A week of ups and downs

My flight leaves in a few hours. I woke up today in Winnipeg and will go to sleep in Barcelona. Last week was a “buffer week” between the last day at my old job and my departure day. I am grateful I took a buffer week, because I’ve gone done a lot and felt many emotions that I believe I need to.

I’ve spent this week spending time with friends and family, making sure to say “see you later” and not “goodbye” because “goodbye” feels permanent and I do intend to return to Winnipeg. I’ve also done practical things, like pack and confirm final details with my Spanish hosts. Best of all, I’ve spent a wonderful five days with my husband, having quality time together before I embark on my journey: we enjoyed nice lunches together, we laid a blanket out at The Forks and listened to an outdoor concert, we shared laughs watching old Golden Girls episodes, and we sat on our balcony soaking up the great weather while reading a book. My husband also comforted me as I went through some tough emotions.

The last time I spoke to most family and friends, you saw me excited about getting to absorbing a new culture, about living without any kind of schedule, and about following my heart and doing only what I want to do on a daily basis. This excitement is genuine, and I know that’ll come back once I’ve settled in to my temporary home in Spain. But, I’ve gone through some other emotions this past week, and even since the time I book this trip:

  • I’m afraid of being on my own for three months, that I’ll have little human contact and be bored out there. I used to be the guy who, after a week off from work, would be twiddling his thumbs and ready to head back to the office. I have been learning, over the past years, to enjoy the time I have to myself, but the idea of three months on my own is scary.
  • I have felt like I’ve been in this weird “in-between” world this past week. My husband kept saying that I didn’t need to worry about any household chores during my last days, and that he’d take care of everything after I left. As of today, half the dishes in the sink are mine, half the crumbs on the counter come from me, and so is half the toothpaste goo in the bathroom.  I still live in this apartment and am in a partnership, and want to contribute. But, if the mess is still there on Tuesday morning,  well, there’s nothing I can do about it.
    • I guess I’d say I feel like an antevasin, just like in Eat Pray Love 🙂
  • I was sad thinking that my favourite vegan ice cream won’t be in Spain. I may certainly find new vegan treats while I’m out there, but I realise that there are certain thing you take for granted after a while.  In Winnipeg, I know exactly where to go to share a great dessert with my hubby. I’ll need to seek-out all the things I need in an unfamiliar environment — especially because I want to maintain my vegan lifestyle. This aspect has seemed overwhelming at times.
  • I’m going to miss making my husband’s breakfasts in the mornings, using raisins to make hearts in his
  • oatmeal.
  • The looming coundwn, knowing that I had 5… 4… 3… more days at home with my sweetie before my trip, was hard on me. I think there’s social conditioning in me that says the last day before something this big has to be special, dramatic. (I can picture a movie where a couple sits watching the sunset, or there’s one last steamy love-making scene, or a montage of touching memories.)  After all, we both concluded that

I knew these inner demons would surface at some point. I think that’s the point. Living your life caving in to each demon would result in an unenjoyable life, hiding in the corner at any spook. This past week, I let these demons come up and faced them, knowing that they would end up being the ones that would shrink away eventually.

I also had to remind myself that I didn’t choose to take this trip, in a sense. Life was putting “”detour” and “right turn here” signs in my path for the past while. Life was pointing me to where I needed to go. If I ignored these signs, if I didn’t turn down Quit Your Job Boulevard and Hop on a Plane Highway, I’d eventually end up on in a ditch going nowhere fun.

May everyone find their road to Awesomeville!

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2 thoughts on “A week of ups and downs

  • Mom and Dad #2

    We all miss you already, Sweetie.

    It’s a big, scary, wonderful world out there. Embrace what works for you and let go of the rest. Nothing is written in stone. As they say, don’t sweat the small stuff and just enjoy everything you can.

    Stay safe.

    Lots of Love,
    Mom and Dad #2

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