Undefined.

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{Image: Max Newhall // Unsplash}

The good news is that shopping and soap operas no longer hold any appeal.

Nor does day-drinking.

I’ve used them all up, all the vices, the pointless distractions.

I wake in the mornings with piles of ideas: things to do today.

I yearn for connection, variety, purpose, intimacy.

But I know damn well that these things are for offering, not taking.

In the past, I think I’ve taken them more than I’ve offered.

Then I think of all the bridges I’ve burned, the distance created, however unofficial.

And my heart beats the same old refrain: my-fault, my-fault.

Do you love me? Did you ever? These questions don’t even matter anymore.

This is irrelevant.

I’m the one that left, and without you as some sort of anchor, some conduit to feelings, even unhealthy ones, I float perilously, moment-to-moment, grasping at the chasm of each day, delightfully and horribly undefined.

38 Things to do when you Quit your Job (or Any Damn Time)

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Image: Renee Picard
  1. Go to the ocean

  2. Get a room with a view
  3. Eat fish and chips, mac and cheese, or whatever your favourite comfort food is for breakfast.
  4. Drink vodka, whiskey, red wine.
  5. Wear “too much” or “too little” make-up.
  6. Read Big Magic; choose to abide by it (or at least try really hard).
  7. Start a bucket list.
  8. Write a letter.
  9. Take a long bath in the afternoon with a coffee-grind mask that stains the white bathmat and will make the housekeepers wonder.
  10. When you are tired, pass out to the dulcet tones of British TV shows about antiques.
  11. Remember your Old Life—then let it go.
  12. But check in with the people you love back there, in your Old Life. Don’t let them go.
  13. Know you absolutely can do it in a new way. Then cry, because half the time you don’t believe this, really.
  14. Do yoga despite the heartburn, with a focus on the hips.
  15. Watch TV—but not for more than an hour at a time.
  16. Smile at the old people playing bridge in the lobby of the antiquated hotel, and at the mob of red-faced, navy-blazered Old Boys’ club that gathered around the bar one evening, all bald-headed and jovial.
  17. Smile at the kids playing in the sand, chasing the seagulls…until the mother pulls out bread bits to feed to the seagulls (please don’t feed the birds).
  18. Smile at the arthritic and slightly wet black lab trying to nose into your medoicre-at-best breakfast fish and chips.
  19. Re-do your website.
  20. Share a story in the secret women’s-only Facebook group.
  21. Decide to pug sit in Hollywood over Christmas.
  22. Wonder how one person could possibly be so content.
  23. Wonder how one person could possibly feel so distant from those that she loves.
  24. Go to the aquarium and simultaneously marvel while dipping into a concrete sort of sadness; you want to be with these creatures, but (mostly) not like this.
  25. Take the French lessons you’ve been meaning to take for 2 years.
  26. Practice finishing what you started.
  27. Take a social media/job-search break for 12 hours to read Beautiful Losers and write.
  28. Tell stories about the time you saw a giant tortoise eat it’s own…well, maybe not. It was more the reaction of the other observers that was priceless.
  29. Forget about how the much-younger-but-still-cold-and-overly-formal bartender kept calling you “Ma’am.”
  30. Enjoy the shit out of the complementary tea, custard creams, gingerbread and shortbread that sits waiting in every hotel room there, ’cause they just don’t do that at home.
  31. Don’t worry that you were 2 hours away from Stonehenge with a completely open schedule but still didn’t go and see it. You will be back soon enough.
  32. Turn everything off and just read.
  33. Colour with the window open, sitting on the floor, watching the sunset, with the sea breeze cooling your wine-warmed face.
  34. Wonder (stop wondering) why you can’t seem to be in love with the right person, ever.
  35. Find a new rhythm.
  36. Eat fruit slowly.
  37. Devote yourself to living by the sea in a more permanent way.
  38. Don’t let the cheapness of the combed sand or the too-small aquarium tanks or pier toll sway you from just visiting places like kitchy, old-timey beach towns.  Those are really the best, anyhow.

2016: A Blank Canvas.

narnia street light
via Pinterest

Well here we are, rolling into 2016.

I had such high hopes for how things would be by now. Some things seems clearer, but life isn’t glamorous.

Today was spent going to all three of “my” houses, working a little, blocked out of Facebook, head mildly sore from last night’s gin and tonics over beautiful warm improv jazz. We did a shot of whiskey with the bartender, because Dawn is…well, Dawn. And that’s what happens in Montreal.

It’s his birthday, so I can’t help but think of him. But he’s just another person I need to not have in my life anymore.

I messaged J earlier to let her know that I’m still riding the amazingness that was 2013 and 2014 — not in an overly-nostalgic way, it’s just that those two nights will be hard to top, ever. I miss them — the times, the people. Everything.

Those were the most perfect nights.

I still haven’t found community here and it wears on me a little every day. I try to focus on how much beautiful space there is instead, but it’s hard.

So it’s 650p on NYE and I’m sitting in my new kitchen having just finished a salami sandwich with fresh Portuguese bun, drinking Scarlett’s leftover vodka with Orangina. Later I’ll try out my new teeny tub — it’s not much, but enough for me, for now.

I’m in one of the most amazing cities in the world, but with no desire to go out.

I just left the fabulous Esplanade ladies for the last time. It was nice to say goodbye to them properly, but it still feels like another failed relationship. They didn’t find anyone to take my place. Mr. Boo (the cat) returned after a day or two away, and I was glad that I got to give him a little love too.

I forgot to return the keys on the way out, then felt like an ass when I read the text but didn’t turn around — bad etiquette for the last day of the year, I know. But I promise(d) to drop them first thing tomorrow.

Trudging through the snow on the way home, awkwardly carrying the last remnants of that place, I stopped to look at an old style street light and thought of the Narnia books.

It was then that I felt the cold weight of my new alone-ness.

I’m in a fresh new space for myself: white walls, white snow outside. It’s new, it’s bright, it’s clear. This is my first time ever living alone without even a cat to come home to. It feels more intense than I expected.

I can finally unpack, unload.

I can breathe here. And that’s why I’m here…to breathe.

I have one white plate, one white bowl, a few glasses, and bits and pieces of cutlery…I like it like this. I’ll have to buy a few more dishes, but not much.

There’s a spot for everything, I’m not in anyone’s way (nor me in theirs) and I have exactly what I need. The bed is comfortable and the walls are stark…there is so much space to play with.

I’ve always been scared of a blank canvas; I tend to get indecisive sometimes if there’s no guidance. I see the joy in it too. This is the test for now.

I’m scared that I will be this alone forever. I really do not want to, but I’m also finding myself less and less able to offer energy to others. I guess I wasn’t ever that good at it. But the thing is that I want to be good at it. I want to share my life with another / others in a real way.

It just doesn’t seem to work. So I embrace it (again) in the hopes that this is (again) only a temporary and healing respite. And there’s work to do.

There’s color to add, food to cook, people to drop by.

Basically my resolution is to fill in the blanks in a way that is fulfilling. Like, I don’t want to have days that I want to end. There have been too many of those lately. That’s no way to live, feeling like that.

Will I do it, for real, this time?

Will I fill in my life with actual, proper, full on joy in a way that I never have?

~

“Trouble
Oh trouble please be kind
I don’t want no fight
And I haven’t got a lot of time.” ~ Cat Stevens


 
~

“Oh take me home
Let me go all day
Just be here til I know
Til I know that the riot’s gone, the riot’s gone away .”  ~ Santigold