When I got older I would stay outside as long as I could durning those afternoon summer storms. Until the tornado sirens would start and my mom would yell for me to get in the house and get downstairs. There was something so intoxicating about hearing the storm approaching. Hearing the thunder from way off in the distance. The low, slow rumbles echoing off buildings. It was big – powerful. Grand. Momentous.
When I moved to California I was so disappointed to learn that we almost never have thunderstorms. I’ve maybe heard thunder three times in the 17 years I’ve lived here – and even then it was pretty quiet. Always at the “was that thunder?” level. When I talk to my family back home they always say they think of me when they have big storms. Sigh.
I have missed the thunder. The real thunder. The craaaack…… BOOOOOOOM thunder.
Here’s my big “OH” moment – the reason I like being outside right before it storms is because it’s familiar to me. The static in the air is identical to the static in my head. I’m at home there.
A bright flash of lighting – that’s the breaking point. When the stress and anxiety builds to “call your therapist” levels and I can’t take anymore. I’m so in my head I can’t function and one-more-thing happens. My cat breaks a jar of spaghetti sauce, or I get an important email that has to suddenly become top priority. Or my mom calls. Here we go…
—- BOOM —- there’s a huge release. For me the boom is usually a big cry. Involving me throwing my hands in the air and yelling “FUCK IT I DON’T CARE ANYMORE – AHHHHHHHHH” I’ll announce to my cat that I’m quitting my job and anything to do with being me. I’ll start forming a plan to pack up the car in the middle of the night and disappear into the desert and start dreaming up false names. And then I fall asleep.
When I wake there is clarity. All my ideas come pouring out. Things don’t seem overwhelming anymore. The release is the same sensation of the clear sky after the storm has past. Everything smells fresh. The air relaxes. Sure – there’s a tree on top of my car and the electricity is out, but hey – I FEEL better and that’s the important thing.