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Struggling, with Hope

I need routines, and this school year (as well as the move to the Midwest in general) has already been playing havoc with my routines. Plus, I simply don't like the claustrophobia I am experiencing in the city.

Today was tough. I held on as long as I could, but eventually my body gave out an hour before my last class ended. Maybe it was even sooner than that. I was starting to bloat, which I've never understood but think might relate to pain. I get an upset stomach, acidic and burning, so there must be a correlation. I was shaking, had a headache, and felt lousy overall. I just wanted to get off campus and eat something non-spicy.

The way I try to make it through each day is by telling myself that eventually I won't be here. I'll be back in what I consider normal.

I want my dinner at 5 or 6, not 8:30 p.m. twice a week. That's hard on my system. I want to sleep eight hours more than two days a week. I want merge lanes longer than the width of an overpass. I want to see the Pacific Ocean at least once a summer, ideally several times.

I want my radio programs from various states back. I miss Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, and other A.M. stations, but the Internet is helping a little — assuming I want to keep a laptop running merely for radio shows. (The radio in Minnesota stinks. The
shows are stranger than an Art Bell marathon.)

Television shows will be at the "right" time and not "Tomorrow at 9, 8 Central!" Forget that. I hate thinking of time shifts every time I hear a schedule on radio or TV. I want to think the announcer is talking to me, not announcing my time zone as an afterthought.

I'm tired, which doesn't help, but I also know that not having my routines is making things worse than they would normally be. Not that they were great in California, but they are worse here. I'm tense all the time, counting down months until I can leave.

What is sad is that I'd be lonely anywhere. Here, it's just a lack of places to be alone without feeling lonely. There's something reassuring about the foothills and country roads back home. Darkness. Seeing the Milky Way. Knowing I can clear my mind, away from the city.

Mostly, I just want a schedule that lets me relax a few hours each day, during the day. I'm struggling, but I keep telling myself that some day soon, I'll be home again. I don't mean one place, but I means the West Coast. Home where I can hear my radio programs. Home where TV times are when shows really air. Home where roads were built with some forethought (though not much, I admit). Home where I can get donuts when I want them. Home where I belong, writing.


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