Sunday, September 17, 2017

9/18/17—Cruising Into A New Phase

Kizzie and I went on a Canine Cruise today. Just a boy and his mommy on a one-on-one date (the girls will get their turns, too.) We had a blast. 

It was one of those days when everything went perfectly. There was a huge festival a block from the pier, but we slipped in early and got ideal parking just in time. There were a lot of dogs out for their morning walks so, since we got there early, we sat in the shade watching them trot by before the cruise boarded. Then the cruise went really smoothly. I'd guess there were 25-30 dogs and everyone got along very nicely. I had been feeling ooky the two days prior, and was worried I'd be miserable, but I felt good and had plenty of energy. The cruise was geared for tourists and we got a clear shot of the Washington Monument and other landmarks, albeit from a distance. Which was lovely. (For the record, I've lived within 10 miles of DC most of my life and the city's captivating beauty never gets old.) And the weather was beautiful. Everything was perfect. 

It's funny. I'm not around "normal" people very often at all...not where I have to interact in any way. I don't work in an office. I rarely go to parties. And when I get out to do something, I'm doing it with someone in my "tribe". Also, when I was sick, I got in the habit of isolating myself and I guess I really haven't broken that habit yet. I'm just a big hermit. With the exception of my late teens and 20s, I always have been.

But because I was focused on getting a plum parking spot, it hadn't occurred to me to get all anxious about being around mainstream humans. In fact, I actually think I forgot that I feel like I don't fit in to normal society. More than that, I think I no longer care. And more than THAT, I have begun to see everyone else as the weird ones...haha. So we interacted with others as was appropriate, but otherwise kept to our own little world of a one-on-one date with Mommy and Kizzie. It really felt like a newfound sense of freedom, devoid of social concerns.

I noticed something different about Kizzie, too. He has become quite comfortable in his role in our pack. He is the elder and he kind of holds court each day at home. He is a gracious leader. He only interjects if necessary. So he will sit back and observe as Magick and Mystic do their fisticuffs, but when things begin to escalate, he may choose to step forward and temper emotions with his presence. But most of the time he just sits back and watches, like a noble king surveying his court from a throne. Kizzie rules as a lover, not a fighter. He likes to maintain the peace.

The cute thing is that on the boat today, he just assumed all the dogs there understood who he was. So he sat back and observed his court, with all the pride and authority he shows at home. And when this one really big dog barked at something, he popped up to survey the situation and make sure it ended with that one bark. And it did. While most of the dogs didn't even notice him, he nonetheless seemed to think this was his cruise and the rest were merely passengers. 

I loved seeing this because the first time I met him he was so shy and scared of other dogs that, when they put me and his soon-to-be sister in a private room at the shelter to see how we'd get along, he circled us nervously for nearly an hour before he would interact with us. He had been abused and was afraid of people and dogs. The shelter people felt he and Passion, who was extremely alpha and badass, would be good for each other. And they were.

So I just thought it was interesting the ease both of us had today. I wasn't concerned with any of my neurotic crap about others or trying to be liked or accepted, and Kizzie wasn't worried about mean dogs or if he'd be accepted as pack elder. It was nice not to have all the noise in my head that was still there the last time I remember dipping my toe into light and breezy social interaction in the larger world. I even stopped taking the dogs to the local dog park because the other dog owners were kind of jerks...sort of dripping in their entitled egos. So it was also nice to know that, as an empathic person, I could go out into society and be around others and walk away without absorbing all their mess...that it was even possible to walk away blissful, at peace and untainted. 

See the flower at the bottom, separated
from the rest, but also of the rest?
That's how I feel.
I have felt like a fish out of water for as long as I can remember. Like part of society, but on the fringes. Not really connected. Maybe a little shunned. I only really fit with my group of similarly empathic, introspective and spiritual friends. And since I'm usually alone in any kind of social situations, I just feel awkward. I'm fine in professional situations, but otherwise I don't know what to talk to normal people about. I mean, self-employed single loners with no kids have different things to talk about than married, corporate types with kids. I have always been hyper aware that I don't have the best social tools. Which is why I have always sought quiet one-on-one interaction in favor of anything public.

But today, none of that mattered anymore. I feel like I have been lost in a long series of dark places for a long time...since even before I got sick. And each time I emerge from one of these places, I find myself utterly changed for the better. I find myself freer and more expansive. It would be nice to not spend so much time incubating. It would be nice, frankly, to be blissfully ignorant, if that really exists. I'm no stranger to making different choices in life, but even when you make and live and believe in those choices, there's always something or someone to push back or judge harshly. And as long as you're conscious of what others think, it can hurt. But each time I release one of those insecurities or beliefs that keeps me tethered to human conditions that expect us to all to march to a certain drum beat, I like myself more. I trust myself more. And I concern myself less with whether or not I fit anyone else's vision of how people should be.

Kizzie has amazed me at how much a creature can change and free himself over the course of a lifetime. And I'm beginning to amaze myself with the very same thing.