head. Excited, nervous, trying hard to be patient, trying not think too much about how many years it has taken.

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10 thoughts on “Living in My Head

  1. This sounds promising 🙂

    I think the reason that so many people can live as they please is that they rely on those who intentionally do not. I also find that I make the same mistakes over and over again. Let’s hope this is the right time and that it sticks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always find myself saying Exactly! To your comments, like you’ve plucked my thoughts from my head and sorted them and made them legible. I wonder did you mean unintentionally? Or are we talking about people who are only comfortable in a given parameter?
    Yes, I find the same things trip me up, but this time I caught myself before I broke my leg, and collarbone and heart. This time I just skinned up my hands as I hit the dirt, so to speak. I’m a month or two away from trying to saddle that bronc again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After spending a weekend with my father, I really have it clearly in grip. I don’t think he means intentionally to harm, but intentionally or unintentionally he lives in a way that reflects his failure to consider others’ needs, sometimes even very simple ones. That’s only possible because people allow it or facilitate it. But I also think there are many people who fail to consider others, on purpose.

      I’m glad you avoided the worst of it this time. Courage!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s a delicate balance of the two world’s that’s needed. I’m pretty sure most people, even the ‘speak first, think later’ ones, wallow in the mystery of what they said and did, even it’s just to find self justification.
    Love you blog pet, always a pleasure to read. Now to the REALLY serious stuff…Pilot?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I probably live inside my head more times than I care to admit and one day I’ll need to step outside completely. But like Caty says, sometimes it’s the balance of the inner and outer that’s needed and I haven’t found it yet. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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