Overstaying my welcome

Delta Sign - 121411

Back in college our group of friends would take turns hosting parties.  There would usually be a dozen or so of us laughing, dancing, arm wrestling, drinking, eating, toking, making out, joking, and then repeat.  Each party was a treat that lasted for hours and ended when everyone dribbled out.  This exodus usually would last only last ten minutes or so before everyone cleared out.

One night at Scott and Tracy's, four of us remained as we hung out in the living room talking, laughing and getting drunk.  At one point (around two am) there was a lull in the conversation and we could hear the music coming from the stereo.  The song was Contact by Phish.  The relaxing lyrics of the first verse so clearly poured into our ears.
The tires are the things on your car
That make contact with the road
The car is the thing on the road
That takes you back to your abode
We looked at Scott and asked if he was trying to give us a hint.  He laughed and shrugged.  We all then laughed and decided it was time to walk home.  That song became a running joke that we would all play at parties as the exit tune.  It was a funny way to give the soft message, "Time to move along."

We moved to California in 1997 and have lived in Vallejo ever since.  That is only fourteen years, but that is four years longer  than I've lived in  any other place in my life.  Vallejo feels like home and I am comfortable here, but I am getting the subtle signs, internal and external, that it is time to move on.  For the past year or so I've felt both pushes and tugs to leave.  These forces are communicating to me that it is time to move along down the road.

Las Vegas Sign - 121411
The pushes are all around me.  They are subtle and I believe exist in both my subconscious and of those around me.  Many of the pushes are probably my sub-conscious creating negative narratives affirming a need of my own.  One example is the feeling at work that it is time to move one.  The job feels old and rusting.  My performance is getting worn out and I am running out of enthusiasm for it.  I wouldn't be shocked if my coworkers feel the same about me. 

While I may be manufacturing many of the pushes in my mind, I've noticed real ones too.  I've burned a few bridges over the years.  One really bad and recent one is indirectly sending me push messages.  Through very indirect communication (some subtle, some public), the sender is giving signals that my presence and welcome are worn out.  The sender is done with me and it is time for me to fade away.  I earned that push so I am trying to fade out as quietly as possible.

Helping the push are the tugs pulling me into new areas.  The tugs come from going to New York, Las Vegas, Rome, and my other wanderings and travels.  During those times away I felt tugs to move to the new area and a growing regret when I got back to the Bay Area.  These tugs made me realize that a new home awaits me elsewhere.  These tempting tugs beckon me with promises of a  home where I am welcomed, wanted, and where I can bring fresh blood, no burned bridges, new perspective, experience, passion art, humor, and energy.  These places are not tired of or annoyed with Karl yet nor feel the need to push me out.  I haven't disappointed, failed, hurt, or broken hearts in those places.  I am sure though one day I will.  It seems everyplace I go I overstay my welcome.

Phish - Contact


  1. Karl, what an honest confession and what familiar fears! I wonder if many of us don't feel this way. I used to leave relationships, collaborations, committees, family gatherings, whatever, with the intent of leaving before I was asked to leave. I really believed people were tired of me, fed up with me, etc. Years of wisdom have taught me I was right sometimes and wrong sometimes. There were people and places I left unnecessarily and some I should have run from much sooner.

    You sound as though you're also one of the 20 % of the human population classified as highly sensitive. We can tell when something is wrong that no one else in the room detects, but sometimes we take things too much to heart and think it's about us when it isn't.

    On a grade school report card, my teacher wrote, "Carla takes everything to heart."

    I think Karl does, too.

  2. Carla, Thank you for personal reply and sharing your feelings and thoughts and shared sense. It is funny, I got a push message yesterday that was not subtle or nuanced. It pretty much said, "This is it, goodbye. Don't return." I think the other %80 would understand that one.

    I have a question, is it better to have prematurely ended connections (some in error) than to have lingered on too long? I've found some of the closes, most personal connections are the hardest to leave even if they have obviously worn out.


So,what are you thinking about?