Tagged: cultural differences

fall in love with life, once again

It’s been two months since I landed back in Canada.

I have the overwhelming feeling that this life isn’t as easy of a fit anymore.

I was walking through the suburbs of my childhood, getting lost in a place that was my home for years. And the incongruities between my two lives hit me: no fences or barbed wire allows me to see right into people’s homes as I pass. As I walk on the perfectly formed sidewalks, across the pedestrian crossings, I don’t get stared at or followed, and cars stop and wait for my leisurely crossing. Basically, walking through a neighborhood is easy: pedestrian crossings, perfectly formed sidewalks, dogs on a leash type of easy. I am not dodging mobs of dogs, or rubbish thrown on the side, rather I am consumed by the smell of freshly cut grass as it lingers in the air.

My brain hurts from the constant comparisons – honestly, walks here are far less interesting.

And so I start to wallow as I try to find healing and a sense of purpose. It’s that allusive glimmer of hope that I will eventually feel whole again. But I am taking baby steps in finding what is next. Each decision that I make, I first ask the question: will it make me happy?

And so, instead of pursuing a job in Oil and Gas or in another volunteering capacity, I took a job at Starbucks.

My new job as a barista continues to make me feel unsure of what I expect out of life. But there is something beautiful in providing a coffee and a smile. That’s it. That’s all I am responsible for. No newbie arriving from America and needing to be held through the process of orientation and cultural fit. No drunk mechanic requiring constant supervision and a development plan. It’s just coffee.

I needed this job. I am so burnt out from nearly four years of caring too much, and near the end feeling constantly unsafe and scared.

And so back in Canada my days are filled with learning the basics of a coffee shop, sun tanning, day drinking and learning how to be with a man who actually is decent and cares for me (something I have never allowed myself before).

I have decided my only mission this summer is to fall in love with life – here in Canada.

backyard tanning


be more

A two-hour conversation, full of disconnecting and call backs, led me to this: my parents, are well, brilliant.

I shared with them my heart and new directions. And their response?

“Sheila, we love you. Whatever you do, wherever you live, if it makes you happy, we will support you.”

And I then proceeded to over-share with my mother. Those were thoughts that have been ruminating for months.

It was in direct contrast to another conversation I had with a friend last week… I was spilling,  using her as a sounding board for my present musings and frustrations.

She yelled at me in exasperation, “SHEILA! What is it that you want?”

And I said, “I want a job that matters, where at the end of the day, I can say: it was more than.”

Her response, “Why do you think you can have it all?”

Looking back the only right answer would be “my parents.”

I can blame them for a lot of things, and this is added to the list –

I blame my parents for allowing me the freedom to believe that I can do more. Be more.

And so, yet again, its with mixed reviews, as I forge my plan again.