I was talking to someone recently who encouraged me to put my wishes out into the universe. A sort of "ask and you shall receive" without the religious overtones. In response, I said:
My wishes to the universe are these:
1. to find "home"
2. to stop putting the cart before the horse.
3. to find something for me. Just me.
We talked about these more, and I felt the need to expand on a couple of them a bit. I have written about the theme of finding home elsewhere (e.g., All the lives I'm not living), because searching for "home" has been a long-running theme in my life. For as long as I can remember, I've never quite felt like I was where I belonged. This was true in WV as far back as at least age 13. It was true the years I lived and went to school in Richmond, VA even though I consider that to be the place I sort of mentally grew up and came into myself. It is true here in San Francisco even though I have better friends than I've ever had in my life and, by all external benchmarks, am relatively "settled."
In the sense that I mean it, "home" is much more of an internal psychological state than a geographic location. I still don't know where to find it, though.
I was on a plane back from Poland a little over a year ago, and I was scrolling down through my in-flight movie choices. I elected to watch "Finding Nemo." There's part in the movie where the dad clownfish (I can't remember his name) gets frustrated with Dorie and her memory problems, and decides he wants to continue looking for Nemo on his own. Dorie gets really upset, and stammers something along the lines of, "But you can't leave! You're my friend. I remember things better with you, and when I look at you it feels like home."
I felt like someone had just sucked the wind right out of me, and I burst into tears and put my face in my hands. My friend Alexis was sitting beside me, and the stranger on the other side of her said, "Um, is your friend okay?" Alexis nodded and said, "She just gets very emotional sometimes." I felt ridiculous bawling during this movie about little cartoon fish, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to feel at home, too.
As for putting the cart way the fuck ahead of the horse, my friend said, "Put your cart wherever you want! Fuck it. It's a horse. It'll get there eventually." I enjoyed and appreciated this comment, but it's not always so easy.
Sometimes the horse takes so long to get there that you forget where you were supposed to be going in the first place. And sometimes the horse gets lost or confused and goes in the wrong direction and you have to drag the goddamn cart yourself screaming, "I'm here! I'm over here! Come find me--please, for the love of God, come find me!" And still other times the horse changes its mind and decides, "Fuck the cart. I don't want to be weighed down by that," and you're left with a cart in the middle of some field wondering, "What can I make of this?" Then you make something. There was no horse and you had no other choice.