I realized a little over a year that I need a *thing.* More about this in a minute, including what I mean by “thing.”
When my last two relationships ended, we had some sort of closure conversation – I don’t remember whether they were in person or via email or what, but I do remember that both people said that I was “too intense.” At the time, I really had no idea what they meant, and the second time left me sort of reeling, because if two people saw it, it must be true – but I didn’t even know what it meant.
(Side note: on my second real date with Fancee, at a yoga/tea cafe place, she told me that one of the things she liked about me was my intenisty. Sold! to the lady with the curls in her hair!)
The day after I passed my level one assessments for roller derby (the first time around), I was skating outside and fell. My knee ballooned up and at the ER they determined that my bones were all in place and in the appropriate number of pieces, but that I may have torn my ACL. I was given some nice drugs and some less-nice crutches, and that was when I realized that I needed a thing.
That is, because of my obvious inability to skate around in circles and hit people, I did not know what to do with myself. At that time, roller derby wasn’t just something that I showed up for twice a week – it was something that I showed up for, but it was also something I researched, talked about, watched videos about, read blogs posts about, and organized the newsletter for.
And herein lies the “thing.”
It turns out that I need something to focus on like this. I need something to take up my time the way roller derby did. After I hurt my knee and couldn’t skate, I spent some time coaching but then I fell crazy in love with this pretty lady and we had our big adventure.
And then when that stopped being new and shiny and we needed a little bit of breathing room, we got a dog! Well, or I got a dog, and that dog has managed to be my/our thing for a good long time.
Then we settled into a routine with the Beast, and we moved in together and started sharing Beast responsibilities, and I settled into my job, and I finally had the time and ability to focus on roller derby again.
So I did go back to roller derby, tentatively at first (“fine, maybe I’ll try out, I can always quit after a week”), but then I was into it, excited about what team I might skate with, about the people I was already skating with, and emotional about ever saying goodbye to any of the people we’d been skating with up to that point.
And at some point I will stop mourning the way things turned out, I think; but in not being chosen for a team, I lost my *thing*. I keep telling myself that the last time this happened, when I fell and hurt my knee, I fell in love and things are turning out wonderfully on that front. But really, this time around, I suddenly have a lot of time and I’m not sure where to focus my energy or my interest.
I don’t know if it’s a strange thing for me to need something to focus on so intensely. That two people brought it up as a negative thing makes me think that it is unusual – but who knows? When I was a kid, any new activity warranted thorough research into everything about that activity, whether it was horseback riding, or having ferrets as pets, or poetry… I threw myself into whatever it was and sort of left everything else behind. Do you do this? How would you cope if whatever it was you were doing was taken away?
I think that my intensity can be a good thing, but it can also be a drain, and not having something to do with it is draining now. My working plan is to focus on wedding-related things, and writing about wedding-related things, and then get married, and then right around the time I’m coming down from that high should be when roller derby tryouts are… so fingers crossed for that.