Me for the last time

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I have made it to my last night in Saint John.

I tried to go to bed at 9:30 because I was tired, but the emotions have taken over. 

So here I am at midnight, in the middle of an empty, echoing living room, saying goodbye to myself as I know it.

It’s weird, because it’s this moment where I know that the person I have been being will definitely change. I will be in a new environment, with a whole new set of experiences behind me, and new people around me. I will become a new me.

This apartment will also become a new home.

It’s strange how things can stay so much the same, and change so much all at the same time.

Saying so many goodbyes has been hard. Some worse than others. It has made me miss Mum so much more. It feels like she should be part of all this. There is a gap in my life. There will be one for the rest of it, I suspect.

Grammie was the worst. She cried and said it wouldn’t be the same without me to come visit once in a while. Nobody wants to be the jerk who makes their grandmother cry. That is me. I am that jerk.

It made me wonder, “Why am I doing this again?” Why am I leaving behind my beautiful home and my beautiful family and my beautiful friends?

Adventure is a vicious siren. Wonder and curiosity and love will pull you in places you never thought you would go. Besides, I told my grandmother it is her own fault. She made me wonder. She made me long for adventure. She told me I should write a book someday, but that only people with difficult, interesting lives write books.

So here I am, trying my best to make my life difficult or interesting or both. I can’t really tell if it’s working yet. But at least it’s keeping me on my toes.

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Rollercoastin’

 

In exactly one week from today, I will be facing my last day of work.

 

As much as I’m looking forward to being FREE and not being a slave to the ole’ 9-5, I know I am going to miss that place like crazy. My mum once told me that when you’re used to being super busy, and then all of a sudden you’re not, it’s sort of like going along at full-clip and then crashing headfirst into a brick wall. You think that suddenly having nothing to do is going to be awesome, but it turns out to be extremely frustrating.

 

Then again, I am still going to have plenty to do.

 

For instance, clear out this friggen apartment.

 

People keep asking me “Are you starting to get things cleaned out yet?” To which I smile and say “No, not quite yet,” while internally I am screaming “shitshitshitshitshiiittttt!”

And I keep having moments where I get almost a sense of vertigo. Like, leaving the continent vertigo. Is that a thing? I will find myself going “What am I doing? Why in the hell did I ever decide to move to Australia? I like it here.” I do, too. I like the people, I like the routine I have (most of the time) and I LOVE my riding barn and my group of friends and my coworkers and I could go on and on…

Other times, I get super pumped about The Move. I might as well capitalize that, because it is capital-letters big and that shit looms. I will find myself thinking, Man, this is going to be an awesome adventure…maybe I could even write a book about it someday! This is how cool I am now. I am doing stuff that I could actually potentially write a book about. You only live once and I am LIVING IT UP. I am going to see so much cool and weird shit.

 

And then suddenly I start thinking about how weird it will be to be surrounded by all those weird, unfamiliar things all the time and how I’ll have to start all over with friends and how there might be terrifying creepy-crawlies over there that I’m not used to dealing with and what if I don’t find a good place to ride and WHY IN THE FRIG AM I MOVING TO AUSTRALIA AGAIN?!?!

It’s basically an endless feedback loop, you see.

 

Occasionally, (usually after a good riding lesson), I feel very zen about the whole thing and I feel I can just go with the flow, and it will all be what it will be and there isn’t a worry in the world.

 

That one is far more rare, though.

 

On top of that, I am still coming to terms with having lost mum. I have been in such a whirlwind of busy-ness, that I’m not entirely sure I have fully accepted this new reality, of her being gone forever. It’s only been five months, but it feels like ages ago. I mean, it’s in the back of my mind, but it feels like it happened to someone else, like those memories are from watching a movie a really long time ago, not from real-life. I’m afraid that somewhere down the line, when the busy-ness settles down, that it’s all going to come crashing down on my like a freight-train falling from the sky.

 

What will I do if I get to Australia, and I don’t have a job yet which, although I’ve been looking forward to that, results in my being forced to reconcile with things I am not dealing with now? Or have I dealt with them already? There isn’t any way to know. All I can do is keep on trekking, rolling with the punches, and trying to make it good.

