Missing… nothing

I had dinner with my dad tonight for the first time in quite a while, and it was just wonderful. In a way, I have missed having breakfast with him every week, and the occasional dinner these past few months. However, I have been so bizarrely and utterly fulfilled by my work that I haven’t really missed him. We have still chatted on the phone to check in, and we’ve had breakfast or lunch a few times since August, as well as plenty of texting. But that had been enough – I haven’t needed more lately. And I only just noticed that.

Perhaps, after this Thanksgiving week ends, I will be needing more time with those who love me clearly, as I very likely will be missing all of those kids and that amazingly fulfilling work teaching and being at school every weekday. I don’t miss it yet, because school isn’t in session. I think it will hurt on Monday, though, especially after a whole week off.

Dear God and Universe, please help me to transition with ease into my next role in fulfilling your will in this world through me. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Stuffed Love

Which is very unlike a stuffed shirt, by the way…  😛

Tonight, I snuggled up with several feather pillows and my extra-large white bear that was given to me by my paternal grandparents when I was probably only single-digits years old, and watched Frozen, while sitting (or lying) on my bed.  And it was delightful.  I don’t know why people let go of stuffed animals and piles of pillows in their adulthood.  Even in college, I had several stuffed animals with me at school.

The year I lived in an apartment with a friend of mine (still campus housing, but an apartment, nonetheless), we had full sized beds as part of the furnishings.  A different friend was staying the night, and, as we were getting into bed to go to sleep, she thought it was hilarious yet adorably wonderful that I had stuffed animals in my bed, their having clearly been my nighttime snuggle buddies so far that year.  She, delighted, declared it like “a jungle!”, and snapped a photo of me snuggling in with the animals.  Of course, I made total room for her in the bed, and it wasn’t crowded for us or anything.  But, when I didn’t have physical company in my bed, I preferred having stuffed company to being on my own with the sheets.

To this day, I like to feel that something is around me when I sleep.  When I get to sleep in a bed with a person, some small piece of me has to touch that person, in order for me to sleep fully at ease.  When there isn’t a person, I just like having contact with something presence-marking.  These days, that typically means a stuffed dog strewn across my thighs, and my arms casually relaxed across my rib cage, creating just enough pressure for comfort and subconscious reassurance…  Perhaps it was because I grew up with siblings always around, older than I, and so I always wanted to sleep in their beds with them…, because they were my older siblings and I loved them and looked up to them.  And then, when they weren’t around, I ended up sharing the bed with my mom or my dad, depending on in whose house I was staying that night.  (Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to stay in my dad’s bed, because of the divorce stuff, but, with my active history of terrible nightmares as a child, I voluntarily would creep down to his bedroom and sneak onto the side of the California king.  Sometimes he noticed before morning, but I made enough of a fuss about not wanting to be alone upstairs, and he was half asleep, anyway, so he let it go.  Naturally, my mom was annoyed at this, so I kind of just stopped telling her about it.  It wasn’t even an every night thing, either, but, when I needed it, I needed it, you know?  And then it was just habit and comforting, even when I didn’t need it anymore.)

By the time it really didn’t bother me so much to sleep on my own, and the nightmares had mostly subsided, my sisters moved into my dad’s house.  And, just as part of spending time together, I ended up often sleeping in the one sister’s bed, and then always sleeping in the other’s, once she moved in, too.  We always had a habit of talking after the lights were out, kind of just chatting about anything or nothing – whatever we wanted or needed that night.  It wasn’t usually for very long – maybe five or ten minutes at most – but it was always something I loved, and something I didn’t want to miss out on having by sleeping elsewhere.  There were even the occasions where we all three shared a bed together… those were really great memories for me.  I was literally surrounded by love for me.

Perhaps that’s really why I want stuffed animals in my bed, or pillows, or the touch of someone…, because that is one of the strongest memories I have of being loved and wanted and appreciated and cared for… surrounded by love as I went to sleep at night.

