Sunday, Feb. 03, 2019 @ 2:08 pm
Days Eight & Nine
I pack up my bag, load it into the trunk of a car share, and drive away from my parents house. On my way out of the neighbourhood, I see the mother of my childhood best friend. I pull over, jump out, and give her the biggest hug. My second mum.
As I drive across town, I observe my feelings: a sense of independence, elation, and freedom, with a hint of nervousness. I park outside of my friends house, a brick-faced Vancouver Special. Their neighbours are out with their kids on the road. We introduce ourselves, and as I go into the house the woman says, "Welcome to the neighbourhood."
I settle in and spend time with the cats. They are shy and sleek, and they spy on me surreptitiously as I hang up my clothes. Big eyes and quiet little frowns.
Later, I walk over to the pool. Pin the locker key into the elastic nylon of my swimsuit. Walk out onto the pool deck, gauge the speed of each of the lanes, and slip into the water. A sunbeam slants across the centre of the pool, and I open my eyes underwater and watch all of the sparkling light flash around. The pockets of air from my breath exploding loudly across my face.
I walk around the neighbourhood with drippy hair. Groceries. Coffee. Farmers Market. Everything inside of me is still. I have nowhere to be, nobody to report to.
The next day, I walk down to a yoga class that I used attend. Open the door to the building and it smells the same. Take off my boots and socks, sweatshirt over my head, walk into the warm room towards the teacher's desk. I have a huge smile on my face, and his face lights up in recognition. We talk for a while, about where I'd gone and what had happened. He's the most gentle of souls, and I have spent hours upon hours under his instruction. Most of my movements are modeled from his strength and grace. He waves away my money and tells me to go settle in. At the end of the class, we talk again. I tell him how safe I feel in this space, and how challenging myself here has built my confidence outside of the studio. I leave feeling full and warm, despite the pellets of snow that blow across my face.
Every now and again, a wave of sorrow passes through me. In those moments, I crave to be near someone. I wish for an email or text message. For someone to be walking with me. I want to show them the emerging crocuses and the already forming magnolia buds. I want to smile at them and see them smile back in return.
I allow these moments, and then I work to fill that empty part by giving. I send out a kind message to someone. I help someone with their groceries. Make conversation with a lonely looking person. Run the vacuum around the baseboards of this child-destroyed house. Rub the soft white belly of the cat.
I sit in a coffee shop and realize that I'm having a date with myself. And you know what? It's pretty OK.