I think it’s been around 4 months since I last wrote.
This will be a short one, a sort of ‘closure’ post for myself as I feel the inspiration of writing returning to me but I want to have a small round up/clear the air post before I get back into it.
Since returning from my European trip visiting friends and family for 6 weeks I have admittedly felt a little low. Since returning to Canada, I have felt closer to my friends and family than ever before. Since returning to Canada I have felt more of an outsider as I try to pick up from where I left things before the trip.
Suffice to say, it’s been a little tough.
I’m guessing the main reasons were that going home and spending 6 weeks just traveling around and spending time with people was just so wonderful that returning and suddenly going about my life ‘alone again’ was just too big of a shocker.
Another is that I didn’t work for 6 weeks and then came back to my everyday job – lazy ass SOB.
A third could be that for the first time in my life (not exaggerating) my father lives in England. The country where I guess was my base for the majority of my childhood. I have spent my whole adult life not feeling like I was ‘living abroad’ or ‘an expat’ simply because he was too, so it seemed like the norm for me. Now that he’s found a job in the U.K, I’m the only one out there.
I could just be getting older. Priorities change I suppose.
So, I’m guessing it was a mixture of the 3 rather than just one, but yes, the return was Tough.
I think sometimes you can get distracted, disconnected even, and perhaps my reconnection to some familiarity just hit me harder than expected.
At one point I tried to go shopping back in Canada, had to drive to some shops that I was told were good stores… but on the outside they look like factories. Everyone has to drive to get there as they were in an industrial area and I felt odd looking for clothes yet thinking ‘when am I going to wear this stuff?’ So I left. I texted my friend in Spain complaining about how much I missed Madrid already… being able to wander the cute cobblestone streets, try on outfits and picturing even leaving the store with something new where you can’t wait to head back out to the streets to show it off. Grabbing a cold beer afterwards and chit chatting along everyone else of the city chit chatting…
It’s just different. It’s also what I’ve always been used, coming from Europe and having lived in Spain several times.
Returning to work was painful… suddenly I was spending at least 8 hours a day in close quarters with people, to be honest, who I didn’t really like. Going from spending all day with people who inspire me, make me laugh, love me and with whom I can be completely myself with to building up my walls again and trying not to listen to topic matters or get involved in work-drama was exhausting. Notice the past tense in the case of work – well, I have recently left this company. Blog post on that later 🙂
And going back to feel so distant again from my father, one text every couple of weeks… Let’s just say I’ve been doing a lot of work and research on issues of belonging, reading helps.
My friends have sent me things too, postcards, some tea that we discussed from Madrid, a thank you card for baby clothes from Southampton and a self-help care package from Lincoln… These little things have helped greatly. A reminder of the love from back home.
I was overjoyed when France won the World Cup! I spent a lot of my childhood in England defending my French nationality in school (kids can be cruel) so I can get quite patriotic when it comes to French things… if I have a connection to any country, I would put France first.
I spend the month really excited and happy that France was doing so well! Yet, after the game, my thrill and pride of having won quickly moved to a huge feeling of homesickness or familysickness or childhoodsickness (who knows?) and I decided to stay home and nurture my sad soul instead of celebrating with the handful of people I know…
Yet it’s time to keep trying… It is the summer and summers are so fun here. Camping, nature, outdoors, festivals, BBQ, evening walks with just shorts and t-shirts on. City trips too! Sudbury, Montreal, Kingston all a couple of hours away.
I went camping to Mont Tremblant National Park last weekend which was a lot of fun. It was the day after leaving my job… a great start to being unemployed and FREE!!
It was wonderful of course. When you go camping, you must live in the present. Preparing meals, cleaning up after yourself – there was an incident with a raccoon I’ll never forget – being from Europe, I have never experienced raccoon-life so I was a little shocked when the fearless creature shows up at the dark campsite sniffing for food, getting stuck in the mesh tent and repeatedly trying again all night. It was interesting to say the least.
But you have to think about your needs ‘ ‘am I hungry?’ ‘do I need the bathroom?’ ‘where’s my beer?’ ‘does the fire need another log?’ ‘should I try paddle boarding?’ I DID! It’s a lot of fun!!
‘Where did I leave the bug spray?’ ‘Which meat should I cook tonight?’ ‘Can I go another day without showering?’ ‘Are the neighbors going to be noisy?’ ‘Was that the raccoon again?’ ‘Can I handle one more beer?’ ‘Can I bring a beer on the Canoe?’ And so on…
Nice, present tense problems 🙂 Which are not even problems at all.
And it reminded me of why I moved to Canada… the friggin’ landscape. The scenery, the trees, lakes, mountains, animals, wildlife, flowers, rivers, lakes, canoes, more lakes, summertime, camping, views, moose – oh yeah!! I saw a moose on the drive back!!! FINALLY. Was bloody writing songs about not seeing them yet at this point.
*hippy alert* When camping, there’s also this feeling of connection with the earth, a connection with the earth as in the ground we walk on, which connects us to the trees that grow from the soil, with the water that connects to the sand and the stars that we look up to in the sky at night…. but also, a connection to our earth – this huge star that’s made up of water and land, with the moon affecting our tides and the air that allows up to breathe, I found myself thinking that the trees around me will be here long after I’m gone… reminding me of our insignificance as humans, that we are simply guests on mother nature’s planet and we must treat it right.
So yeah, you get all that shit from hanging out in the trees for 4 days. Not bad at $30 a night.
So it was good to get out…
A friend from Taiwan is visiting next week, and my family from England will join me in august for a trip… in the meantime, I will be applying for jobs back in the ESL world… I miss teaching and thinking about languages all the time so let’s give it another try.
You never know where things will lead…