PS We were hit by hurricane Arthur. It blew down fully grown trees, but for some left their deck chairs sitting peacefully on their porches. It was a lot of strong wind blowing in all kinds of different direction at random times and places…sort of like my emotional state.hurricane arthur from skywalk

PPS: My kitty got a new harness. This is her trying it on for the first time. As you can see, she absolutely loves it.

kitty's new harnass

Familiar faces, worn out places

I wanted to document my walk to work. I love walking to work in the morning. I hope that wherever I wind up in the future, I will continue to have this option. If not, I might have to do something very old-lady-like, such as get up extra early and go for a stroll before work. That may be an overly lofty goal for my bed-loving self, but those morning walks sure are scrumptious.

And the walk is an interesting one. Although Saint John is a small city, it is still more city than this little girl has ever known. It also has a lot of history. Most of the buildings date back to the 1870s; unfortunately, so does most of the infrastructure. What you end up with is a strange mix of beautiful old architecture and a lot of run down dwellings, abandoned buildings and saggy structures. Even the decrepitude has a certain beauty to it.

Little Birdie  DandelionsTreeTrash  BUDS

Signs of spring.

I felt it would be disingenuous to exclude the garbage. It’s alllll part of the ‘charm’! The little bird caught my attention with his calls…I think he might be a House Sparrow!

Gothic Arches  imperial

Trinity Church  King Square  

Some structures along the way; the Gothic Arches (currently abandoned),
the Imperial Theatre (recently restored), Trinity Church (ringing its bells) and
the Bandstand in King’s Square (also recently restored).

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Market Gate

There is some pretty cool cast iron around the city.

CityMarket

Balemans

And finally, the City Market. I’ll miss this place the most of all in Saint John, I think.

Many a coffee, muffin and fresh fruit or vegetable has been purchased here.

I had intended to document the entire walk right up to the Museum entrance, but I ran into some old friends on my way through the market and got completely distracted. All three were people I knew in University, whom I hadn’t seen since we graduated (two from my undergrad and one from my B. Ed. program). None of these people live in the city, or even particularly nearby, so it was pleasantly surprising to bump into them.

There is something special about an unexpected reunion. You hear your name, turn around, and see a long-lost face you otherwise thought you may never have seen again. You feel that little bubble of excitement, like freshly poured champagne, and for a little while you are completely fine with tossing away whatever seemingly important obligations you had moments ago. You get to reconnect, just for a few moments; catch up on everything you each missed in the years between your last meeting. Then, you are both on your way again, with no notion of if or when you will meet again. A series of moments is all we ever really have with anyone in the end, isn’t it?

Since I’m a huge cheeseball, I often play myself a soundtrack in the back of my mind when I start waxing philosophical. Here’s today’s:

 

Horse Happy

Any day involving horses is a fantabulous day as far as I’m concerned. I hope that everyone in their life finds something that makes them this happy. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about these animals that is so awesome. Winston Churchill supposedly said,

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

I can’t verify that he actually said that, and I hope that by “man” he meant “humanity”, because certainly the outsides of horses are loved by many girls and women as well. In fact, the number of men I have encountered at my riding schools in three years, I could count on one hand. Either way, he was sure right.

Let me show you the source of my happiness today. There is a new horse at the riding school I attend. His name is Jerry. He is a stubborn, speedy Paint and I’ve only ridden him twice, but I am having so much fun with him. He is packed full of spunk, energy and a dash of sass. I seem to have an affinity for slightly pig-headed horses who like to go fast. Go figure.

I felt a connection with him, though. When I let him loose in the pasture he just stood next to me instead of wandering off to eat hay as they usually do. And just before I left, I grabbed my camera to take a shot. He walked right over to the fence to say hello. He’s just so darn lovable!

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I also got to have lunch next to this today:

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Maelstrom!

The Reversing Falls. I think the tide was going out. There was a sweet whirlpool.

I feel the need to document all of this, because I will be leaving it soon. Why is it that we tend not to truly appreciate what we have, until we lose it? Somehow things come more into focus when there is emotion attached. My hope is that document everything as it happens will help keep it real for me. And hopefully remind me of it all when I’m elderly.

As long as we still have Internet, and are not living in some sort of post-civilization dystopia.

Maybe I should print these pages.