Tag Archives: reflection

Who I Have Become

garden hands

 

You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again

 

This quote from the book “Lolita in Tehran” really struck me this morning.  I’ve been pondering and committing to slow deliberate action these days as I sift through a decade of shuffling from one place to the next.  I wonder how much of my adult life has been spent orienteering to a new place and saying goodbye to another.  How many versions of myself have existed and which one will persist.  

And I realize, so much of my time has been spent chasing after a part of me which may never have even existed.  Was I ever really truly carefree?  Or is this a story I created to dispel the discomfort I have with my true self or to allow myself to linger a little longer in a chronic unhealthy game of denying the present.  

Ten years ago, I say, I had nothing to worry about but the contents of a backpack and a pocket full of maps.  Which is not true.  The maps, the travel, the days spent thinking I was defined by my distrust of proper footwear and all matters of conforming, were a ruse.  A distraction I have continued to play over and over again in search of that one place that would magically make everything click and I’d stay. 

And in truth, while I travelled, threw jobs away like candy wrappers and said goodbye more often than hello…I craved the very things I now have.  I remember sitting in a tent sewing by hand day dreaming about how great it would be to just have a little room with a little table with a sewing machine.  or coffee with a friend.  or a familiar haunt to visit.  houseplants and a garden and a stack of books to read.  

Yes, I have always wanted my own piece of land.  I have come close to deciding I must be a failure because at 33 I have so few of the things I thought would make up my life.  I thought by now I’d have a family.  Maybe a farm.  Perhaps I’d run a little tea shop and master the art of sinfully good cookies and scones.  In focusing so much on what I have yet to achieve, I have failed to celebrate all that I have and all that I should be grateful for.  In spending so much time looking for the person I was, I have failed to celebrate the complexity and beauty of who I have become.  

 

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Turning

night time highway

At best I’m a scattered mess.

I’m reasonably comfortable admitting this now.

I’m not even sure what this post is really about, but woke up this morning feeling that it was time to get back to writing…any writing…even if it is just a rambling blog post.  I pulled out a stack of old journals, sifted through snippets of poems, giggled, and traced through a rather mixed up geography of thoughts.  

13 moves in 6 years.  21 moves in total.  Do I have just a terrible case of wanderlust?  Not really.  The moving and constant uprooting does little to satisfy my urge to explore and rather counter-productively destroys all funds and time for real adventure.  It is to the point now where I can barely tell the difference between an old familiar place and a new one.  

2009.  The year I turned 30.  The months leading up to my 30th birthday I was a madhouse of writing.  (and perhaps even an actual madwoman…but why dwell!).   Journals that I had failed to fill for years suddenly ran out of room.  I house sat a big old place on a hill with a 180 acre view and something about that space, two summers of being a caretaker at a cabin (and a decision to not simply jump at the first urge to flee) allowed me the space to write.  But my inability to secure long term employment and housing meant everything (including emotions) remained in boxes.  Labelled, but contents still vague and mysterious.

I feel I am starting to unpack now.  Figuratively.  Literally, I am still living in a rental which smells of stale cigarette smoke from the previous tenant and is punctuated daily with arguments and bad language from the other side of our paper thin walls.  But figuratively i am starting to pull out the necessary tools for some much delayed goal setting.  (and yes, top of that list is still ‘buy a house’ and ‘consider vacations instead of moving’).

Here is what appeared in my ‘year of turning 30’ journal titled:  30

a decade of knitting
gnawing at memories
picking nails

fidgeting from one foot to the other

passing time at being suspicious

or questioning
anything that doesn’t bite back

and even some things that do.

 

 

Shakespeare in the Park

Adventure

Shakespeare in the ParkI am not immune to envy.  I carry it by the truckload.  Recently, it’s been anytime I hear of someone travelling or going on vacation.  Vacation is a word that is almost so foreign to me as to be quite difficult to role off my tongue. I am up to my ears in Adventure Envy.  But perhaps the great challenge or adventure for me has not been to vacate, but rather to remain.

We are working hard outside in this already too hot summer and I’ve been struggling this week to just make it through each day…and sadly, I’ve also been having a hard time seeing my own surroundings, my own life, for what it actually may be.  In fact, right now, I could be the object of someone’s envy.  After all, I’m not bound by the walls of an office or a dreaful little cubicle.  My bare feet and hands have an ample amount of soil to dig into each and every day.  I couldn’t hear my neighbours even if I tried and my view is generally of tall flowing grasses and trees.

In my lifelong struggle to steady myself, I have frequently run into these bouts where in a tantrum over the lack of ‘grand’ adventures in my life I fail to see the plethora of wonderful little adventures available right in front of me.  I sit around and mope and complain, instead of getting out there and doing.  Sure, I can’t see a vacation happening anytime soon…but I can walk right out my door and right onto the Bruce Trail.  I can’t have someone else’s life.  I have to live my own.  And my own life has not been void of adventure.  The shape of that adventure has simply changed.  It’s very much possible that I simply reached my tolerance limit for hostel beds that smell like pee.

One of my newest adventures is the rekindling of an old creative love.  My treat for paying off my debt was to purchase a new camera.  I’m still flipping through the manual and trying to learn how to use it (this is my first time switching from a 35 mm film slr to a Digital slr), but I think this new camera and me are definitely an item.  And seeing as I’m terrible at keeping a journal, I’ve decided to acquaint myself with my new camera by keeping a daily photo journal.  So stay tuned as I’ll be frequently sharing my “365 Days in Photos”.

Our latest mini vacation…(right now, because we live at work…anytime we step away from home feels like a vacation)…spent last night in a nearby park watching a live performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and eating a delicious picnic on a blanket.