Oh, home. How I love the feeling of being home.
One James Bond martini, one episode of “Bones”, and half a movie later, I almost feel relaxed. It’s good to be home. I am home at my dad’s place, and I’m beginning to feel human again. I have the freedom to relax and lounge or sleep when I feel like it, I have the freedom to exercise on the floor, and I feel almost satisfied with that alone. I just want sleep and the option to exercise when I choose. Of course, the freedom to eat junk food when I feel like it is also nice. When I looked into the mirror today, I saw something familiar– I saw abs definition beginning to form! It feels good to be moving back towards the old “me” for a change. The me who knew sleep and exercise and day-dreaming. I went to work today, which also felt like a form of “home”.
I love the place where I work. As soon as I walked in the door, the same old familiar smell greeted me. It was the smell of botanical herbs layered on top of fresh baked bread, melted beeswax, and cooking eggs. Oh, how I love the smell of that place. Every summer, something happens there to make me swear that I will never return– but every once in a while, I offer help for Christmas, just for a change. There’s something magical about the place during the winter. The store stays quiet, and I watch snow out the window. I have plenty to keep me busy. Salves and teas and supplements need to be made, and I am more than happy to stay on task. As long as I show up caffeinated, healthy, and in a good mood (supported with good music or Wyoming NPR radio), I can accomplish whatever needs to be done around the store in half the time.
I guess I feel like working there is one of the few constants that I can claim in my life right now. I can’t claim that I have an apartment of my own. I can’t claim that I have any idea where I will be living in January. I can’t claim that I even have a bedroom at my mom’s place. The one thing I can claim is that I know what I am doing when I am at work in the botanical lab. I feel at home there. If a tincture, a blend, a salve, or a tea has to be made, I feel confident that I can accurately produce it, and the familiar smells of the herbs let me know that I have somewhere I belong.
How often does it really happen where I know a place hasn’t changed much in 5 years? My mom moves about every 2 years, on average. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The point is, I love her dearly, and I love my father as well– but things change so rapidly that I can’t keep up. The only place I really can go back to is my job, where I can move swiftly and gracefully around the botanical lab. Honestly, every day is different. I can never get bored there. New people are always showing up to drive me crazy, to befriend me, to show me that life doesn’t consist of a single type of person. I learn new things every day. I am humbled, knowing that I can’t possibly know everything. The job is about learning how to deal with new things, new details. I have to deal with special customers, do research on the spot to answer questions efficiently, and help the customers walk away confident knowing that someone is genuinely trying to solve their problem with them. That in itself gives me sustenance knowing that I can make some sort of change, or put one mind at ease at a time.
I guess all of this recent drama nad not sleeping in a real bed for a month has changed my point of view. I am more grateful for things that I haven’t had. I am more careful, more clean, and more aware of my surroundings. It has brought me to a sort of clarity.
I guess the clarity has helped me realize that people in the studio aren’t actually my friends. Yes, I can be friendly with them, but no, I should’t lose any control around them– because they are either my competition, or they are disposable. They don’t personally care about me. Yes, I have made one or two close friends through the studio. That doesn’t mean that I should consider everyone in the studio my friend. Successful people have enemies, and I have to accept that.
I did fairly well at the Holiday sale this year, even though I didn’t bring in the most cash. It made me feel uncomfortable. I shouldn’t feel uncomfortable for being successful, but in the studio, there has been growing tension despite any financial advances. I guess the fact that I brought in over $1100.00 this semester doesn’t help social matters much.
I feel like I have maybe a friend and a half in the studio this semester, and the half-relationship is fragile. Maybe it would have been easier to simply declare a drawing/painting major, since that’s what I excel at. I guess I just wanted to make it harder on myself by actually learning more and not settling for what I already know.
Ceramics is a challenge for me. I know that. I guess it just got more competitive since I realized that I don’t have many friends in the studio. The thing is, I know that I am learning, and it feels good to progress in something that used to seem so difficult to conquer. I used to be terrified of learning how to fire a kiln on my own. Now it seems like a chore that just takes extra time out of my week. It doesn’t really seem like a big deal anymore. It’s almost invigorating, when I take the time. Someday, I will have a permanent place of my own– permanent enough that I can at least invest in a couple of kilns, some glaze materials, clay materials, and some sort of ventilation system. I just need a place that will give me permission to set up a studio. I have been saving up to either go to Australia to study abroad, or to buy my very own Cone 10 Gas Fire Kiln to keep in my place… an electric kiln should be easier to come by. I could probably find one online for under a grand. I would prefer a Lockerbie kick-wheel… but the chances of being able to afford all 3 at once is a total fantasy. Plus, the main issue of finding a space… that could be tricky. It would have to be somewhere conceivably permanent, so it would have to be after residencies/grad school, and it could NOT be at either of my parents’ house, so it would inevitably mean that I have to get my own legitimate place before I can set up seriously and invest in 2 kilns and a wheel. I guess it will be a while off from now.