New country, new bed, new me?
Hello stranger, long time no see!
It feels good to run my fingers across my keyboard with purpose. It’s been 2 whole months since I cried my way to Canada and I finally feel ready to write. Why have I waited so long? Because I have been making a deliberate attempt to be present here, every day. That has meant an extended total break from writing while I got my sh*t – at least a little – together.
The Airbed – A symbol of starting from scratch
So, in true, glamorous “I’m moving to Canada” style, for the first few weeks here, I slept… on an airbed*. You see, most rooms to rent in Canada come unfurnished so I literally rocked up with a suitcase. From my cosy little flat in Bury and my room at home, it’s strange to have only a suitcase. As a bit of a minimalist, I understand that this might be a little scary for others. It was also a little terrifying to me. Especially since, I discovered the things that bring me joy (and thus stay with me, according to the premise of minimalism) aren’t always the most practical. Hello, sequinned glitter ball top, I’m looking at you.
I realised I could survive and even thrive with less stuff last time I lived abroad and loved it. Then I moved back to a flat, bedded in and started accumulating again, rather rapidly. Along with my year long challenge to only buy second hand, vintage or recycled clothes and dipping my toes into the zero waste scene here, it has – despite the challenges – been a great reminder that less stuff equals more brain space, more time and more energy.
Being A Nobody
Not only did I start from scratch with my room, I have had to start from ground zero with myself. What’s interesting about moving somewhere you know no-one is that no one knows you. While that may sound obvious, consider the last time you joined a totally new group of people who had no prior ideas about you. No introductions from friends of friends or family connections. Maybe it was moving to uni? Maybe it was starting a new job? Wherever it was, it was likely a bit weird.
As people, we’re a cumulation of our past experience. We can see who we are as a reflection of those around us, of how we relate to others. The “you” you are around your mum might be different to the “you” your uni friends know, your home friends, your work colleagues. Without any reference, you’re free to make up whoever you want to be.
This is something I have struggled with a bit. It feels like I’ve been totally stripped down and that’s intimidating. It’s tested my confidence and I haven’t felt 100% myself (whoever she is). That’s a huge learning experience. It’s also an opportunity to let go of anyone I don’t want to be anymore. The Eliza that snoozes 5 alarms? Hopefully. The Eliza that can’t say no to doughnuts? Unlikely. The Eliza that makes terrible food puns? No chance.
The Actually Quite Insightful But Shortest Bit
While this period of change has been challenging, I’ve found connecting to my body super helpful, through yoga or meditation whenever I can. I’ve also started doing Morning Pages, writing about 3 pages (or however much you feel you need to) every morning as soon as you wake up. About whatever your brain is mulling. Literally anything. I heard about this from two different podcasts in 24 hours so I thought I’d better give it a go. Somehow, simply writing like this helps to stop my brain whirring quite so much for the rest of the day. It truly grounds me. It feels like, “Oh, THIS is who I really am” when I just write with no agenda. It’s really quite magical. You can read about it in The Artist’s Way.
Anyway, those are a couple of musings from my introduction to Canada. I have a ton more to say but I know you have a busy life, people to see, food to eat… Before you go, I do have a confession. I have rewritten this a few times. Because I haven’t written for a while, I feel pressure to say something worthwhile now. Hopefully, those couple of insights were. Please do let me know if you’ve experienced the same feelings or have tried Morning pages. I’d love to connect.
See you next time for more ramblings,
*For the record, it was a jacked up double airbed which my housemate (who happens to be an amazing vegan chef and lovely human so I’d have slept on the floor if it meant living here) so kindly lent me! And it was actually really comfy. But my lord, did my new mattress feel f*cking fantastic the first time I slept in it – which was at 2pm the day I assembled it for a cheeky nap. Couldn’t wait. It was excellent.