On the other side

As I near the end of my nearly three weeks of real work before a holiday, I can’t help but realise just how little I have written about it. With a new horse, new house and sudden realisation I need to make more friends, it just wasn’t on my mind. 

Not that it isn’t important, it’s just become normal. Sure it has only been three weeks, not even that but it feels right. Like I always belonged there, I just took my time getting there. I don’t feel different as such, but things have changed. I work the same way I did as an intern, I get the same excitement when I get hooked on a story, but I get my face on the front page and a nice pay cheque for my efforts. 

I have lived in Hamilton for three years and it has never really felt like home. On the odd occasion I would look around and think, yes, this is where I live and I love it. Or sometimes I’d think maybe I want to spend the rest of my life here. But not once, not one single time did I feel like it was home. This is now home, not just where I live. It is where I shop, wander, think, breathe, move, live, it is where I exist. 

For the first time, in a very, very long time, I fit. It has been a long battle to find what I want and where I want to be. To a normal person from the outside, my life looks to have fallen into place, to some degree it has. But each step there were tiny little fairy steps, ones people didn’t see. Those are the steps that are hard, the what city, what kind of paper etc. Because you never quite know till you get there, you never know what you want to be until you are it. 

I have a job. And it is not just a job, it is my life. When I write those stories it feels normal, natural, I don’t have to try to be anything except myself. I am making friends and meeting people. I have a whole world in front of me that I had dreaded and now, living in it is glorious. 

Not to get all deep and weird on you, but for the past three years I just happened, I was just here. I horse rode, I wrote, I studied. But now I live, I don’t just ride, I meet people and have conversations about riding. I don’t just write, I breathe and think words. I don’t study, I work. 

I didn’t quite know what I wanted, until I got everything I needed. I don’t want to work for a magazine or live in an apartment. It is funny how what you think you want, is sometimes nothing more than a fantasy. You want the cake but really, you just like the idea of cake. There are many things I can relate that to, but I’m going to keep it PG. I want to work at a community paper because you are writing for the people who care about it, because you can actually make a difference. And even if you don’t, you get to understand the place you live in. You get to know the people around you. I want to live in the country on the farm. I don’t want to give up competing, I want to horse ride and I want to be good at it. And there is no reason I can’t do and have those things. 

It is all about perspective. When you come out the other side of desperation, you realise just how lucky you are to be alive and you take every single second of your magical life and appreciate it, because when you don’t have that beautiful feeling of hope, struggling is something you become very familiar with. 

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