Solitude

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This may seem like an unusual quote to be posting when I'm on my way to a place that's brimming with millions of people at all hours, on 4 non-continuous hours of sleep and the wrong kind of tea - to the city that never sleeps. This Toronto trip so far hasn't done for me what the other 2 before it this year had. It's a little disappointing, but I'm probing a larger question: what does this place owe me? What do I owe it? The themes of guilt, obligation, and loyalty have shown up for me a lot lately and maybe this is the hover-over-rock-bottom low I need to make sense of it all. I won't be alone in New York much at all. But this quote reminds me of what I'm doing in the first place, as my commitment to myself. I feel very misunderstood by nearly everyone in my life and I don't think anyone knows how to support me. Maybe what I'm doing brings up other things for them. Either way, I didn't expect it to be so isolating.

I should know by now that by trying to control so many things in my life it's indicative of the fact that I can't really control anything at all.  I thought by now I would be able to see things clearer though. I thought after this many attempts to make changes, I would have determined a method to my madness.. A pattern.  Some kind of logic. Yet I feel stuck even though I'm moving. I feel suspended between something I know and hate and a future I don't know and hope loves me back. It's a very vulnerable position. You need to have a certain strength as a person to challenge your status quo the way I have, especially when the status quo is so adamantly enforced onto you. People who do what I'm doing now aren't weak people, and yet, the storm is crazier out here. And I thought I was at the end of my leash in Calgary with family, with finances, with fake friends and the constant disappointment that comes with still being disappointed over the same things for so long. I will say though, having had mostly negative experiences here at Pearson Airport, it was refreshing to walk through Terminal 3 so early in the morning when it was quiet. Just a handful of other passengers scurrying between the self check-in kiosks and the baggage drop. CSRs dressed as flight attendants (or vice versa?) standing there fiddling at the start of their shifts.  And it felt clean. So few luggages dragged across the shiny white floors. My journey through customs was a breeze. And then here I was, 3 hours ahead of my flight, already checked in and ready to go, fighting the beginnings of a cold and somehow this whirlwind hasn't hit me yet that I'm going to New York. I never thought I could visit there in my lifetime, it was too expensive of a flight from Calgary. And it's thanksgiving weekend, but I'm spending it in a country that doesn't celebrate it at that same time.

because I still have a little bit of time and my travel charger is fully loaded I'll elaborate a little on thanksgiving. I don't like this holiday. I have the word 'gratitude' tattooed on the back of my neck and in elementary school I dreamed about the overflowing cornucopias and horns of plenty that brought together the pilgrims and the natives in a peaceful, non racist feast. I like the cozy sweaters, pumpkin beer, and the beginning of fat season. I like being around friends. And one of the reasons I was excited to come to Toronto for thanksgiving was to be near my friends - the closest friends I have, my friends who are family - on the holiday of gratitude. Drake just made that better.

Drake unfortunately sprained his ankle (and can't even do one dance, so sad) and that's why on the morning of thanksgiving Sunday, I'm at the airport again. This Toronto trip is too long. And for the first time, too painful. It aches. The city is home but instead of a warm embrace it's a hug that shatters me on contact. It's like I want to wave this place away, saying "I don't need you right now."  I don't know if my Toronto family reads my website at all. And if they read this entry, I hope they understand. My Toronto family is starting to feel like my real family right now, or maybe what my real family would be like if they gave half a shit about me. It all feels... A little overbearing. I don't feel like those friends get me. On the whole. And this is a place where I've always felt understood and that I belonged. But I genuinely don't think they understand this process of mine or have any frame of reference to feel like they can validate it. The truth is that I can't hurry up. Not this time. This thing is too important to me, more than anything else. THIS is my lifeline and I still have it. This is the rope I'm still hanging onto, not choking myself with. The degree is secondary. I don't care. I'm so many years beyond thinking your job and your wallet size make you successful and so that BSW is something I want one day, but I'm gonna take my time getting there. I'm so sick of rushing, especially for other people. I'm so tired of doing things for other people. And so a part of me also feels like somewhere along the way, between my last trip here in August to now something messed up in my head, a wire popped, and somehow I started to think things were different here...more or less.  And I was wrong about that. My luck hasn't been fantastic lately. Neither has my health. Which is why it's so important for me to do this, all of this, even if my process makes no sense on the surface.  I may have taken a trip around the world to discover/find myself, but it's now that I feel lost at sea. Alone, confused, and misunderstood. Yet I don't think I can hit rock bottom because in my life, I already have. I've lost so much. I'm 25 and I've lost so many important people to me, and I've had so many things taken from me that shouldn't have been. I know loss and I know pain. So this, I have to carry. I can't let it weigh me down, because it isn't heavy enough, even though it hurts a lot. Even though there's a lot of disappointment wound up in there, along with the guilt I haven't been able to bury, and the inadequacy I thought I had gotten past long ago-I take it, and it comes with me. It's so heavy. But I don't know how to let it go.

So back to Thanksgiving. I'm curious to see what this will mean for me, being in New York for, um, Columbus Day. I think that's what happens south of the border when we Canadians are getting our overindulge-and-drink on for the first time this winter. (Columbus Day might be helpful since I don't have shoes, and I think in America every holiday means a sale. Long story about the shoes.) I sincerely wonder, though, if I'm not getting the thanksgiving both the childhood me and the delusional adult me from 8 weeks ago wanted because I've done more than my share of being thankful. I wonder if I've thanked other people too much. I've been too gracious, bending over too often, if my Fil-Canadian submissive pushover nature has pushed me over the edge. I wonder if getting lost in the city that never sleeps is what I need to be thankful for myself. For peeling myself out of bed at 3am this morning, holding myself, letting the thoughts flow like tears onto my pillow and gently letting me drift off to sleep.  For carrying myself out of all the shit. Alone. All the times in my life I was left behind. Maybe one more spontaneous trip this year is what I need to get back to myself. Because I feel far away from myself and more like myself than ever before. I have never felt more inspired or less encouraged.  I have never been so skeptical of the people I love while yearning for them, in this way, because I already stepped out of my comfort zone to try to love and trust them.  So that's how shit is right now. But I'm a big girl. I'm gonna buy some cough drops, get on a plane to New York, and handle it. Life has done crazy shit to me and tried to shut me up about it. It makes me feel shitty to think about the things I've missed. But I'm still here. I haven't run out of time yet. And what I do have time for right now is a New York minute, which will hopefully gain me back what I've lost so I can keep doing this a lot longer.

travelMary