Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In like a Lion and out like a Lamb

March in Calgary is a moody month at the best of times; whereas in some parts of the world the heralding of spring brings with it mild weather, budding cherry blossoms, warm winds and pedicured sandal ed feet, in the unforgiving climate of Western Canada, March is a confused indecisive time wherein it can be snowing one hour and deceptively sunny the next. People in parkas sip beer on patios. Cats make near obsessive compulsive-like journeys in-and-out the catdoor, while office workers similarly fidget with their windows, opening them one moment to exclaim how beautiful it is outside, and then desperately plugging in the space heater an hour later while frantically sipping their 3rd latte of the day, twitching.

Today was one such example: I awoke this morning and was greeted by several inches of sparkling snow outside my window, collecting in the branches in the most photogenic of fashions. I zipped up my black biker boots and did up my weathered parka and trudged to work. After spending the day indoors daydreaming of warm faraway places while doing my job (which, in fact, is helping to plan tours for other people actually going to warm faraway places), I caught the bus to a dentist appointment and emerged repaired and polished in the early evening dusk to walk back home accompanied by a gorgeous balmy spring evening, glorious warm winds melting the days snow into oblivion and setting my heart ablaze with renewed optimism and some sense of purpose.

It's amazing the tsunami effect that decent weather can have on a girls spirit.

Mere weeks (days) ago I was feeling completely trapped and boxed in here in my Calgary life, unsure of what I am doing here back in Canada at all, ticking off the weekdays and "working for the weekend" (it's no accident that the band who wrote that song was from Calgary - When existing for half the year in subzero temperatures, it becomes necessary to have at least the weekend to look forward to, lest you attempt to bury yourself in a snowdrift and call it quits). Without sounding too bratty and privileged (because having a Canadian passport that even allows you to travel the world freely does make you privileged), it's a damn hard adjustment to go from a few years spent wandering the globe, living in insanely exciting and gorgeous crumbling megatropolis' like Istanbul....to working in a quiet office in discreet Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Not that this adjustment is anything new by any means, but I havent had to deal with a full on Calgary winter in several years now, coupled with the travelers reintegration. I'm not sure I can do it again, to be honest.

Which brings me to the next leg of this haphazard entry. I came back to Calgary to somehow "make my peace" with it, to prove to myself that I wasn't addicted to the rush of travel, that I could take pleasure in the so-called small things (which really implies a hierarchy I am not comfortable with), that I wasn't in danger of falling over the nomad cliff edge of doom (assuming I havent fallen already -which really I probably have but I prefer to think of myself as scrambling into uncharted ledges rather than freefalling to my demise). My brother asked me recently if I had "made my peace with Istanbul", which elicited nothing but amusement from me - Make peace? With what?? I have nothing to make peace about in the sense that Istanbul has never caused me any grief whatsoever - beyond the over-zealous mustachioed men, occasional tear gassings and the ghetto bottlekids during the Bayram celebrations who liked to shoot pellet guns at me and occasionally explode things in my general vicinity. I'd go back in a heartbeat, if I could figure out a sustainable plan and a way to make a living that didnt involve kids pooping their pants for a sub-par wage. Calgary on the other hand, has always proved somewhat more elusive in the peacemaking department - we are like old comrades that went to war together, and somehow over pints we end up brawling in the alley and then having a silent, lenghtly feud afterwards, occasional rockets being fired until a cease fire is drawn up in the form of a bowl of Pho.

Tonight walking home felt like some semblance of peace being made though. I don't hate this city. I have loads of great memories here; Family, Friends. Maybe I'll stay awhile this time. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll get TESOL certified and return to some faraway place and then change my mind when it all goes wrong and go somewhere else. Maybe I'll ride my bike to Mexico. Maybe I'll hitchhike to Shangri-la. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Either way, life isn't always about some grand logical plan building towards some perfect, stable, "happy" life - some of us rather enjoy the unpredictability of it all and the adventures that happen along the way, and I think maybe, if anything, I've made peace with that. That I might thrive, and be most fulfilled when living in some semblance of chaos, in a way that doesn't appeal to most people I meet. That doing anything that doesn't bring out your best qualities, whatever they might be, isn't worth suffering for. My life might not make sense to anybody else, but as long as it makes sense to me and I am happy, then I must be doing something right.