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Posts Tagged ‘change’

Sometimes I feel like my trip to Poland didn’t exist here. As in, time stopped in Terrace, in BC, in Canada where my friends and family are and kind of went on just for me when I moved to Poland. It was just such a separate event, this big new chapter in my life that didn’t really relate to much of anything else beforehand. And since I’ve been back, for the most part, it felt like life picked up from where it left off when I moved. But that’s not true. A whole fucking year went by, and sometimes I forget how much time that is and how much distance that did put between a lot of my friendships and how things have changed.

I don’t want the past year to be the only chapter of my life spent abroad in Poland. I don’t want that to be my only time living in Europe. The only thing is, I feel like when I leave again, my life will stop here. And I’ve grown really, really attached to the life I have here since I’ve returned. I don’t want it to change without me again.

Actually my situation at home is really frustrating and stressful right now, but that’s not what I mean when I say I’m attached. It’s not the physical daily-routine life at home I love. It’s just being in the place you grew up, around people that have known you or your sisters or your parents since you were five, the backcountry and mountains, and just TERRACE. It’s home. And I feel like I don’t want to leave / that after my Europe trip (coming up in four months!) I do want to come back.

It’s so back and forth. Three years ago, two years ago, a year ago, I wanted to get as far away as possible from Terrace, from BC, from Canada, pursue my ambitions, travel as much as possible, explore Europe, all that. And up until a few months ago I STILL wanted that. And part of me still does. But what’s new, is my attachment to Terrace, and wanting to come back? I never wanted to come back.[1]

One of my friends recently told me not to. He said for years I’ve talked about the European life, and living in Scotland, or Italy or who the hell knows where and that I wasn’t meant for this small town. And that used to ring so true. But now I don’t know.

It’s fucking frustrating how indecisive I am about my future.

~

To be honest, I wanted to give the world an update on the amazing summer I had after I returned, and how I spent a weekend on Haida Gwaii for a music festival which turned out to be one of the best (sort of last-minute) weekends of my life, about my two jobs, and working routine, and a general update on my life and even the weather and how fast summer turned into autumn but how I’m actually enjoying the crispy air and trees changing colours and just things going on but—I just feel too exhausted to do that now. All that’s on my mind is what I wrote up there.

So maybe next time.

Joanna

P.S. I’ve decided, that even though a year goes by immeasurably fast, a year is still a long fucking time. So much happens in just one year. Six months is half of that. Six months will be the length of my trip. How different will six months be?


[1] In the back of my mind I’m telling myself I might devise a plan to let go of all attachment / all things holding me here before the time I have to leave. (Four months.) Everyone knows I don’t like having things holding me back.

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A few weeks ago I did something really stupid/terrible/wrong/against instinct, however you want to say it. I didn’t tell anyone because I was really ashamed. It made me feel awful. Not just feel awful but like the awful was me, too.

Mistakes are a human quality. I remember when I used to say I didn’t regret my mistakes because they made me into the person I am today. But the thing is, I just make the same mistake over and over again. And I do regret it.

Anyway, a few weeks past and I moved on fast from this biggest-to-date mistake, really fast. Like I easily adjusted. But I feel better now. Not just feel better but like the better is in me, too. Because I feel a change in my mind, psychologically, like I’ve never been more sure of what I want, never been more sure of myself. I think I tweeted and/or tumbled this, but I’m saying it again: Sometimes you find out what it is you want by doing the exact opposite.

I saw a quote the other day I really liked. “I never change, I simply become more myself.” I do think people are constantly trying to better themselves, maybe not literally every second of the day, but on a whole, we are always striving to be that better person, that person we want to be. Ourselves. But now I realize that person we were five years ago, that person a few weeks ago, is always us, just on the journey. It is a constant. So is change.

We shouldn’t be ashamed of our past because at one point in time, that was us, that was a state of mind, unclear thoughts, delusion, confusion, but whatever it was, it made sense at the time. I came across another quote today (good ol’ Tumblr!) that I also think has some truth in it: “Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.”

My mind feels so opened right now. I’ve been having creative ideas nonstop the past couple weeks. They are literally keeping me from sleeping, coming to me in my most tired moments. But I have learned over the years that you do not ignore that urge to write. You turn on your bedside lamp and scribble down everything on your notepad, then try to decode the scrawling in the morning. The other week, I wrote my first short story in over a year. And I know that sounds like a small accomplishment, but I feel really good about it. I really miss writing. As soon as exams are over, I have two more ideas I would like to get down.

I’m going to make mistakes again. I can hope it’s nothing more than a tragic spelling mistake[1], but life isn’t that easy. I know there will be more. But I am positive it is not going to be a repeat.

 

Joanna


[1] A particularly “tragic” spelling mistake, would be something like definately *cringe* or mischievious *double cringe*

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Okay. Where to start. I realize it’s been a while since I last wrote, a long while, and it definitely feels longer than it actually was, likely because this was the first (and longest) break I’ve taken from blogging. I had a total of one post for November. One! For October, I had ten. I think December will be better. Though I’m also quite busy these upcoming weekends, December is a more promising month because there are more things that excite me and inspire me. Winter[1],all the awesome things you can do with snow (sledding, snowmen, snowball fights, ski….), Christmas, winter break, and New Years Eve! Woop woop! And referring back to an earlier post, the ‘coziness of winter’ pretty much urges you to curl up in your blankets, hot mug of tea on hand, and write. So we’ll see how December will go for me.

