I really hate blood tests.
No real reason, I have great veins, I don't have a low pain tolerance, I don't even mind hospitals. I've had a lot of them, a few years of my childhood were spent having them at six week intervals. The nurses tried to make it better. They gave me a sticker, sometimes two. Once they didn't have stickers and the nurse drew a cat on my band-aid, even though I didn't really like cats then. I only remember having lollies instead when I was a bit older, and the last time I had a snake, two even, was when I was 21 and actually reasonably unwell.
I have noticed this fad that the nurses seem to have. Most of the time they jab you on the count of three, but a few of them do it on two. The element of surprise. It's the element of surprise that upsets me most these days.
On the drive home from footy today I asked myself a question - how many more times will I do this trip? This was the last game of the season I'll get to watch, but the road has been well travelled seeing as it is on the way to Stephen's work and Snowtown, where I was working last year. Bad question.
This is the kind of thing I try to prevent other people from doing. Why does it matter? You'll only make yourself more sad. You're overthinking it. My brain went into advice giving overdrive and it didn't work, apart from making me go ten k's over the speed limit.
A few months ago I asked told a friend I'd been thinking about the what ifs. What if I had never left Adelaide? What if I had just stayed? He almost yelled, saying, "No, don't even think about it!" Why? Because you can't change the past, and anyway the regrets I have are minimal. The what ifs and if onlys don't scare me. But the count down does.
The count down. The count down is the worst thing ever about moving. I've worked out I have moved ten times since I was 19. TEN! Okay, half of those moves have been traipsing across Adelaide. It's not settling though. Being the creature of habit I am, it doesn't change too much. But the adjustment that comes from forming meaningful relationships does unsettle me. I even calculated how many times my Girl Guides and I would sing 'Taps' together (approximately 15 times if you're interested). I'd like to say that things don't change when you move, that friendship is forever and all that, but I'm not convinced that is always true.
The count down changes dramatically, you think you have longer than what you do, and then WHAM, your going to farewell parties and setting up a new house all within the same weekend.
I recently read that if a friendship lasts seven years, you're likely to be friends for life. That's not bad, but considering the amount of moves and towns, etc, it doesn't matter how close you are to someone at the time, friends can be fleeting. Or something.
When I got home I sat in the car and cried for a bit. I am a big crier, and being over emotional is something I do well. It makes me more creative, or at least angsty. What was I crying for though? I was sad about the Taps thing. I was sad about leaving this life that has been mine for almost four years now. But mostly I was sad because it's Saturday afternoon and I'm not harassing staff in Cotton On for something to wear out tonight. And I think I used to really like Saturday afternoons, and list all the much better things in my head I have done with them, other than sitting in my driveway having a big sook.
When I eventually made sense of it, I didn't really miss shopping or working a lunch shift or getting ready for a night in by making cookies. I just miss having a choice. Then again, this is my choice, to be here, I mean. And it continues to be a choice.
So many people have really kindly offered to be there for me if I need to talk, and what I realise is the only thing I need to talk about is anyone else but me. I miss having friends to go out for lunch with and go on mad shopping hunts with. And the problems I have, well, they are small. I can work them out on my own. Solve them on my own even. And that's why I'm angsty. Because I have the answers already.
I used to think 'what if' and 'if only' were the same. But really, 'what if' is about choices, before and after the fact. 'If only' comes only after the choice has been made and there's nothing you can do about it, except be full of regret.
I haven't asked 'if only'. And that is a very, very good sign.