Sometimes I feel as though I roll over in bed, open my eyes to look at the clock, and am faced with a whole new calendar year instead! When did it get to be 2012 already? And why is it almost MARCH? Did those Mayans come and pull some whammy on me?
I clearly didn't finish all the adventures of New Orleans, so those will just have to be interspersed among the--hopefully--new blog posts. Some close friends (Crystle Reid, Anya Zub, Heather Read) have been working on their own blogs, and I'm shamed to have had one for so long, with so few posts. So, now I'm going to try and update at least once a week in order to keep the ol' hand in the writing jar, so to speak.
Plus, more travel is coming up. Including MORE New Orleans!
Yep, the intrepid traveller is gathering up this freak show called My Life, and heading out into the world again. At the end of April, things will be shipped back to the Western region of Canada, I will be heading somewhere North....waaaaaaayyyyyy North for the summer, and then back East and South to New Orleans in the fall. By the start of 2013, I hope like hell to be back in the Vancouver Lower Mainland somewhere, starting a new chapter of my life, and writing my thesis as if the devil was waiting for chapters...fast!
I'm teaching my second course this Winter term, and we've just passed the half way point. Rather hard to believe. This...from a gal who used to get panic attacks...travelling and teaching and studying like mad.
Oh, and I turned 40 this year. But we won't make a fuss over that.
Well, ok, a little fuss. Yes, I turned 40. It's weird, hard to believe, slightly lame, and rather wonderful, all at once. I once read in "Anne of Green Gables" or "Emily of New Moon" (read your L.M. Montgomery, y'all!) that the character wrote a letter when she was a child, 10 or 11 or something, and addressed it to herself as an adult. I'm terribly, terribly glad I never did that. It seems ridiculously awful to read a letter from your prior, more rosy, more youthful, more full of piss and vinegar, more naive self at an age where you GET how very naive you actually were. Even the character in the book has this reaction, and the letter only serves to make her more tired, and a little sad. The thought of even my 30-year-old self writing this slightly more embittered, yet strangely jauntier, 40-year-old self makes me damned glad I never bought into that saccharine crap!
At 30 I was just getting out of a marriage, living on my own for the first time in my life, going back to school and wondering if I even had the ability to learn or retain knowledge anymore. I was working at a job that sucked a lot of my soul out, suffering from occasional panic attacks, meeting new friends, and trying to remember that just because my husband and I had not made it work, that I was not broken at the core of myself.
At 33, I got a plane for the first time in my life, as this blog will tell you. I left my province for the first time in my life (I had previously only travelled to the States on two day trips, and Saskatchewan with my mother at an age where I don't remember the trip at all), and headed clear from one coast to the other, across the second largest country in the world. I started a new life with nothing: no furniture, no friends in the area, no dishes, no job. All to start a folklore program in a province I didn't yet understand.
Now, at 40, I have lived almost 10 years in Newfoundland, have travelled to and lived for six weeks across the pond in England, have lived for three and a half months in New Orleans, Louisiana, have travelled to Churchpoint and Halifax in Nova Scotia, Montreal and Quebec City in Quebec, Toronto in Ontario, Baton Rouge in Louisiana and Bloomington in Indiana. I am now planning on living for four months up North in the territories, then going back to New Orleans, and finally, after a decade away, moving back to my home province. And yet, I have no idea if that will be where I permanently hang my hat, and am prepared to move again as jobs, opportunities and conferences arise. I get up and teach 57 undergraduate university students in my Folklore 1000 class, and am working on the final (though biggest and baddest) stages of my doctoral program in Folklore, and I'm hoping by the end of 2013 I can be called Doctor!
I think I would shoot myself in the head if I had to read a "letter to myself" from 30, 20, dear god...could you even imagine reading one from your teen years??? The horror. But taking stock is always interesting. As I gear up for a final push off the island of Newfoundland, back into the world, I realize that I will once again be without a bed, without dishes, without a job, but with the knowledge that I can start anywhere, at any age, and make it work. It's damned nice, when you're feeling rather lonely and overwhelmed with work and planning and logistics and...well...fear, that you've felt those things before and ended up here: in an apartment, with good friends in the area, and dishes, and a job.
The point? There is none...this is a blog. A self-indulgent online diary. Sheesh. And it is definitely NOT a letter to myself at 50!!
However....if I could say something to that person...that greying wreck...I'd say that wherever you are, you have come very, very, very far to get there.