Life moves on, as it is ought to do. It doesn’t have the same smoothness to it now, like a train steadily chugging along, but instead it lurches forward only to grind to sudden halts without warning. We have moved from the basement suite we had been living in since returning to Fort McMurray, and into a sixth floor apartment in Eagle Ridge. We have a little balcony and a kitchen with a lot of counter space. We have large windows facing south. God, how I love having a view again.
Life goes on, as it simply has to. I’ve been told that a wise man once said, he pities the fool who does the same thing over and over and expects different results. That’s how it goes, right? For the past several months, I have been repeating the same actions and patterns that was my normal before the fire and evacuation. I have been trying desperately to dance to the same melody. To no ones enormous surprise, I’m constantly stumbling on my own toes, whacking into furniture and walls alike and bruising my poor fragile ego in the process.
I have days when I wake up feeling completely normal.
I have days when I can hardly wake up at all.
This sucks some major balls.
(Pardon my French.)
Doing the same things as I did before – dancing to that familiar beat – has been extremely important to me and also proven to be a wise choice. Life is still right here, happening with all its might and beauty. I’m happy that I kept on trucking. Happy that I’ve kept busy with writing (am very proud indeed that I now write a weekly arts and entertainment piece for the Connect), theatre, working, school, people – all that good stuff.
Only I’ve found that the good stuff isn’t quite the same anymore.
Something is off, something is missing. Performing a fun and lively monologue in front of friends was suddenly a source of dread and anxiety and when I nestle down in the couch to read, the letters refuse to form coherent sentences. I deperately need new warm boots – because winter is definitely coming – but every time I step into a store I feel perplexed and intimidated and end up leaving without buying anything.
I’m doing the same things that I used to do and am suddenly getting very different results.
All through summer, I’ve maintained a high-paced social life. I have been going out with the same intensity (read: I tend to party hard) as I was before, spending some amazingly fun times with some amazingly entertaining people. Repeating the same familiar melody that I have been humming for years – only now it’s different, and I don’t seem to remember the right words.
Things change, as they always have and always will. I used to dance a lot when going out. I used to laugh and chatter and sing along to every song the band played. Lately, all I do is cry. I have a few drinks and before you know it I’m huddled in a corner, embarrased and still wanting to have a merry old time, but unable to stop crying. Composure, good moods, makeup – it all scampers out the window and leaves me with a runny nose and a chest filled to the brim with every horrible feeling imaginable.
Luckily, not everything changes all at once – the amazing people are still amazing. Every single time the crying has started, my friends and husband has rallied to my side in a flash; sometimes with encouraging words and a solid pat on the back, sometimes just sitting next to me while I wail, sometimes making me laugh that ugly crying laugh that feels so good in the belly.
For them always being there and having my back, I’m eternally grateful. It’s also what made me realize that something has to change – again. If I keep going down this self-destructive path, where things that are supposed to be fun instead are filled with corrugated emotions and tears, I’m afraid I will lose these phenomenal people I get to call my friends. The thought alone makes it hard to breathe.
My response to a familiar pattern has changed to something pretty embarrasing and – quite frankly – annoying, so instead of frantically clinging to the way things used to be, it’s time I found a new way of being.
Change can be terrifying, but sometimes, it’s a step we need to take.
New paths leads to new adventures, ones we never thought that we would have.
For two months, there will be no alcohol consumed by me whatsoever. Not even the one little glass of wine with dinner, not the tasty gluten free IPA you can only find at one liqour store in town, nothing nada niente ingenting. Instead, I will find my way back to yoga and running, I will focus on getting my health back on track, I will let my mind rest for a bit.
Things will always change,
sometimes the best you can do is to change with them.