Before my trip, I was a mess. I was exhausted - physically, emotionally, and mentally. I didn't realize it, but having a circle of people around you for support, and knowing that they are nearby can make a huge difference in getting through a big life change. I went to Africa, knowing that I needed to go back to my roots (yep, they are my roots) and learn to be appreciative for the small things and learn to know that joy will come back into my life again, and I wouldn't be...functionning the the level that I am now, without that trip. Apart from the many, many amazing experiences that I was blessed to have, I am still thankful for the little things.
As I write, I'm sitting on a mattress on the floor of my condo. I moved back on Saturday and I will be living like...well, I don't know what...a college student or sorts for a month, and then my belongings will arrive at the end of June (there was a big mixup there), where I'll have my clothes and some furniture (my bed won't be on the floor!!!), but things will be a little sparse until I'm working full-time. Ahhhhh Edmonton is not the place to be looking for any kind of work right now...but, I can just keep looking, keep applying for anything, and keep writing those super fun cover letters.
But this isn't about jobs, or Africa, or anything else.
This is about...and I'm scared to write about it....how well I've been doing. I've written on the blog before about my anxiety and depression and my journey deserves and entire series, but I was worried that all of this instability and uncertainty would have a negative effect. Instead, I've thrived.
On one of my dates (yes, I've tried Tinder and I have no shame - and THAT could have been a blog page of it's own!!! It is NOT a hookup site and it's what you make of it....if you take it very seriously like you're going to meet the man of your dreams..it's probably not going to happen, if you take it like you're going to meet for drinks after you do your own screening, you're probably closer to the real thing) that I've seen a couple times has mentioned that I'm a really stronger person.
It got me thinking. I am strong. I have been able to get through a lot. Maybe I thought I haven't been, because I haven't got through whatever events as graceful as I thought I should have. But I've been able to get through a shit ton of things in my life.
It got me thinking again. This time, I didn't do it on my own. I couldn't. I was in a province with no family and few friends. I needed financial help. I needed emotional support. I needed a place to stay (or multiple places to stay). I needed rides, I needed to borrow trucks, I needed so much help, and I needed to be okay accepting it. I needed to ask for help from everyone that I knew. Most people gladly helped me, telling me the time that I helped them, reminding me that I was a generous person when I got down on myself.
I still get down on myself. Today, the first real day that I didn't have 12 errands to run and this paint to pick up and this form to mail, I completely broke down. I was angry at myself for not being able to manage everything myself. I had called the Employment Insurance office to see what my options were, since my claim ran out a couple months ago. She listed a few, including the food bank. I have zero judgement on those people that need the food bank, and if I'm ever in need, for sure I would use that. I'm far from that, but hearing that number, put me in a panic. The panic started to build and build, then I started to get upset with myself for not handling all of my finances myself... I'm 39 years old and should be self sufficient...and I called a friend. I had a good cry and thankfully, he told me a few stories of how when he was 36, he got help from his parents and friends after a divorce, and recounted a few other stories of highly successful people that needed a financial hand along the way in their lives, at 34, or 42, or whatever age.
Just yesterday an image popped up on Facebook. Four years ago yesterday, Maggie and I were at Louis' (my ex-husband) on his couch. I think we were already separated but I was moving out. In that four years, I moved to Le Plateau to a semi-furnished apartment. I couldn't afford the rent there, so I moved to my Rosemont place, then I moved in with Alex, my ex-boyfriend, and now I'm in Edmonton. I had unstable jobs in a weird Montreal world. For years I had private health care in the USA for my depression because I was on a waiting list in Quebec. I don't remember all of the bad, crappy things when I look back...which I like, actually... but yeah, it's been a pretty crazy time. Oh, right, I feel down the stairs and had a walking cast on for a few months. I had a serious infection in my bone in my cheek that needed surgery. How on earth can I forget all of this? I look back and think that I had a nice time in Montreal? Well, I did. Except for the crappy times. I mean, no place is perfect.
So, Tinder guy, who thinks I am so strong. You're right. I'm so strong, because I asked for help. I might have some tough times accepting it. But I'm accepting it. I would think nothing of anyone else asking for help. So why should I be any different? As long as I continue to be gracious and grateful, things will start to work their way out. I'm strong and I've always figured my way out.