It’s been two and a half months since I left! Maybe a bit more. And in that time, I’ve thought of my friends more times than I can count. Memory after memory came sprawling into my mind at uncalled for moments, catching me off guard, making me analyze things and see more than I did before. Analyze situations, friendships, personalities, emotions, all that good stuff! But also appreciate my friends back home a lot more, and really miss their presence, comments, humour, smiles, etc. Maybe that’s why when people leave, they often move back. It’s really hard to abandon your former life, with your mind almost carelessly dropping a boatful of memories at every opportunity. You see things in your memories and feel things you didn’t before. All these strings tying and pulling us back to home. Letting go of those attachments is hard.

I’m not saying I want to let go, in fact; I’ve always been more of the person that holds on tighter to those connections. I keep in touch with people like no one else I’ve ever met. When I was still living in Terrace, and over the years as friends moved away, I emailed, I phoned people on their birthdays, I wrote letters. I did this since the time I was eight, when one of my best friends moved away, another best friend a year later[2], and when I met another best friend at summer camp. And when people came back to visit, whether it was a year later, or five, they often told me I was one of the few that put in an effort.

Yes, keeping in touch is really difficult, especially if you’re the one that left. Balancing your old connections and new ones was never easy. But when people put in that effort, it is really appreciated. And I know that more so now.

I won’t lie. I am a little disappointed with some of my friends, some of my closest friends, that have barely put in an effort. I don’t mean to demote them from their good-friend-status, but there’s a little bit more distance now, when we talk, when we write, and rarely that is. It’s an awkward thing between the two of us, that elephant in the room. We throw excuses of our new busy lives, of parties, work, exams, all that, lest we acknowledge it. With our excuses, we try to justify the fact that someone just wasn’t putting in the effort.

And I imagine myself going back, and hanging out with those people. With some people, that friendship will just fall back into place like I never left. Some people are people better experienced in person—long-distance communication really isn’t there thing. And I can differentiate those people from those that are communicators, so to speak. But with some people, there will be a new distance[3]. The lack of effort during my time away will show. And I just worry, will that distance slip between us and never leave.

Another thing I experienced to do with friends, memories, and missing people, is I caught myself missing moments shared with one of my (at-the-time) best friends, Jenny. I have some of the fondest of memories with this girl, to be topped by none. When we were friends, we connected on a completely different level, this understanding I’ve never had with another friend before. We were very different but balanced each other out perfectly, in a way. We just fit together, that’s honestly what it felt like.

At first, I thought I missed her. But what I came to realize is, I didn’t really miss her. I missed the person she used to be. Not her, but her old self. The one I was best friends with. Maybe it was over the summer, or maybe the roots can be traced back to the end of highschool, but things just weren’t fitting the same anymore. Where we used to comfort each other, we aggravated each other. Where honesty used to be the highway of our friendship, lies ran it over. We got into little fights that wouldn’t resolve themselves, like they used to. I felt the change in her, but couldn’t pinpoint what it was. And perhaps there was a little change in me too.

It’s weird when a friend changes, how we sometimes can move past it. How the change strengthens the friendship. It’s funny how with some people, one small change, whatever it is, can mean the difference of a friendship. And that’s what it was with her. It was sudden, and unexpected, and I still mourn the connection we had. But I am also aware that I have realized it, accepted it, and moved on. We are still friends, just not best friends. We know there’s a difference, and I think because we both acknowledged it, we both moved harmlessly on. There is no one clinging to what once was. [4] I will always look back with fondness on the friendship. When I’m fifty and see a photo of us together, it will be a smile-and-look-back moment.

Sure, part of me still wishes things can go back to the way they were, and maybe hope a little that they will. But I think the bigger part knows what’s passed is in the past. I’ve never really had troubles with moving on from a friendship before. I guess before it always felt natural. It was a gradual process, where as this one happened quickly.

As much as I hate to think it, part of me says this is only the beginning. Sure, over the next few years, all my friends will be hovering around Terrace. We’ll see each other in the summers, keep in touch, etcetera. But as time carries us further, we’re going to end up in different places, make new connections, that might gradually replace the old ones. Not all of them, but add another layer into the complicated mix of the old and new. We won’t be seeing each other semi-reguarly, kept up to date. And I’m afraid time will fly and that we won’t even notice how fast friendships are passing us by.

Where is the line? How much are we allowed to hold on, and how much should we let go? Some people can drop their former life and treat it as it never existed. Other clings hard to the old. But where is the balance?


[1] I really can’t wait for some permanent snow to be around here.

[2] The perks of living in a community with a  bad economy.

[3] When we used to talk every day, and not need to be caught up, there will now be gaps. Oh, when did that happen? / How did I not hear about that? What do you mean you aren’t speaking to your dad anymore? –those kind of things.

[4] No one likes a clinger!

 

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Life is changing so fast.

It’s hard to realize everything that is about to happen. In ten days, I will be in another country. Another continent, actually. This isn’t just a skip across the Canadian-American border. Another time zone. An entirely different culture. A place of another language, a different history, and all familiar things vanished.

(more…)

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