Saturday, May 9, 2015


Liz and Abe and I met up and got Korean brown-sugar pancakes and sat in Christie Pitts, and I got my first sunburn of the year. It was two PM on a Thursday, a random day where the three of us could meet. We all work full-time or nearly that, but freelancing and shiftwork and an academic schedule and the stars aligning meant that there were brown sugar pancakes to be eaten, and soft grass to be sat on.

The next day, I woke up early and took the bus to Guelph for work. Biking to the bus station, I stopped to take a picture of the day's beautiful sunrise—pinks and purples and orange, splashed across the sky like a hippie's tie-dyed dream. Later that day, after taking the Byzantinely routed, slow GO home from Guelph, I walked back to the bus station at dusk, and the sky was stained again; this time deep indigo and purple, faded from silvery clouds.

It's these moment, these times, when I feel so happy.

Quitting my job turned out to be a good decision in nearly every way possible, but I wasn't anticipating these moments of feeling joyfully like myself. The freedom to sit in a park, the ability to rise with the sun. Damn. It feels good. It feels correct. It feels like I can breathe again.

And it's more than things like Saturday night—us, eating duck in a friend's backyard, a rich feast of mango guacamole and kale salad, capped with an improbably perfect McCain Deep 'N' Delicious chocolate cake. The five of us sat under the night sky and talked about what we would do if we had infinite power, prison reform in America, and the philosophy of True Detective. Previous Saturday nights like this have happened, and what has ruined it is that another bummer Monday morning is coming up soon. But as this one unspooled, I felt no urge to hide away the part of myself that felt lousy. That part just didn't make an appearance.

Stress is like that. It's not confined to the space we think it takes up. It leaks, and that oozes into every corner of the day. I remember coming home from my last job and bursting into tears as soon as I crossed my threshold. I was so tightly wound from the effort of not saying the things that needed to be said that I literally felt like I was outside my body. Towards the end, I started to dissociate at work—to feel like my life was nothing more than a slightly insane television show, and I was trapped. But now I feel like I'm having a spiritual crisis in reverse: as though maybe, knock on wood, and sort of against the odds, things are starting to come together. I feel these huge sweeping moments of joy, and after so long, they're unexpected and amazing.

I've never been pregnant, but I've heard about "the lightening," the moment that the fetus starts to drop down, away from the ribcage and towards birth, and the mother can breath again. Usually about two weeks before labour begins, it's been described as the feeling that she can take her first really deep breath in months. And it means something big is coming down the pipeline.