Zelda the Wonderbus is magical. I knew it as soon as they unloaded her from the trailer. There was something special about her. I imagined adventures rivaled only by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I jumped in and wheeled around the block. I got a few honks and waved proudly. The horn didnt work or I would have tooted gleefully. It was a few days later that I found out my brake lights and turn signals didnt work and decided the honkers were not waving at me like I thought. I had that fixed and got to work. I put in a laminated wood floor. I stained the cabinets and got new hinges for her. I put in a sound system. I bought seat covers. I sewed a new screen on her tent. We bonded. I think she cherished our time together. She always starts and she garnishes grins everywhere we go. She is even playful, once popping out of gear as I wrestled with the netting. She just wanted to be close to me as I had to scramble to the front to apply the brakes. Zany Zelda.
I have been in a quandry as of late. I find my self romanticizing the past and dwelling on love lost. I have oscillated between feeling like I should live out an 80’s movie and hold up a boom box or some other grand gesture or dive into self remorse and flagellation. I have been doing counseling and trying to learn about myself and why I function like this. It hasnt been easy. What I have found is that I have been unable to really relate to people my whole life. I have not been good at forming attachments or relationships. I, immediately, go to the needy stage and live only as others see me. I had no true self.
My long term relationship worked because she was all too happy to feed me an identity. After I got sober and started to come alive, it disturbed her. She withdrew and I panicked. I did not know myself and I did not know how to be in a relationship. However, I was tired of being dead and couldnt go back again. It crumbled and neither of us knew how to deal with it as evidenced by how nasty it became.
I spend some time trying to understand. I stood strong with my daughters and against some of the slings and arrows. I didnt crumble. I got knocked down a lot and always got back up. Things kept getting worse. I kept soberly moving forward. It started to brighten when I reconnected with an old friend of mine. We dated on and off for about a year. Looking back, I wasnt ready. I still had no idea how to be in a relationship. I had no idea how to love. What needed to start from the inside wasnt there. I quickly saw myself only as she saw me. I wanted to be that guy and was willing to try and be so. When I fell short, I would run away. It became too painful for either of us. However, I still cherish the time we spent together. I did better in that relationship than I had ever done before.
Zelda and I went camping this weekend. She is spruced up and full of style. We decided to stay close but go somewhere I hadnt been before. I have been really pondering who I am and how I fit into this crazy world and taking a break from that would be awesome. Zelda is magical. Not in the fortune telling way like the machine in, “Big”. Or in the fantasy way like in the video game way. She is magical as she just wanted to be with me. She trudged her way up the hill at 60-65 mph (impossible many VW owners say). We found an unoccupied free camping site right next to a stream. We parked and I set up the site. Really, I unfolded the bed and put my memory foam topper on it. I sat with her and read. I listen to her sounds. She listen to me breath. I will neither confirm nor deny that I spent some time talking with her. The magic part is that she allowed me to see what had happened to me and what was happening now. She opened my eyes to the fact that I had isolated all over again. I was afraid. I have ben afraid since I was a kid. I am afraid that someone will tease me. I am afraid that I wont be liked. I am afraid I will be called a coward. I am afraid that I am “less than.” When the bottom fell out of my life, I didnt have to be afraid anymore. I knew that I could survive and be ok with next to nothing. As friends, collegues, family turned their back on me, I saw the truth of who was left. As I scrambled financially, I saw the truth of wants versus needs. As I felt unforgiven and judged by the church universal, I say the loving and forgiving Grace of God. I felt the comfort of Abba. What Zelda showed me is that I am afraid again. I moved to an unfamiliar state, took a different job, left a love interest, set up house in a place 8 hours from anyone I knew. I went to meetings that have a different style and felt wrong. I agreed to restrictions I found silly and misdirected. I was over my head, alone, and without defenses. I was scared. I didnt think I was. I had fought hard to get here. I figured I would just keep fighting. The meetings got wierder, the job prospects unsteady. I wanted to go back to where I was before. I needed someone to tell me who I was and that I would be ok. I was addicted to avoiding my inner self, my true self. Zelda showed me. Under the fear, behind the locked door of my heart, hidden in the corner is that scared boy. He wants to relate. He wants to love. He wants to not be afraid. His arms are outstretched. I hugged that boy this weekend. I told him he was very brave for trying so hard. He was very smart for figuring out a way to get his needs met for so long. He is “just enough.”