This post is not adorned with jubilant race pictures, or triathlon, or much of anything more than thoughts. I feel like I’ve been floating the past few weeks, hovering about my life rather than living it, and it’s putting me far too much in my head. My feet are in two different worlds. My heart is divided by the 49th parallel.
My trip to Vancouver last week to visit my relocated husband was wonderful. I was reunited with the best muffins on the planet, which I used to bake at 5 am when I lived there 10 years ago. We stuffed ourselves on the best sashimi I’ve had in years. We hung out with my brother, who has the best laugh, and talks about the intercostal muscles as if he’s reading Alan Ginsberg poetry. We braved a full day in the rain and wandered Granville Island Public Market and traversed bridges and mused about daily things, like grocery shopping and running routes. We did work lunches and happy hours and took the East Hastings bus out to Commercial just for conversation and good Phõ.
The flashbacks came fiercely and yet gently. As if saying, “things are different now, but it’s OK, I’ll be gentle.”
I sipped coffee with a friend whose impatience with me is alarmingly comforting. I swam with my in-the-flesh “social media” friends in Kitsilano’s 130-something meter pool on its closing day. (Thanks, Liz and Christine!) I ran to my cousin’s house—just 4 miles from my new apartment’s front door—for coffee and apple muffins (with apples from her tree) and toddlers and a long-time coming visit, and then ran home. I wore long-sleeved T-shirts on morning runs through Stanley Park, buoyed by the smell of the Pacific that I’m so glad I don’t have to leave behind. I listened to seagulls, and that adorable Canadian tendency to compare itself to its neighbors to the south.
I slept in a high-rise, waking to a Jetson’s like world of glass and concrete and construction, and I successfully imagined myself there making toast and avocado breakfasts. I let hard-edged reality inject itself into what had become a too rose-colored view of our move.
And now I’m back, finding nostalgia in taking $60 from a stranger for a bookshelf. In riding Elfin forest with Julie, and the comfort of friends who remember that I’m still here I haven’t left. Don’t say goodbye yet.
My work life is a tangled cord right now, and in many ways I feel manic. But also calm, like I’m “waiting for my real life to begin” (in the words of folk singer Colin Hay).
Packing, I have found, is the ultimate obsessive compulsive action. I’m finding myself craving efficiency and minimalism, “Kondo-ing” everything in sight. (Asking, “do I need this?” and “does this thing bring me joy?”) I’m wanting to honor the past while also starting fresh, and musing over how possessions bring a sense of self.
I want to put this pink California sunset into a mason jar and bottle it up for the rainy days that I know are coming. To take this perfection and comfort and remake it a few hundred miles north where I know it won’t be easy or straightforward.
Unfortunately, I don’t even have extreme training to distract me. But that one’s for another day. Until then, here I am. Just between.