Ha… I’m noticing now how, even at dance events, when we occasionally have crammed three grown people into a queen sized bed, I’ve been totally okay and comfortable with it, and even delighted about it.  The physical presence represents so strongly for me the experience of love, of being loved.  I guess that all goes back to growing as a baby in the womb, huh?  We turn to the fetal position in times of extreme need for love and help… that feeling of being held all around by a safe, loving, omnipotent source of life.  So…, yeah… I’m beginning to think that stuffed animals are more than okay and acceptable – they’re actually a really good idea.  They can help to provide the comfort that we can’t seem to provide on our own, when no one else is physically – or emotionally – around us…

Yeah…

Post-a-day 2020

FaceTime

Today (March 5th) is my brother’s birthday.  He lives in Texas.  My dad called me tonight, as a sort of reminder about my brother’s birthday.  This is one thing I love about my dad’s side of the family – we all remind the family whenever it is someone’s birthday.  There are funny bits to this, of course, because it often means that whoever’s birthday it is gets a load of messages and phone calls all at the same time, followed by the thought of, ‘Hmm… I wonder what message just went out to everyone.’  For example, when it is my sister’s husband’s birthday, my sister sends a group text to the family, telling us that it is his birthday.  Within about five minutes, we have all either called or sent a birthday message to him.  There’s no way we all just happen to think of his birthday at the same time, so our ‘cover’ is just plain nonexistent – we were clearly reminded of the birthday.  But, the point is that we all care enough to wish the family member well on his/her birthday.  My dad, I think, is the one who started this sort of tradition we have.

Another aspect of the birthday tradition that my dad created is the song “Birthday” by the Beatles.  Every year, without fail, he finds some way to play the song for us on each of our birthdays.  One year, my eldest sister had an early-morning flight, and so expected to miss the song, since it was always played at home.  However, my dad surprised her with playing the song in the car on the way to the airport (at 6am).  When I was abroad, he would Skype or telephone me, making sure to play the song at the start of the call.

Today, as he was talking to me to remind me about my brother’s birthday, he checked the sound of the song with me, to make sure I could hear it well enough.  He said that he was planning to call my brother right after he got off the phone with me, and I saw that FaceTime had an option to add a call, so we went ahead and called my brother on FaceTime (I did, anyway), by clicking the “add call” button.  However, it ended up not working the way an “add call” button suggests it might work, so I improvised.

Right now, I’m sitting with my laptop on my lap, my phone on the lap of my laptop.  On my phone, I am FaceTime Video-ing with my brother.  On my laptop, I am FaceTime Audio-ing with my dad.  It is the middle of the night for me and the middle of the morning for my brother and dad.  The three of us are talking as though we’re all just hanging out together.  Right now, of course, the two of them are having a bit of their own chatting time, and I am typing.  This points to what is possibly my favorite part of this: I, in Japan, am joining two people on a phone call, who are barely an hour or two apart from one another in Texas.  I’m not even talking right now, but the whole reason they are able to talk to one another is because of me, over here in Japan.  So, it’s kind of like their conversation is taking the long way around… the Really long way.

Or something like that, anyway.  😛

 

Post-a-day 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costco

Today, sitting with a friend at Costco (yes, Japan has Costco, oddly enough), I noticed how at home I felt.  I used to go to Costco with my dad, and Sam’s with each of my parents long before that.  Now, being at Costco gives me a sense of everything being alright, and that I am loved and surrounded by those who love me (or at least am in the same town as they, and I will be with them soon enough).  So, naturally, it was odd when we walked out of the store, because the crashing cold extinguished any and all warm feelings of home and home-y-ness, returning me to my current locale…  

I’m okay here, certainly.  I do believe what my mother once commented about me, though: I am European.  She didn’t mean that I actually am European, of course, but that my style and my ways are very much in sync with those of Europe, and not with those of Asia.  I imagine that I one day will be excited by a Japanese shop or this or that, when I am off elsewhere in the world.  However, I am starting to see that the sentiment will not reflect that of when I cross a European cafe or restaurant – the former is likely to be a thought of “Well, that was a neat time,” and the latter occurs as an actual piece of me.

Post-a-day 2017