Thanks for visiting! This blog began in 2009 to keep in touch with family/friends while I worked in Madagascar, finally repatriating in 2014. I was blessed to have amazing & life changing experiences, travel the world, & fall in love, in more ways than one. I followed my heart & ended back up in Quebec.
It all sounds crazy to me now, but I continue to write about day-to-day life, & how I sometimes struggle through life's challenges - big or small.
Through all of the laughs and positive feelings I have going on, sometimes I'm overwhelmed with the loss of my buddy. Of course we are still amicable, friendly even most of the time, and while I see that light at the end of the tunnel, I also am mourning the loss of what was my best friend. It's confusing. It also seems the hardest on a Monday.
I had a really good Facebook chat with a friend (stickers added to protect the innocent :P). (Their conversation is in white, mine is in blue). It helped me see that maybe, at least for now, I need to settle here for awhile.
Looking forward to forty hour work-weeks, long weekends, and finding a good yoga studio. Still not ready for any of that...but I'll soon start the process to get there. As for the rest...who knows.
I went to Sobeys to get some soup for supper, after crying in the parking lot, after having a really crappy day....
I was walking around, thinking about asking one of my closest friend's girlfriend's a couple of questions, because she's been in my shoes. And because we kind of talk the same language. I wanted to ask her if she felt what I felt, if she experienced anything like I had, and then I turn the corner, and she's standing right there in the organic foods aisle. In Sobeys!!!!!
I was just wondering when I would see her again, wanting to talk specifically to her, to relate to someone, and here she was. We stood in the aisle, me crying from time to time, her hugging me, and just talking. For a long time. If I felt better or wasn't dressed in embarrassing clothes (at least it wasn't pajamas), I should have taken her for a drink. I talked about everything that I needed to talk about at the time, she listened and then I listened what she had to say about it, …
I'm uncertain if I'm being hard on myself or trying to kick myself out of a lazy spell. I have a long list of things to do, regardless if I stay here to live or not, and those errands aren't getting checked off very quickly.
In part, it's because I'm tired. Even though I have the best of a bad situation, the stress and dealing with the feelings after a split are hard. Even though I laugh more than I have in a long time, it's still emotionally draining. Sometimes I feel like I'm living two lives because I'm this happy person, who enjoys spending time with people, and other times, I'm a shell of myself dealing with this split up. I'm still having a hard time understanding how I can be so happy and so sad at the same time.
Today is a particularly low day, because I'm having a couple of bad stomach days. I know this is mainly due to stress, I'm doing what I can to help things along, but it's pretty exhausting as well.
Today was another hard one. I'm starting to figure more and more things out about this process, and although it sucks, I continue to be amazed by the love and support I have around me. I've never felt, like, unsupported, but it's just a really, really, really nice thing that I'm so incredibly grateful for.
Today I had a doctor's appointment to get myself checked out because I've been having stomach issues since Fever Day in Morocco, and that was rough. I wanted to come home and immediately nap, I felt so incredibly tired. I think I've been mistaking stress for tiredness. In general, which still surprises me, I have a lot of laughter in my life, but the stress of a split is exhausting.
Eden had worked a crazy long night, and the beast-dog was keeping her from sleeping, so I took her for a walk, which turned into a really long one because she kept finding friends to play with!!! As much as she drives me crazy (and gives me a rash), this dog is totally my ther…
(Yup, that's a reference to that Billy Christy movie? )
For some strange reason, even after I found out that people read my poor-grammer-with-weird-punctuation posts, I continued to write personal junk on here.
I still want to write in my blog. I just don't want every post to be all divorcey. I've always written how I've felt or what I'm thinking or how I've cried in 39% of all of the airports in the world...but today's post will be rather divorcey. Again. I hope half of this makes sense...because my eyes are half closed while I'm writing. I'm tired.
I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel (I spent at least 4 minutes trying to come out with a less annoying phrase. It's late and I can't think of anything). But it doesn't mean that I'm there yet. Or will be anytime soon.
I have so many reasons to feel thankful and grateful, and I do. But some days, they are harder to see. And today I think I experienced all of the emotions …
Everything lately feels like it can be described as, "Firsts".
Doing simple day-to-day things, that now seem totally different and new for me.
