“The “fight or flight response” is our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival.” – MInd/Body Education Center
Do you fight or flee? I think life often dictates our response for us. However, last night I recognized my flight response in full effect . . . and while it was subconscious, it required conscious action, hence the recognition.
Background: I live in two cities. I have two separate lives. WIth the exception of my dog and my work, the components of my life fail to transcend their locale. Perhaps, that is why I have been seeking continuity . . .
My home- New York, my new home, a Spanish-speaking Island. I go back and forth, bi-monthly. However, each trip to the island is extended . . My life here makes me happy. I doubt if I will fall in love here, but the continuity, the routine, the warmth, and like in Cheers, it’s where “Everybody knows your name.” For a newbie, I found these elements a relief from the stressful, obligatory, exhausting life I CREATED in New York. Yes, the life I CREATED. I too, have the power to create a New York life that is balanced. However, in the island it was effortless to do so. New York requires a spring cleaning of friendships, routine, belongings, and an introduction to simplicity. New York offers many things however, that are pretty amazing. So, my double life actually creates an inherent balance.
So, last night . .
At dinner I was silenced. Exhausted from the prospect of wine. In conflict because I wanted to order champagne and pay (knowing that I had to go to an event and acknowledging the wine would impede my ability to do so) However, as I knew the owner would pick up the bill, I couldn’t bear to ask for champagne. However, common friends came fifteen minutes after we were already served a bottle of pinot grigio and ordered themselves a bottle of champagne. I realized that there was a fancy activity before, I wondered as to what it was, why I was excluded. I figured it was for something specific. I sat exhausted. Trying to understand the Spanish, but following nothing. Pretending as if I was engaged. Trying to say something to counter my obvious mood, yet without understanding the conversation, I found myself mute.
As I arrived at the later event with the common friends, a woman I know said hi to me wondering why I wasn’t at the fancy activity. I had no clue. I thought about whether I wasn’t sophisticated enough, or pretty enough, or was I too pretty, too young, too foreign? I looked around at the familiar faces, the smiling faces from the gym, the woman i thought were destined to be great future friends, and MiCarino who likes me SUPER. The “friends” all engaged, i stood in their peripheral, alone. I had nowhere to go. I realize that loneliness transcends locales.
I longed to book a ticket to New York. My flight response, in full effect. I wanted to disappear from here. I want to run from potential conflict with MiCarino, escape to New York, impose a freeze in hopes that it will fix itself. Run from the knowledge of a potential superficiality in these new relationships that have warmed me and made me love this island and disengage from my old life.
I think of what waits for me in New York- Matt Damon, one great friend, many stalled friendships whose truths have been exposed from my geographic distance, new friendships still in their inception, parties, beautiful people, energy, culture, central park, cabs, food, smiles, low-key glasses of wine, a TV!, decisions and avoiding the weekend with Matt, or the conflicting weekend with the friend, making plans, obligations, stress . . .
In short, my double life, an inherent tool, for my flight response has a catch. You can flee from both places, but when you return you will be forced to fight.
I suppose its time for me to fight my stresses. Say hi to my subconcious.