If you can read this post then a celebration is in order.
Yes, apparently the world hasn’t ended after all. Of course, as an increasing number of people are pointing out, the Mayans didn’t actually predict the end of the world on December 21, 2012. That just happened to be the day this particular cycle of their calendar ends. But that’s not why we should be celebrating.
You see, it’s my birthday.
December 21, 2012 also happens to be the day this particular cycle — this particular year — on my calendar ends. Coincidence? I think not.
I do sort of feel like I’m on the cusp of something. A new chapter in life. We’ve now lived here for a year. It’s been a year of getting to know a new city and settling into a new job, a year of adjusting to (and loving) a proper Canadian winter. I’ve met new friends and kept in touch with old ones. We’ve started again with a whole new life that has only just begun.
We went “home” again recently. I’m not sure that’s the right word, but it’s the only word I can think of to use. We went back to the city I grew up in, the city where Connor was born and the city where my husband and I lived together for 11 years. And it felt distinctly unlike home.
I drove past our old house for the first time since we moved just over a year ago, and I got a little verklempt. Last year we sold the house to another family; their chairs are on the porch and their Christmas lights decorate the railings and flower bushes, but it still feels like my house. The city doesn’t feel like my city, though. I moved there when I was almost five years old, so in many ways it was the only “home” I had ever known. I’m not sure why it doesn’t feel that way now.
It was grey and rainy while we were there. I don’t miss either. I don’t miss the slow drivers or the traffic lights or the way the city feels dark even when it’s not. Those are all things I didn’t notice when I lived there (except for the grey raininess, which I did notice and was thrilled to move away from). But when I thought about the city beyond all those less-than-ideal, sort of frustrating things, I just didn’t miss it.
Rich thinks it’s because I left a lot behind when we moved away. The year prior to our move, and all the challenges that time brought with it, is firmly planted in the ground that is that city. The seeds were scattered there and the rain soaked them, bringing them to life. All that stuff sprang up and I had to hack it down, which was a long and painful process. And when I was finally better I found myself unable to tolerate all the other stuff that had previously just lurked in the background.
So I fled.
Or at least that’s what it feels like to me. But as much as there are things I do miss — people, mostly, and a certain kind of chicken burger at a restaurant we don’t have here — all my visits home have confirmed that it’s not home anymore.
My home is here now, and (happily) so are some of my people. It took the better part of this year to scatter these new seeds and let them settle, but they have. And now it’s time for a new cycle to begin.
I survived doomsday, but it wasn’t today. Today, I’m pretty sure, is more a beginning than an end.