Are you still out there? Here goes nothing.
Alright. So a long time ago, I wrote a blog. This blog. I prided myself on my posts, I used it as a therapy, I used it to vent, I used it to channel some kind of creativity. I was young, naïve, unknowing of the world, hopeful, and bright.
Fast forward more than five years later. I’m still young (ish). (That stupid thing on Facebook photos guessed my age at 24 without makeup. But 36 with makeup. Whatever).
I’m less naïve but certainly still gullible. I’m more hopeful than ever but have some skepticism to put aside, and bright?? Well, my bright is starting to shine again, after a long winter of depression…or depressing winter…I can’t keep it straight, it needs some polishing.
So here I am, in Quebec, CANADA, the country I was born and raised in…but EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. They don’t look like me. They don’t act like me. They certainly don’t talk like me and at first I could BARELY understand them. I try to listen to the local radio…and I sort of understand sort of what is being said. All my life, I’ve had friends/teachers/co-workers that were from Quebec, and all this time they were keeping the biggest secret from me:
QUEBEC IS NOT LIKE THE REST OF CANADA.
I guess, in all fairness, I should say, Quebec is not like Western Canada, as I haven’t been to Eastern Canada, but, something tells me that they wouldn’t like being in the same category as les Quebecois.
And for any people from Quebec reading this, look, I know you’re not all bad. This is just my tale, my experiences, and my opinions. I’m just some redneck that grew up in Alberta, under a conservative government, grew up in a small town...and, well, free speech, y’all. No hate messages please, should I offend you.
Some old-time readers might be asking….didn’t she used to blog like multiple times a day? Even when here and her hubby were going through a (failed) split up…she STILL blogged. Even when she was depressed, she STILL blogged. Yeah, I did. But when I moved here, and I had the life sucked out of me. I couldn’t find a job. I couldn’t understand the way-of-Quebec. I had no friends, no extended family, health wasn’t totally there. Eight long months later, thankfully, I found a job. But it’s a long ways away from home, guys. Like A LONG WAY. Ok. Google maps has it about 25km maybe. Perhaps 37 even. BUT, in traffic, in a car, it would be hours and hours. And, I probably wouldn’t be here to be typing if I had to do it for more than a week because I would have thrown myself off of the Laval bridge. We’ll get on to the topic of Montreal drivers later. But let’s just say, it’s another culture shock.
Now, every morning I wake up at 05h04 (or 05h09 if I’m having my hair straight), get ready, get all decked out in (what I deem to be) fancy attire, hair totally done, makeup perfect and set, and leave the house by 06h20. I get to the train station about 7 minutes later…and then I arrive at my destination at 07h35. I walk roughly 1.5km (which was pretty fucking unfantastic in winter) to work and arrive at 07h55. You get that? I’ve been up for 3 hours before starting my workday. (I'm grateful for my life, but I'm trying to illustrate how different things are). SOMETIMES, I treat myself and sleep in until 5h55 and take the later train, but then I either have to stay late at work, work through lunch, OR, not get paid for 30 minutes that day, because, in the land of our home and natured, I work as a contractor and not as a permanent worker. So I punch in and punch out. My cheap ass had me taking 30 minutes for lunch….but out of a 12 hour (due to commute times) day…that wasn’t enough. So I work a few extra hours on the weekend…or I take home less pay every week and take a full hour for lunch. LIVING THE DREAM Y’ALL.
So why am I going through allllllllllllllllllll of this background? All to tell you, that from November 10th, 2015 until March 10th, 2015 – I was barely scraping by. Every minute…every hour…every day…was work. Sure I had laughs here and there. I fought harder than I've ever found to find the old Nicole. The funny one. The light hearted one. The one that chasing the dog around the house in her underwear (like I did yesterday). But I couldn't see the light through the end of the tunnel (partially because we had the coldest/longest winter in 175 years and we don’t see the sun but for a few hours a day when I’m at work) and I didn’t have a lot of joy, either that or I couldn't recognize it. I’m sure that my husband and step-children loved my company…. But that’s yet ANOTHER post.
I’ve noticed that in the last two to three months…I’ve had a surge of energy. Life, is worth living. And not just because, “I KNOW IT WILL GET BETTER. IT HAS TO GET BETTER. PLEASE DEAR GOD LET IT GET BETTER”, but because I’m starting to feel independent, starting to feel like I’m finding my own way, and PRAISE JEBUS, I’m making friends!! Sure, I laugh sometimes to be polite and don’t understand/or find funny what they’re talking about, but we are all social beasts and need that interaction that I was missing sooooooooo badly I was ready to take out a personal add. I freaking volunteered at my favorite yoga studio....only to find out that we had to stay in silence the entire time....which just about killed me. (And now I don't go back to that studio.. ;( ).
And today, I was talking with possibly my favorite person at work, and we discussed writing…and it was kind of coincidental timing, because I was thinking that while hubby is working overseas, and I’m adapting to this new land, I’m kind of living like, the expat lifestyle (less the cash, travel, illness, fear, and excitement) where I’m in a new land, and what I do best when I’m in a new land is to write, write, write.
So, dear friends and any straggling readers - Cheers to my new outlook. Cheers to my first blog post with my new outlook.
Let's see where this takes me.