First time since my separation started since:
I came to my hometown I went grocery shopping I cried until there was no tears left I socialized with friends I laughed so hard I cried I saw family members I spent a day without crying I could listen to music without getting sad
The list is probably infinite. Some things are harder, others easier, others seemingly impossible. It's a crazy weird feeling, but it's starting to sink in that this is a grieving process, and that things are different. It's nor bad or good, just is. Last night I went for a drink with a small group of friends. For the first time. I was anxious, feeling like I had some kind if sign on my head that says, "GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE". There were the first few moments of awkwardness, followed by an incredible amount on both said and unsaid love and support. …
Thursday afternoon and yesterday I felt like a human being again. I'm realizing I'm having more laughter than tears (living with my cousin and his wife and their clumsy, annoying, ridiculously cute puppy provides a crapton of comic relief!), which is nice. I'm sure there are plenty more dark moments to come, but it really makes me appreciate the sunny ones. Not a ton going on for me, no travels planned, no job interviews (yet?), just trying to continue to do what I'm doing. Since my posts have been word heavy, I thought I'd put up a few pics. I have two new running buddies, my cousin's wife (who I am just going to refer to as my cousin from here on), and Juno, an almost-four-month-old boxer, who drives me crazy and melts my heart at the same time. She's great at cuddles (the boxer, not my cousin, although I'm pretty sure she'd be a good cuddler too :P), but we're going to have to practice running a bit more. A five second attention span and feet…
While I'm kinda struggling through this crap, I'm also surprised (and happy!!!!) that I'm able to enjoy a lot if things as well, and laugh, and even find myself not thinking about the split from time to time. It feels really weird, but it's good I guess. Yesterday, Craig and I spent most of the day on a bargain mission to buy shoes (I only brought runners) and a purse (long story - but I've been using a beach bag). I was dressed really poorly. Sweatpants, no makeup, looking preeettty raged. I told Craig that if this was a movie, I would certainly run into someone from highschool. The other persons dialogue would be something like this:
"Oh, hi Nicole! I haven't seen you forever!!! Oh, are you married? Oh...I'm sorry to hear that. Do you work around here? Oh...well, I'm sure you'll find something. Where do you live? Oh...well that's nice you have a cousin nice enough to let you live in his basement..." I don't know if we're stupi…
Went to lunch and Cotsco today. Just as if nothing's going on. Life goes on. No real clarity what things like "Home City" or "Employment" look like...but I'm sure they'll come eventually. I have to keep in mind it's been a month since this all happened...and even now that I'm back from holidaying and trying to get back to a routine, it's still going to feel really off. I need to be a lot more understanding that this divorce stuff is seriously shitty, stressful, emotional business. So thankful for my family and friends.
I left Tenerife early this morning, tired and a little depressed. Not looking forward to the long flights to Edmonton (um...especially now that I'm flying Economy :P), and not looking forward to saying goodbye to my travelling companions. I can't say it enough, this trip helped me so incredibly much. Being with people that knew me, and have known me the last 4+ years, know the expat life, know Madagascar...I know that I've bascially gotten used to Canadian life again, but there's something about becoming an expat that changes you for life. It's hard to explain and you don't feel quite the same...and it's nice to be around people that know what I'm going through. It's not that I have a better relationship with my expat friends, it's just a different relationship. Anyway, moving on.
Nothing about the airport or the plane or the flight particularly sucked, but it still all sucked. Everything about it just really sucked.
Other than A LOT of flights that get me to Canada, I don't have a clue what's next. This trip has helped me get to a stage where I can start dealing with the logistics of everything. Sort of. I sort of felt weak going to Edmonton, like I was still trying to run away from my problems. Even though I've made some big strides on making Quebec my home, I need to be with lots of people right now. Spending the last couple of weeks with the Skillens has highlighted that I need to be around people right now. Maybe not all at once, maybe not all the time, but I need some help...and I think I'm ok admitting that. Life...remains an adventure. So maybe this wasn't in my plans, and I imagine I'll have a lot of hard days ahead while I'm dealing with all of this, but that's life. Right now I just need time. And lots of luck so that none of the 5 flights I'm taking in the next 48 hours get all screwed up. :)
After deciding to stay here another week, and then trying to go find the really nice yet affordable place that I would stay at, I had a crazy lunatic breakdown. Or panic attack. I don´t know what happened and I´m too tired to try to figure out what happened, but one thing I know for sure is that I´m going to Edmonton.
