I'm back. Overall, it was a good trip. I "networked" and talked to people from across the country, attended presentations and listened attentively. This is the first time in 2 years that I have not had to deliver a paper, and for that, I was grateful. Public speaking doesn't come naturally to me. It stresses me to no end, and even if I deliver a fluent session, it still sucks all the energy out of me.
I didn't have much time to wander around town. The weather wasn't conducive for even short walks during lunch time, and it was dark by 5pm, so all I did at the end of the day was grab a quick dinner and retreated to my hotel room to watch TV.
Oh, and even though I didn't win the iPod, I won a 1Gig Flash drive AND a Polycom communicator at the conference. After 5 years of attendance, it was about time I won something!
Capital City has changed a bit over the last 3/4 years. There are new shops, brighter and flashier. They have a Borders now. But traffic is still the same. Back to back traffic jams and people everywhere on the sidewalks, clumps of people waiting at bus shelters and long lines at check out counters. I don't miss those things at all.
After 3 days, I'd had enough, and was glad to be on my way home. I think I even had a flash of homesickness. Me, homesick! To me, homesickness suggests that the person HAs a home somewhere. I'm slowly realising that perhaps I do now... What a novel idea.
My session with V on Friday went well. I felt that we really connected. I was trying to explain how I didn't know what it was I really wanted out of life, or what a life "worth living" would look like. I said, imagine you are born without taste buds, and for some reason everything that you ate tasted like potatoes,... and that's OK, because you LIKE potatoes,... but you never know what a strawberry tastes like. And because you never know what a straberry tastes like, how can you miss it? How can you crave it?
Sometimes, it's like you know something is missing, but you don't know what. I told her that most things that I think I want are things that I glean from movies, or TV, or from other people. Like what do I know about having an intimate partner? I don't. Do I want it? I don't know. I've never had it. But I know other people have it. I know other people thrive in it. I know about the concept of love, but it's hard to know what it feels like.
She asked me then, what is it that I would most like to change, if there were 3 things that at the wave of a magic wand be changed forever?
(1) That my feelings were more manageable - that they would not get so out of control, or so intense that they become unpredictable. (Example, the last time this happened, I ended up in hospital. Even though the feeling didn't come out of nowhere, it felt as though it did, and I had no idea at the time that it would escalate into what it did)
(2) That I didn't feel so insecure all the time. That I didn't have so much self doubt (leading to me feeling inferior) and insecurities. All that negative self talk would just be gone out of my head.
V said that the first 2 things were internal stuff - self esteem issues, and issues stemming from the internal system. Was there anything external?
It was hard to think of external stuff. Sometimes I like to think of myself as living in a bubble - that I am not affected by the people or things around me. I know I'm sadly mistaken, of course. Or simply stubbornly delusional about this.
(3) That I had at least a few people in my life who truly cares about me and who listened to me. I already know too many people who talk about themselves all the bloody time. Just someone, other than V, of course, who truly listens.
It'd be interesting to see how we can work on those things and see where that will lead us. According to the SMART model, those goals will have to be "Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely".