Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In which I claw my way back out of total mental stasis


Things have been a little slow since I've been home. I culture shocked pretty bad for about a week - every time I saw the colour white I was stopped in my tracks. Any street without pedestrians made me feel like I was living in a post-apocalyptic zombie world. For the first few days, I smelled everything - the Toronto airport, Canadian trees, my house, our car, you. Then, after it faded, I was desperate for days at a time to smell anything at all. I slept poorly, waking up in inky silence. One night, in a groggy half-delirium, I woke up thinking I should be able to hear my heartbeat, but there was just silence. I took my pulse at the wrist. Still there. Slid back into sleep, felt silly in the morning - silly, but also empty.

It's been more than a month since I got back and I've spent it unemployed and claustrophobic. I've been to Montreal and Toronto twice each, looking for company and a new home respectively. I've been job-seeking, emailing, sorting photos. I've done a little reading, but less than 200 pages. Mostly, 've been haunting the house feeling increasingly unsettled and useless.

All of which has reminded me that idleness one of the quickest harbingers of poor mental health... at least for me.

A few big things have happened in the last few days. First, I got hired. It's nothing to be of - just a lousy retail gig, actually one I was offered once in high school - but there's a paycheck coming in my near future. There's no emoticon indicating "sigh of relief," is there? I guess that's because 15-year olds rarely contemplate paying law school tuition and Toronto rent without any savings. Kids these days.

I also had my first orientation day at Osgoode, which feels too much like home for me to accept the nickname 'Oz.' Its homeliness is good and bad. I felt sincerely welcomed and inspired by what I heard, but not challenged.* I know without equivocation that I will eat these words over the next few months, but that doesn't stop the feeling now.

I also found my notes for a writing project I had started dreaming about during the months before I left. I still like it, and it still scares me. So, great. Included: a note from a former co-worker in response. "I think you're on to something." You know, I might be.

Perhaps most importantly, while I was in Montreal last weekend I made a pact with a friend. We both tried to think of something that we knew in our minds that we could do if we worked at it, but which seemed completely unimagineable at the moment. We both needed a bit of a kick-start in our lives, and this seemed like the way to do it. She came up with doing a triathlon next summer. I came up with running a marathon.

This, in 2009, is going to be my marathon. I have well over a year to train for it - enough time to prepare if I work at it consistently, not enough time to drag my feet. I have new running shoes and I've started my jogging training plan. I run three times a week for the next 8 weeks when I adjust my schedule based on my fitness level. By that time, my free York U gym membership will have kicked in.

So far I'm excited and feeling good - about everything. In this spirit, I present a new post tag, inspired by my unspeakable love for Simon Pegg: "Run, fatgirl, run."

All this to say, I'm resurrecting this blog. All previous entries from my India trip are now going to be tagged with "India" and archived. I'm hoping to post substantively at least once or twice a week, depending on how school is going. At the moment, I'm bursting with things I want to talk about - mostly the things I always talk about: politics, pop, and progress.

Stay tuned.

*Budgetary challenge not included.

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