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.
i don’t know how to negotiate drama in friendship. this weekend i learned that i have let people down, said too much, or said not enough.
it makes me want to run away. or just hide my head in the sand.
i’ve tried more apologies. but end up just shaking my head at texts that read like notes passed in english class.
why does life still feel like high school?
and then i went out with two of my favourite people. not hours before we were discussing the issues of a very complex relationship. but as the night grew longer i watched as they put it all aside, and began to dance together, all because of love.
and i figured, as i sat there sipping my vodka and cranberry, if they can get through this, then i have nothing to worry about.
this desire to be loved.
It comes when I feeling unsure,
when I behaved in a way unbecoming, heck, even
when I am in the grocery store wanting to discuss what I should be making for dinner.
Acceptance, companionship, love – I desire it so much, even when I know I don’t deserve it. But that desire, it stays in the back of my mind. And when I think about love, the reminders of thousands of sins, come rolling forward and I am left with this thought:
You are unworthy.
Last week I read this, and I was reminded once again that I might be unworthy, but that’s just besides the point.
Today greeted me with a hilarious note from my sister, eating sweets c/o my parents, giving chocolates to my coworkers and now an afternoon with the girls.
How can you hate this day?
I am reminding myself of who loves me. And that I don’t need a silly holiday to be reminded to love. And to love with intention.
Here are some great ways to be intentional about sharing love and to Celebrate Valentines Day!
I decided the other day that I must start telling my friends what I like about them. I started with Flo, one of my German colleagues here, and shared that I really like his enthusiasm. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable (being too excited makes me think you might be hiding something…), but nevertheless, “like”.
His response was: “You are constructively opinionated.”
And then the other day I was called a raging feminist (this time by a Canadian)… I think he was joking but I fear not.
I guess both are true, to an extent. As of late, I am passionate about human rights, about women being treated equally and have even been known to make counter theological points just for the heck of it.
Today, though I was thinking about love and relationships. I have my mental list all ready for what I am looking for, indeed the deal breakers have been marked heavily. But I guess what it comes down to is this… I desire love. And no matter my passion for equality, women’s rights and whatever else I feel the need to argue that hour…I do want love and marriage (and don’t worry – preferably in the same person). And really the two are not opposite thoughts and processes. There are countless examples of things that “wives are supposed to do” that make me cringe. But deep down I am fully aware that I will want to serve someone who loves me in return.
This poem just made me want love. Love that surpasses all expectations.
When you find a man Who transforms Every part of you Into poetry, Who makes each one of your hairs Into a poem, When you find a man, Capable, As I am Of bathing and adorning you With poetry, I will beg you To follow him without hesitation, It is not important That you belong to me or him But that you belong to poetry. When You Find a Man by Nizar Qabbani. Translation by Bassam K. Frangieh and Clementina R. Brown
And maybe I will find it in one person, one day. Or maybe I won’t. But the kicker is… this raging feminist is starting to put her guard down.