Up in that east London business

Saturday mornings are just the best, aren’t they? I complained a lot that this week was a struggle but the weekend more than made up for it. Kicking it off with a crazy karaoke dance party. Much too many cocktails, that I did not make and have no idea what was in them, were thrown back, songs sung horribly and lots of laughing. Someone I haven’t seen in a little bit reminded me that I was one of their closest friends and not forgotten at all.

This afternoon was catching up with one of my oldest and dearest friends at wonderful Broadway Market. I’d love to have better photos but my silly little Android is no good at all. I’m saving for a magical SLR.

This is me on the Frocks Afloat boat, which is an interesting little endeavour. Only in London can you pull up on the canal and sell vintage clothes out of your houseboat.

A new cast

The end of the year is coming, fast, and I have a wicked case of the ‘summing it ups’. I am actually trying to get a handle on how I really feel about it. It was a good year, some very high highs and some very low lows. I knew these few transitionary months would be hard and they have been. In some moments, it’s like I am exactly where I was this time last year and yet it is so irretrievably different.

So many changes in the people in my life, best friends are no more and new arrived. The people I thought would always be around are strangers to me and supportive emails come from 4000 miles away. This is a hard one to reconcile and I have a feeling that 2012 will be another new cast of characters. Which is amazing, the new people I met are treasured, but it’s been tough to give up the old ones.

Stolen from Cyndi, some of the people I got to meet. This photo makes me laugh.

The end of 2011 will be taking stock of the changes and how I want 2012 to look. I can only hope I get to have half as many laughs next year as I did this one. Half the number of tears would be good too. Twice as many new friends would be too good to be true.

All I ever wanted

Since I got back from Vancouver I have felt off center and chaotic. I want this month to be about regaining strength and focus through my yoga practice and just really doing what it is that I want to do. I get way too easily side-tracked by other people; their influence on my emotions rattles me and causes me to veer off course. Once I’ve realised nothing I can say or do will change their minds, it doesn’t matter, it’s worked its negative influence on me. Truth be told, I’ve been so blessed to have certain friends move to London recently, some even from Canada, and I look forward to getting to spend a grey winter with them. Knowing that certain people are happy to have me in their life, from whatever distance, does help to alleviate the fact that others are less so.

So how to regain that focus?

A favourite anusara instructor of mine in Vancouver urged us to try to embody the characteristics of water in one class and even though I am a Pisces, and apparently this should come naturally, I only really manage a few of them.

Be calm

Be still

Be dynamic

Be flexible

Be unstoppable

Be patient

Be peaceful

So while I am focusing on ‘grounding myself’, I want to stay fluid and flexible. To be unstoppable in my intentions and peaceful in my resolve. Well, we shall see.

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

Some songs I can’t stop listening to

Fleetwood Mac – Songbird
The Airborne Toxic Event – Does This Mean You’re Moving On?
The Airborne Toxic Event – Half Of Something Else
Coldplay – Green Eyes
College – A Real Hero
Stars – Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

 

Time to go

Time’s up.

My heart is heavy today for more reasons that I care to admit.

Also this ticket cost me more than my MacBook Pro. The next few weeks will be hard. Walking away from my Vancouver support system that looked after me for so long, the real world will be tough without them. I hope that I haven’t been softened by life on the west coast. I’ve learnt a lot in Vancouver; that life is only as hard as you choose to make it.

23 year olds, Belle de Jour cocktails and celebrities

“You should just stay and be our friend”. Oh Vancouver. you certainly know how to woo a girl. Great night last night with two very awesome group of friends. A mash-up of both in the middle led to the conversation of should a friend just sex a hot 23 year old or is that just too too young. A visit to three awesome bars I’ve never been to before, Greedy Pig, 6 Acres and Boneta (Gastown, I heart you) and a celebrity guest appearance from Tahmoh Penikett. He is every bit as gorgeous in person. I also got to eye-spy the lovely Kari hard at work in the open kitchen in Boneta. Some days, I feel like I 100% want to zip back to London and others, I can’t imagine wanting to give up the life I’ve made here. It easy to want to stay somewhere when you have so many people saying how much they want you in their lives.

I think I am better at living in Vancouver than I ever was in London. There are rough days here too, like my inability to find a new place to live in the bizarre Vancouver housing market. Yesterday, I went to see a place that can only be described as a Canadian Rasta Commune. Would it be interesting to live there… sure. Today, someone asked ‘how are you with animals?’ Well, I haven’t had my tetanus shots in a while.

I guess I am standing at the fork in the road and either way could be wonderful.

Drinking under Gassy Jack.

If you left it up to me, everyday would be a holiday from real

This is going to be one of those ‘looking back on yourself’ posts. An arduous, instrospective read. Have tea or wait for another post about shoes. Maybe I can point people to it who ask me why I came here. At least it’s punctuated with music, I live to a soundtrack.

The city keeps on going and we just keep on rolling

In one day, it will be exactly four months since I got on the plane to Vancouver and left London behind. I’m not going to lie, I left London under a big cloud. The cloud of not being altogether sure that this was a great decision, I’m only now deciding that, in fact, it was the best decision. For me at that time. Sure, it could have come when I really needed it, six months before. But that would have really been running away from my problems. And probably would have been a huge mistake. I suppose it would never have felt like the right time. Still I was freaked out, at the idea of starting a whole new life in a city I had never been. I got some good advice from a friend who said that I would be awesome and that Canada would love me, I am so lucky that this was true. What warm and welcoming people there are here. How London seems like such a cold city in comparison.

Go your own way

I also got some advice from people who made similar moves and said that I would be having too much fun to think of people back home. Almost true. I always think of people back home. When I stop doing that I will worry that I’ve stopped caring about them. I am lucky that, unlike my sister, I don’t have the pull of my real home too much. I’ve been gone from my parents long enough that I have developed the telephone support system. My mother being so good at this that she can sense from a change in my tone when something is wrong. She is the best and worst counsellor at times. She can go from telling me that a particular job is the best one I’ve had and I should keep it, to saying that she knows I will always find a new one, or a new man, or new friends. That faith in me keeps me going in the darkest times. The faith that I will always be fine, wherever I go and whatever I choose to do. There will always be new people and new activities to wrap around me. Considering how much of a restless spirit I have, I sense that I will need this affirmation throughout my life. The older I get, the harder it will be to throw things away and start anew. Dublin was easy, I had very few ties there and was taking the most important person with me.

London was harder to leave. I had made a perfectly good life there, and the reasons I wanted to leave didn’t seem so important when the date was approaching.  It would have been so easy to just stay. But in the end it came down to doing things for myself.

Oh the trouble we could get in, let’s screw this one up right

Getting involved with someone before I left was probably not the wisest decision I’ve ever made. Especially someone who was never sure of me at all and considered me a rebound. It’s always easier to leave when you have less people to miss and care about, especially one you’ve cared about in a different way. But c’mon wise decisions were never a part of my repertoire. I’ve made worse ones and like this one, they always end in some kind of heartache and losing the relationship that you’d had with them before. In fairness, everyone told me that it was a bad idea. But I’ve always believed that some things and some people are worth the risk. Arguably, I’ve yet to be proved right by this belief. Maybe it will be just be me at the end of my days chasing bad ideas.

Still, I found myself telling a friend tonight that they should go for it, like gambling, sure you can lose big but sometimes you beat the house. That’s how I feel about Vancouver. If not, another city. I hear Barcelona is nice this time of year.

This blog post is my attempt to unload thoughts and find clarity in the space left behind. I’ve probably been meditating way too much. Damn hippy west coasters.