A last minute flight from Tenerife to Edmonton can be quite pricey, so I´m saving a few THOUSAND DOLLARS and taking the milk route. Tenerife to London, London to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Vancouver, Vancouver to Edmonton. I´ll spend the night at the London Gatwick airport (never been there), but it´s still the quickest and most economical option. There were some cheaper options but they were totally insane.
I suspect the travelling day will suck, but I don´t care. I´m not ready for Montreal.
I´m not moving back to Edmonton. I´m not sure where my home base will be. But at least there I can see familiar faces when I´m able to and job hunt like a machine.
I´ve been struggling dealing with the surreality of my life - and not just my personal situation. I can´t understand how my life has changed so much. How did I get to a place where I vacation in the Sahara? How am I in the Canary Islands? How did this all happen and everything change so much from what I thought it would be like? How can I process the sights that I´m seeing? I´m just a normal accountant from Alberta.
I´m done with that. I´ve over analyzed every single decision I´ve made in the last five years about nineteen times, and it´s pointless. No one´s life truly makes sense, why things happen and why things don´t. (Ok, except for like, the obvious things like, I didn´t pass my math exam because I didn´t study, and that kind of crap).
So I´m done questioning the Hows and just going to focus on accepting the situation. I AM here. I AM feeling happy, or crappy, or AM covered in tears. It seem like a much less complicated way and eliminates the word ¨normal¨from my vocabulary.
Yesterday was a really bad day. I even missed seeing a friend that I worked with in Madagascar who lives here!!!! Today - totally different story. Ok, it's only 11h32, but today feels like a good day. Thank you... (View from the elevator!!!) (I'm proud to have the best morning hair) (Pillow from my hotel room. Originally I booked a cheap place on Airbnb.com...but it was awful so I booked a room at the same hotel my friends are staying at. It's not a ridiculous price, but it ain't cheap either. Oh we'll. no more booking stuff on my phone. Makes things confusing for a tech-granny like me ;)) Also...this is where I'm writing from:
Everything here is so incredible. My worries (well, panic really) about vacationing here was wasted (as is 99.99999999% of most worry). Morocco is a place of tolerance.
Most Moroccans are used to tourists and we even see a lot of tourists dressed in tank tops and short-shorts, and they manage to get by. While it's my choice to try to be as respectful as possible and show little skin, it isn't everyone's choice and they don't seem to be dying in the streets over it.
The Moroccans embrace their past, which originates from Berbers then Jewish than Arabic. During WWII, Morocco would not "hand over" their Jews at Germany's request. While the Jewish population is currently small, every place we go or every time the subject of Judaism is discussed, it's extremely open and respectful. (This is only my tourist's experience, which obviously may not be 100% accurate).
There is a repetitive design displayed in many buildings and mosques that I am fascinated …
I'm in a weird mood. Sometimes I think I shouldn't feel happy, like that I'm getting too much into some kind of escape, and then I get hit with a crappy feeling/memory/??? and suddenlydon't feel like I'm too into some kind of escape. Canada is starting to feels closer, and safer, although where and when, I don't have a clue. And certainly nothing I have to think about today...or next week...and I can continue to take things a day at a time. Yesterday I tried to write a post on what we did. I honestly can't remember. I know we drove around 300 km to Marrakech, stopping many times along the way to see many places, but it feels like a dream. Today we are exploring the medina, learning more about the artisanal culture and of course, being chased to buy whatever we may slightly cast oureyes on. It was super interesting, but our guide today made it seem like we were an inconvenience, walked very far in front of us, and sucked. It's also 245pm and I haven'…
It's been quite the 24 hours. After the camel-sickness, everything went downhill. I had body aches, bathroom issues, and vomiting. Walking was nearly impossible. Climbing the sand dune to the car, with fast winds and sand blowing everywhere was painful.
We had about a 45 minute drive back to our meeting point and it was awful.
As the day progressed, do did my fever and my body aches. Eating was impossible, drinking came in the form of wetting my lips every so often, and I was in so much pain.
Our driver (for the entire trip), Ahmed was very caring and stopped for medicine and checked up on me every so often. I tried to sleep as we drove to our next destination, but there was too many things going on at once.
When Ahmed told us we had another hour and a half of driving, I thought I'd be ok. I couldn't handle the air conditioning because I was freezing, so I sat in the front with the window rolled down, taking sips of +40*C water and dumping some on myself in the progress, o…