Counteracting Comfort

It took less than 12 hours for all of the self-inflicted holes in my face to tightly slam shut like the legs of a teenaged catholic girl before she hits puberty and discovers a way to gain love and acceptance. (Erm. Project much? Sorry if I offended anyone. I could’ve just as easily said Mormon girl because… well, you know, I’m Kate, nice to meet you.) 

Allsaid, I spent about $100 to get all poked and paid for – no pun intended given the previous remark – and the job for which I pulled them out earned me about as much. And since I ain’t spending any of my hustle-money to do it all again? Guess I’m pierceless for a while. 

Going from a bartending gig at a Cheers-esque establishment where it was unusual to see an unknown patron on any given day, to working as a banquet server where I know absolutely no one, is what I call an adjustment. While I used to wear what I wanted – usually t-shirts and sneakers – I now start each shift off with a noose around my neck, my black shirt and black tie leaving me short of breath. While I’m accustomed to speaking with patrons as my genuine self – including terms of endearment and swear words, this new stint finds me quiet and unengaged with guests. And going from an hourly wage with shift tips to just hourly wage? No comment. 

But, still. Without suggesting those considerations are insubstantial, I’m grateful for the work. And it’s teaching me new things while I continue moving toward what’s next up in my life. In other words, I’m doing the things I don’t want to do because they’ll get me where I want to be.

That perspective isn’t always easy – especially when considering the ratio of hours to cash-dolla-bills. Truth is, if I had the Bennys in hand, I would have already moved on from San Diego, and away on the next adventure. Yet, that said, being here is another thing I’m grateful for – and not just because a bestie has opened her home to me. 

This extended stopover is allowing me a clearer sense of direction, as I refine my purpose and solidify my goals. I’m working toward being defined as much, if not more, by a vision of my future, rather than just by experiences and memories of my past. 

Sure, this clarity may have been more helpful at the get, before I left Portland on my big ol’ adventure. The reality, though, kept fear as a constant companion those last weeks, as I laid big claims to my future, and masked my apprehension with my usual vices. So, while adjusting my environment, and regulating my circumstances were progressive actions, life changes – real, long-lasting, significant life changes, can’t happen without changing myself first.  

So, as I’ve been doing the last months, Ima workin’ on me, and Trix is ever complicit, an accomplice to my growth as my therapy pet/Trippin’ buddy. I finally found the pain of staying the same to outweigh the pain of change. And I suppose having less holes in my face is a small one of many more to come. 

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