As I woke up the first night after my move to a new city, in a new province out east, I realized that I felt more alive than I have felt in quite some time. Every new beginning also means a great ending, along with a process of letting go of what once was. Although the taste of fresh air sweeping through my lips is something I will always long for, I have never been the greatest at letting go.
The idea of most adventurous explorers is that they also come with a flighty, detached nature. I felt that life had potentially made an error by making me a highly sensitive person instead. Someone who loves connection, people, familiarity. At this moment, I understand more than before, why I needed to be in Montreal, but I didn’t until my arrival.
The evening prior to my flight, I spent most of my day doing a deep clean before the inspection of my apartment that would land my damage deposit back in my own hands. I was fine, until I wasn’t. Productivity usually allows my emotions to stay at bay. As I was cleaning the inside of my fridge, my head started to spin. I thought about the last time I ate – just a few hours ago. I should be fine until dinner time. But the spinning only got worse, so I took a seat on the floor, my head perched between the hinds of my legs.
You don’t have time to feel unwell right now, I reminded myself. You have so much to do and a flight to catch. Get up, GET UP!
So I made my attempts at getting up and found myself back on the floor, this time shaking. My body quivered – was I cold? It was humid out so why do I suddenly feel chilly? Dragging my legs over to my phone, I texted my friend to come over with food or a smoothie or something. It was like each second, my body was running out of more and more blood. At this point, I didn’t know if I could let her in my building through the buzzer. I didn’t even know if I could get off the floor again.
Thankfully, another tenant must have let her in when her and my other friend found me. I have to admit, I felt embarrassed beyond anything else. Everyone kept telling me how brave I was to be able to leave a life that no longer served me and start over, but all I felt was weak and helpless. While I sat on the floor quivering with a smoothie, I watched two of my good friends carry on the list of cleaning I had left to do.
I would yell small cries of stop, please, I can get up. I’m better now. But they ignored me, checking in every minute or so, but then getting back to the work I was meant to do. It felt close to death, this shut down of my body. All the stress, grief, and labour accumulating for so long into this.
In about two hours of sipping a smoothie and then being able to chew some food, I was close to normal (whatever that is). I was walking, able to converse without feeling light-headed. My apartment was clean and we sat in the empty space together before I burst out into tears.
From the disconnect in my body to the grieving of 4 years in this home, it was all too much.
Being here, even only a few days so far, I notice a shift I could have never anticipated during my departure. Like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and a new hope that maybe things won’t be so difficult anymore.
In just 72 hours, I’ve met artists, writers, creatives, I went on my first date after so long, and because everything is new, I get the beautiful opportunity of creating a new memory with each park, cafe, person.
New beginnings are exciting and beautiful, but there’s a lot to shed before we can embark on any journey. The letting go, though not my favourite, is essential in starting anew.
I don’t know what this place will bring, but I’m ready for a new life to begin.