My time left in Canada is only comprised of a handful of hours now. After 223 days of planning, I will board a plane for a year in Belgium. I’ve been able to avoid thinking the immediate nature of it up until today. Now my stomach is turning as I think about what to do with my last hours. Continue reading
Today I put in my two weeks notice at work, which means that something awesome is about to happen. I’ve been waiting months for this.
I’m going back to Europe.
I began the year surrounded by friends and in the arms of the man I love. Since then I have seen the sky above the clouds, dipped my feet in the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and ridden a bicycle in the South of France. I have gone thousands of miles further from home than I had ever dreamt I would.
I’ve been having one of those weeks. My life isn’t exactly falling apart, but I’m not happy with it. I’m still trying to figure out my place in the world after three months away and it’s exhausting. Today during my lunch break I found myself texting my boyfriend and saying “I could really use some good news.”
As I’m getting ready for bed, I move some stuff on the table and lo and behold, I have mail! I never get mail. I open it up and it’s a Christmas card from an old friend. She’s someone I see a lot less often than I’d like, but think about often. Inside the card it says:
“Merry Christmas to one of the bravest, most ambitious ladies I know (even if you don’t feel like it everyday – you are!)”
And I cried. Continue reading
It’s been a strange day. In announcing that I was having bad luck, some good luck came to me in the form of extra work. Perhaps now that I’m announcing my good luck, the stakes will revert back, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take.
I’ve been spending a lot of time wondering about courage. Why was I so courageous as a teenager and now so meek as an adult? Why do I get overwhelmed at the idea of a challenge when I used to take on just one more thing, just to see if I could handle the pressure?
I’m pretty sure I’m hitting an epic climax of what is most likely a quarter life crisis. I’m stuck in a bundle of catch 22’s. I can’t get out of my rut until I stay in my rut long enough to make some money and headway. I lack motivation, patience and definition. It’s sorely tempting to sit and write about all of the reason’s I’m not happy, but that’s not what I’m going to do.
I’m going to dig deep and find the things that make me happy and the things I’ve achieved, especially since being home. Continue reading
Little towns have their perks. You don’t live in a bustling city full of murderers and homeless people. Fear doesn’t stare you in the face, you know your neighbours and there’s less traffic.
Unfortunately there’s a giant flipside to that coin. Small towns talk. They talk and talk, generating drama and gossip about anything the people deem to be different or weird. The people you know become the people you want to avoid. Drama lurks at every corner, because small towns are boring. Continue reading
I am a lucky girl (who should post more often). I have an amazing man in my life. Someone who has given up a lot, changed the way he lives and has guided me through a lot of the tough stuff in my life over the last year and two months.
He had given me the chance to see the world and to experience things that I had no idea existed. Because of him, I walked the streets of London, Gent and Bordeaux. Because of him, I’ve slowly started to regain my long lost confidence. He believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. He understands when I am lost and picks me up when I’ve fallen. He forgives my anger and encourages my happiness.
He isn’t near me and the absense is strong. I feel him everywhere and think of him all the time, yet it will be countless days before I will sleep next to him. But even with the 5,000 miles between us, he still lives in my thoughts and walks with me everyday.
He is what I believed I would never find. He is what I felt I didn’t deserve.
I am a lucky girl.
It’s nearly the end of November and the world is getting ready for Christmas. The store where I work is blaring jolly tunes and the lights are going up around town. Everyone is getting into the spirit of the mad dash for the perfect gift, the perfect Christmas.
Tonight I’m feeling something that I knew was coming. It crept up on me slowly, casting it’s shadow over me slowly, as if I wouldn’t notice. Tonight I feel the weight of the decisons I’ve made and the life I live.
I won’t be spending the holidays with the man I love.
I’ve been reminding myself that it’s not really a big deal. It’s a series of days thst I’ve always spent with my family and that I should be thankful to spend with them again this year. I’ll still be able to talk to him, to spend time with him in the same ways we always do. It’s not a big deal.
Yet every three hours when the store cd player gears up for another rendition of ‘All I Want for Christmas is You” I’m filled with the temptation to rip the stereo system from whatever designated cubbyhole it resides in. How dare they look into the cracks in my emotional cement walls like that? Every single time it wears a little more away, chipping at my resolve like an artist chipping away at marble.
I’m reminded of last Christmas, our first Christmas together and his first North American holiday. The look on his face on Christmas morning, the way he fell in love with snow and detested the cold. The way he laughed during his first sledding adventure and the sheer disbelief as we dug my car out after a snowstorm. I remember all of this and it brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.
It’s been nearly three months since my return to Canada. We do good and we get by. We’re happy to have each other, even at such a distance. We know that planning for our future means sacrifice. It means knowing we could be together for Christmas and saying no, in order to say yes to a life together in the future. This year, I will spend my time gathering my strength to face Christmas with the cheer it deserves. For me, the greatest gift will be to handle it all with an uncharacteristic patience and grace. Christmas is all about getting miracles, afterall.
I’ve been putting a lot of time into reading lately and one of the books I’ve picked up has been earth shattering for me. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman has been inspiring and comforting, and I’m only on chapter four. Why is it so impressive?
This is the first book I’ve found that admits to the hardships of traveling that I experienced on my trip to Europe. Most travel writers talk of success and boldness while minimizing the idea of stress and complete dependence on the understanding of strangers. The author of this book talks about being terrified of her situation, about being overwhelmed and full of doubt. Admitting to her humanity and the doubts in her heart makes her a bold and refreshing voice. Continue reading