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Bored Again

Cupcakes by Christi Nyiri, Photo by Chuck Ansbacher

By only

Friday September 1, 2006

Rebirth of a stillborn

I assumed that leaving would be the hardest part. That there would be tears, regrets, presents to change my mind; but leaving was easy. Well, physically leaving was excruciating, because I was locked on a plane with nothing to do but watch back to back episodes of Frasier, Cheers, and Becker. Thank God we landed before Caroline in the City came on. No, it’s the part that I was looking forward to – the new everything, the vindication of having the strength to make it somewhere else, the outfits to match the new apartment – this is what I was having a hard time with.

Before I could get into any of the things I wanted to get in to here, I had to let go of everything I had there. I didn’t really figure that out ‘til like, week three. Week one and week two I was still trying to convince myself that a big disgusting lake was kind of like an ocean. So I got my sea legs, so to speak, and a general bearing on where I was, and what I was left with was a lot of Me. A whole lot of Me. In fact, it’s a never-ending epic starring Me that’s impossible to escape. I have a new appreciation for the men and women who edit those seemingly endless coming-of-age films, which could be longer. Because in between finding yourself, landing that great job, and throwing your hat in to the wind à la Mary Tyler Moore, there are hours of sitting along, thinking alone, smoking (a lot), and other things that are unworthy of screen time. I love being alone, when there is the promise that at some point I won’t be alone; and that the time in between being alone and not is measured in hours and days, not weeks, months, years. I also used to think loneliness was romantic. And then I had my tiny apartment walls stare back at me for too long and thought, holy shit, loneliness is really just lonely.

But as the folks at the Mental Health and Addiction centre across the street will tell you, at least you have yourself. Even though they stare into nothing and see nothing back, and when I think they’re looking up at me looking at them they’re really just sitting there because the nurses made them, they’re still happy to be outside. So I’m happy to have them outside, because the view isn’t much to speak of and there’s no one around to tell me how creepy it is to watch crazy people for hours on end.

And that’s week five. Finally realising what it is I want to do. No misconceptions of what I think I should be doing based on a well-researched poll of my peers. There aren’t any patterns to fall back on because they don’t make sense of out of context. That’s the transition you have to get used to: being out of context. After all this time spent trying to make a reality for yourself, taking that reality away can be disturbing. And it’s difficult to make sense of this reality misstep. It’s surprisingly easy not to push yourself, not to experience the less exciting emotions like fear and boredom. Even more surprising when you think you’ll have no problem doing either.

Luckily, as much as the perception changes, most things are very much the usual. I still find people increasingly bizarre, my ability to attract the freakiest of unnatural occurrences (like shards of glass in the eye – true story) remains the same, and my willingness to complain about even the smallest things is firmly intact.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s not that scary. Trying, yes, awkward, yes, invigorating, yes, and boring, yes. But not as bad as all that in the end. Plus there are always loopholes to make you feel better and I’ll certainly be exploiting those, when for the next year I make amends with everyone by asserting that, “hey, I’m new here.”