I always complain about how I need to adjust to the noise levels of San Diego after I return from Austin. I feel very much overwhelmed with all the city noise and have problems falling asleep. There is that incessant highway noise. A dog that yaps non-stop. Neighbors having a very loud guest over. A crying baby. And, yup, there it is, the sound of a cart being rolled on an eneven alley road by a homeless person.
Naturally, I get used to it. The dog that squeals like someone is feeding it its treats a very wrong way does not annoy me any more. I don't notice it. I don't want to pay my neighbors a visit and imitate to them how it is exactly that their dog squeals all day long when it's alone, locked in a cage, waiting for them to get back. In fact, when the dog shuts up, I start feeling like something is terribly wrong.
When I get back to Austin after noisy San Diego, I have a reverse shock. It's quiet. I become very aware of the emptiness in my ears. What do you do with all that space in your brain? The space that's no longer necessary to protect yourself from the constant noise to keep your sanity?
Now, I'm in Fort Collins. Fort Collins is even quieter than Austin. It is a real shock to be here after San Diego.
But it's not just the quiet that's so overwhelming here.
It's also the calmness. Spaciousness. Slow Pace. And very polite and well mannered people.
Combine all these things and then go to a grocery store here after living in a busy city. You will shoot your brains out. "Beep". And two hours later another "beep" of the scanner. And the funny thing is that you are the only freak in the grocery store feeling impatient wanting to roll your eyes at the cashier communicating telepathically "hurry the eff up!". No one is rushed. You are the only one.
So, I feel like a child who no longer has his toys. What do I do?
Easy! Relax! Did I learn nothing in yoga? Time to enjoy this huge, pretty sky. A sky that starts somewhere over there and ends right at the mountains. Mountains that you can see! With snow caps! Time to enjoy being able to open the balcony door and not be kicked in the crotch with all the outside noise, so you can truly enjoy the fresh spring air. Time to take a step back and chill.