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

 

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Reframing

I do wish this was my view. I dream of living somewhere warm.
I do wish this was my view. I dream of living somewhere warm.

Reframe.  Find a new vantage point.  Shift your perspective.  Change the lens with which you view the world.  Are you familiar with these concepts?

I repeat all of these metaphors to myself all the time.  I know it’s important to continually do this for yourself, no matter what that means to you.

I had a bit of an existential crisis last night.  Oh who am I kidding, I don’t really know what that means.

It was pouring rain.  My apartment was cold so I had a bath.  I was sitting in the bath actually praying (I’ve never been a ‘prayer’) for a sign, some guidance just leading me to the next step in my life, or, for a sign that maybe waiting or sitting still is the right choice right now.

I know damn well that answers don’t just fall from the sky, that the only thing stopping me is ‘me’, that I write my own story, etc.

I know damn well that I get to put the work in first, that I have to do something to make more happen.  I just don’t know what more I can do, or am supposed to do.

ocean_surfaceI feel I’m floating in the middle of a huge saltwater lake.  I’m floating, not drowning, which means I’m feeling generally secure, relatively comfortable.  The shore is a swimmable distance, but still a long way, and there may or may not be people on land waiting to greet me.  I don’t have a fancy flotation thing to lie on, or a drink in my hand…this isn’t the lap of luxury, but I’m not scared.  I’m OK, but feel invisible.  A few people know that I’m safe, but noone knows exactly where I am.

I have some strength to swim in some direction, but I have no idea or intuition which direction I need to go.  I can’t see anything.

Anyhow, through all the weird thoughts that passed through my mind last night, I remembered something that I’ve known for a long time: I need to reframe everything in order to make change.

But how do I reframe when I’m finding it difficult to get to a different place to even see in a new light?  (This is a metaphor, but it also can apply geographically).

According to Gabby Bernstein (quoted from this blogpost on the Daily Love), ‘a “a miracle is a shift in perspective from fear to Love.’

I do follow and genuinely like all the new agey spiritual leaders, the kind that are featured on this website.  I like what they have to say.  And I get it, Gabby ‘chose Love’ one day and that was her miracle.  She quit drinking, etc. and changed her life around.  So, she did that, a similar story as many of her colleagues.  They did that, so they are an example of a shining, happy life.

They do alot.  They are people to be admired, no doubt.  But they also make their living off of talking about it.  I can talk about these things too.  I can write it here, or talk about it until my lips are numb.  I can pontificate and philosophize with the best of them.

But what I don’t understand is what it takes to be the change.  It takes a leap of faith, sure  But what has to happen to take the first step, especially when you feel like you don’t have a lot of wiggle room, or no real idea of which direction to move into?  I really can’t just quit my job tomorrow and go travel around the world.  Well, I could, but it wouldn’t be the smartest decision.  Not when I’m living in debt, alone and paycheck to paycheck.

What I don’t know about shifting perspective: does it just happen, does it come when you build it, how much will it feel like work?

What if I want some help?  How do I ask for this?

Maybe I’m not looking through the right window.  Funnily enough, I am at work right now, and the window that is open on my screen, the one with my WordPress site, is the only one I truly want to look at, so, I’m not really ‘working’.  This says something.  This, doing this right now, is one of the few things that feels right and good in my life right now.

I’ve always been scared to write the real, visceral, diary stuff for the public.  I’ve considered my audience for most of my posts.

But this article on Elephant Journal perhaps was the sign that I needed.  It reminded me that the right thing is to heart-write and if just one other person reads it and feels better, that’s what matters.

So my perspective regarding just plain writing is changing.  But what about the rest of my life?  And, what about practicing writing from different perspectives?

This Freshly Pressed article also hit home for me.  I am in awe of the capacity that the writer has to imagine a different perspective so clearly that they can still write about this horrific experience from the heart.  This is what is so important about writing.

I also watched a documentary called Bearing Witness the other day (I highly recommend it, although there are a few disturbing scenes).  It follows 5 female journalists working in military zones, one of which is Marie Colvin, the well-known journalist who was killed in Syria almost a year ago.

These things reminded me of why we write: to report on the world, we have to be able to write (or photograph, or draw, or whatever creative form we choose) outside of our heads, to see things through other people’s eyes.  

I know that I have a million ideas daily, not all of which are about me.  They swarm around in my brain, bee-like, difficult to grasp for long enough to form a clear set of thoughts about them, sometimes linking together in ways that don’t make sense.  It’s a struggle to get them down here in an organized way sometimes.

So I’m just going to get them out as best I can now.  And I’ll continue to seek out a new vantage point to write from.   Maybe the next post will have a fresh perspective, will be a new story.  Maybe not.  But I’ll write anyhow.