I keep getting the sensation that there is a small man jumping on a trampoline inside my stomach. I can’t decide if this feels good or bad. Laugh or cry, do both at the same time. All these possibilities are making my neck sore.
See, lads and lassies of the jury, I’m leaving tomorrow. In a few hours, I’ll be back on a plane, praying that my seat neighbour doesn’t notice my white knuckles during take off. I’d like to appear calm and collected if I could, please, and nothing to drink, thanks, unless the whiskey is free. Oh, that reminds me, I need to buy gum.
My heart sinks a little when I leave home. My bed in Saskatoon is so much more comfortable than the one in Ottawa. I secretly love fighting with my family, driving cars, and country music. Ottawa is beautiful, but like the model type that asks you on a date, knows it, flaunts it a smidge. I haven’t left my heart there, but if I wanted to lose my heart I guess I would have moved to San Francisco.
So my driver’s license still says Saskatchewan, but my mail goes to a box in Ontario. Saskatoon doesn’t feel like home anymore, but neither does Ottawa.
I’m not sad I moved; I’m incredibly happy. I just wish that I could take a few people and things with me is all. My bed for sure, the dresser that my dad bought when I was born, the view from the train bridge, the friends that matter, my family. But these are the things that make me too comfortable. Being too comfortable gets dangerous, because you never change positions. You just stay the same because it’s easy.
I didn’t move to get away, to get known, or to love another place more than I love being here; I moved to watch myself struggle. Leaving home has a magical way of making all the frivolous things fall away. I haven’t got much money, none to waste. My time is shorter, so I spend less of it in front of the mirror and more of it with the real friends that want it. I’m more selfish now, but not in the sense that I don’t care about others. I care more about others now than I did before, but I refuse to be taken advantage of. I know what I want, and how to get it. I’m not embarrassed or apologetic about my emotions, but I will admit when I am wrong.
Driving through the prairies makes your mind wander. Sometimes you can see forever, the land meets the sky. They shake hands and lie together like lovers sometimes do. Sometimes, like any lame girl will do once in a while, I find myself wondering what it would be like to be married to another person like the sky marries the fields in Saskatchewan. There was a shack next to the highway which has become my test: could I live with another person, in that shack, with the sagging roof and the splinters… and be truly happy? It’s an unrealistic comparison. The shack in my hypothetical question has no internet connection, no telephone, dirt floors, a straw mattress, and is lit by lanterns. We don’t have jobs, or food, or money. But somehow, it’s the most realistic way I have ever looked at being happy. I don’t plan on living in a shack unless MASH becomes the norm for lifestyle assignation, but I think most people look in all the wrong places for their happiness.
Don’t we all want to do great things? Be something? Most people think they want to be famous. They think they want lots of money, big houses, A-list friends, shiny cars, and adoration. These are the things they think they need to be happy, and if they can’t be someone important they might just find someone with big coat tails to ride. Note to all my famous friends: if people drop your name, they’re likely to drop you when your coat tails get too dirty. Shucks, I don’t want to be famous. I don’t really care that much for world domination, I just want to be important to one person. Maybe two, if I’m lucky.
I figure, home mustn’t be a place, it’s probably more of a state of mind. I don’t think my home will be in the city or the country. The place where I work or the number on my apartment door cannot define my safe haven. I think I’ll be more likely to find my real home in a pair of arms, inside of a hand, enveloped in laughter. I will earn it, because I do not believe in making a home externally until I feel at home internally.
So anyway, here I am, not packing my suitcase, because it can wait. Not cleaning my room, because if my bed’s not made, it’s not such a tragedy. I left my dishes on the sink so I could watch the sun set and look at beautiful art, and not feel my hands or toes, and just spend a few more minutes with people that don’t live so close anymore. Sleep less. I want to be awake. I want to always do something instead of nothing. I want to be able to come home, wherever that is. And to be happy. Very, very happy. Every single goddamn day.
When it comes to matters of opinion, discover some of the most intriguing, informed points of view you’ll find anywhere — at The Opinionator, from The New York Times