I am overwhelmed.
I have spent the past few days flitting between wanting to read the pile of books that I don’t want to pack, knit the projects rather than take the yarn with me, pack everything I can reasonably pack while leaving a working household for my husband.
There are bags of garbage, piles of giveaways, piles of things to be sold. Stuff everywhere. I really am trying to edit myself. There are so many things I’m not willing to take with me, and every item of clothing I give away goes to a good cause, every book could be sold to pay for the big move, and I happen to know that women’s shelters in the city take donations of beauty products – of which I have an overload, not all of which was purchased by me, it should be noted.
I just want to be settled again. I want to be where I’m going – but that’s a half a year away. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know what will happen when I get there.
One more time my life is up in the air.
I had forgotten my great desire to know everything. Lately, with all this time on my hands, I have had a yearning to sit with a newspaper in front on me and flip through the pages, taking the world in. I want to read magazines and listen to the news and understand what’s happening and why things are important.
I used to know things, and I used to ask questions and try to inform not only myself, but other people. I long for great debates and discussions – and I fear that once I move I will lack the circle of friends that can sit around talking about the world and everything in it.
I accept that there are things I don’t know and things I don’t really understand, I want people around me who challenge my beliefs, question what I say and are aware of things I might not realize. I want my kids to grow up in a house surrounded by smart, accepting grown-ups who discuss and debate without attacking. I want my kids to know that the world is full of people who believe different things and act different ways and that’s okay – that you have a right to your own opinion and you should never try to force that opinion on someone else.
I hope I can raise my kids to be people I like.
Over the past several years my life has been a gigantic roller coaster – much like the hills of Northern Ontario, which I have driven across three times in those several years.
Safe to say, my life has not been anything you would call stable since I left college – seven jobs, a real relationship, engagement and marriage, six moves (Ottawa-Alberta and back, Ottawa-Northwestern Ontario and back, Mom’s house – shared apartment, shared apartment-shared townhouse). Throw in a puppy, a bout of unemployment, and here I am, having just become re-unemployed.
So today I took advantage of Westjet’s seat sale and purchased my ticket to Regina, leaving January 4 to find bigger and better things that the Prairies are supposed to have in spades.
I have no idea if it’s a mistake abandoning my new husband and taking our puppy across the country to live with my mother and prowl the streets for opportunities. There are many pros to this plan – we were planning on moving and this is probably the perfect time. I can get set up there and be ready for Joe when he arrives in April. Still, for all the arguments, the fear is astounding.
I’m not good at making friends – even less so when Joe’s not around – there are a lot of things about me that have vastly improved since he came into my life, including my ability to interact in public. I’m terrified that I will crawl directly back into my shell while we’re apart. I don’t want to revert to the girl I was in high school – or even the girl I was in Fort Frances. I worked and then went home and ate and watched TV. It’s no surprise that I gained about 50 lbs. while I was living there – I had no life.
It seems as though just as I start building a real life here in Ottawa, fate is telling me to get out of dodge.
It all make so much sense when I think about it logically – but I’m scared of losing touch with everything I have here right now, because that’s the pattern I followed in the past. I’m terrible at keeping touch with people because I am convinced that I make so little of an impression on anyone that they will forget me as soon as I’m gone and there is no reason to cause myself the pain of realizing that I have actually been forgotten.
Never has this hypothesis been proven, but my brain works the way my brain works.
A few things have changed that might make this time different: The embarrassment of never having been in a relationship is gone – I’m married; I have hobbies that will allow me to run into people – Regina has a knitting store, and probably some stitch and bitch groups; I have a puppy who will demand to be socialized, and that means socializing for me too; I have family in town – family my age who have friends my age.
When I think about it, I am optimistic about this plan, and I’m not turning back now, when I think about it too hard I want to sit in my closet with my head in my hands and not think about it anymore.
Right now, for no particular reason, I feel scared of the future. Up until now I have been basically okay. I’ve actually been pretty cheerful about everything that’s been happening. It all seemed to make a certain amount of weird sense – or at least it seemed as though everything that didn’t make sense eventually would. I ran into a problem, we made a plan and we have adjusted it to make the most sense possible.
Today I had a good day, we had breakfast with a good friend and afterwards she and I talked for two hours, then I went to my knitting group, and talked to more friends and drank peppermint tea, which always makes the world seem like a better place. While talking and knitting and drinking tea I expressed to these friends my great desire to be a mom – sooner than later.
Maybe that’s why I’m coming to this realization that life is changing ever so rapidly.
A few years ago I didn’t even want kids – I didn’t think I would ever make a good mother and I certainly didn’t think I would ever find a man that I would feel comfortable having as a father to my kids. If, when I was 23 someone had told me that at 26 I would be married with a puppy and desperate for babies I probably would have laughed in their face.
We can’t have kids. Not now. We’re about to be living apart for four months, and no way do I want to go through four months of pregnancy alone, nor do I imagine Joe wants to miss four months of growing baby.
We’re moving, we’re building a life somewhere completely else and that means we’re basically starting over, and that means kids will have to wait. I have to start my job search again, I have to go through another probation and try to last, Joe will have to do the same thing, and we’ll be in limbo for probably another year. And in a year we will maybe, maybe be in a place to start the family we want.
Every time I watch Neat with Helen Butigieg (hee hee) I develop a great desire to clean and de-clutter. That is exactly why this morning I specifically chose to watch the show. Soon I will be on my way West and I can’t leave a house full of clutter with the hubby – and I don’t want it all moving with us either. Now is the time to clean up and pare down and I’m in just the mood to get things rolling.
I’ve already cleaned out my closet – though I have to go through it again and really be picky. I have discovered before that if you’re not willing to move it, there’s no reason to keep it. We now have four garbage bags full of stuff to go to charity, and a list of furniture that will be going as well. We have stuff that we can give away, stuff that can be sold to help with moving costs, stuff that we might as well keep because replacing them would be more expensive than moving them, and the stuff that we don’t want to part with. All of it fills our house here in Ottawa, and is too much to fill a truck or trailer.
Once again fate is leaning my way – I chose this time in my life to really take a look at what I have and what I don’t and what I need and what I don’t and really redefine the things I consider valuable and important. This is the time in my life when I make real changes. I have time, I have reason.
My poor, poor puppy and husband – they are going to be so confused for the next little while.
The same day that I declared my desire to stop my hyper-consumerism I lost my job. My probation came up and they decided not to keep me on – a decision that I don’t entirely disagree with. Now, I have no choice but to cut way back on any spending, and think long and hard.
This also gives me the opportunity – though not in the best of circumstances – to take a step back and re-evaluate what I spend my working life doing.
I have, for a long time, defined myself by the work that I do. At this job, I was never able to produce up to the standard that my boss wanted. There was someone else in the office that my boss would have preferred doing the job – except she was unavailable. I would sit at my desk stressed, and come home scared of what the next day would bring.
I like what I was doing at it’s base – but I really wasn’t doing anything that was good or necessary.
Now I’m ready. I’m ready to leave the city, to make necessary changes to my life so that I’m a reasonably happy person and my stress levels aren’t skyrocketing day by day.
Now I just need to start step by step.