Monday, October 5, 2009


It was a typical date for us in its lack of typicality: Afgani food and an independent zombie flick. We walked home, hand-in-hand, through our shortcut in the courtyard of a generic condo complex, the full moon's light bouncing off the patio windows. He was speaking of deja vu, and how he believed that certainly times in your life are more prone to deja vu simply because you recollect them more frequently.

"I think I will think back to this year often," he says.

I have a tendency towards not just trying to remember past events, but trying to place myself back in the same head space I was at the time. I try to pretend as though I am blind to the outcomes that came to bear, as if I can't remember how everything turned out in the end, as though I am naive when I am back in these stories. Perhaps this is why I write, because it is the closest I can ever come to being back there again, without hindsight sneaking in and tinting things just a little.

"I think the weirdest thing about reminiscing about this year is that we are never going to be able to capture this uncertainty that overlies everything," I say. "We'll instead look back knowing how it all turned out, and it will turn into a scene from a movie, with false bits of foreshadowing weaved in. You remember things differently when you know how it ends."

But right now, fingers interwoven on a Sunday night, we don't know how it ends. We just know that 365 days from now, I'm going to be somewhere far away from this courtyard, and he is going to be somewhere else. We may be a short train ride away, or instead separated by security checks and several hours in the air. I may be in the Prairies or in an Eastern metropolis. He may be in the United States or in Canada. The logistics will follow.

This uncertainty walks that tight-rope between blessing and curse. In some ways, I feel lucky for having given myself the flexibility to live somewhere else for a year, to be able to gather the stories about the nuances of another city, and then to move on yet again, to join him somewhere else new. There is something romantic about the idea of him and I in a new place, about becoming home to each other in a city where everything else is new and still lacks a those firm connections.

But then there is this year apart. People all echo the same generic statements. "It's just a year," they repeat, despite the fact that they haven't even considered moving to a different neighbourhood. A year is still 365 days, which is 365 nights not waking up beside him.

I also notice that this uncertainty is starting to carve out boundaries between me and others. My mother, who I only see once a season if I'm lucky, despite me only being 8 hours away, grows quieter when I discuss the ambiguity of my future. Some of my friends seem to be inching away, as their lives become more concrete. They speak of raising kids in proximity to one another, of buying houses nearby, and I am subtly distanced from them, my next ten years still remaining an abstract concept, with seemingly exponential possible outcomes, which become tiresome to consider after a while.

Then again, maybe the one concrete thing I have right now is that uncertainty, that excitement, that unpredictability, those multiple possibilities. Maybe I shouldn't be in such a rush to nail my life down. Maybe I, too, will frequently look back on this year of unwritten possibilities. After all, we all have decades of predictability to come if we want it.


Bayjb said...

What a great post. Oh I love seeing your updates in my Reader :)

Elle said...

I always struggle with the thrill of the unknown and my curiosity. But you're right...things fall into place during their own time. Until then, we need to remind ourselves to focus that all of these small moments are building up to greater things.

Melissa said...

Fantastic post- and, I was in a long distance relationship for 364 days (he moved back one day before the year was up). It was the hardest thing I've ever done, and also the most worthwhile.

cessie said...

Absolutely beautiful post! Well done :)

I've been separated from my love by the Atlantic for 4 months now, 4 left to go... honestly, that's hard enough. But being apart is when you can get the answer to the question - do we let each other be free, and do I feel the most free with or without him?

Good luck to you, and happy discovering! :)

verybadcat said...

Hey, did I ever thank you for the note you sent when you found out about my separation? If not, THANK YOU. It meant an awful lot to me. Glad to see you blogging again, here and there.

I just want to say that there really is no security in life. We can choose what seems like the more secure route, but take it from me- it's an illusion. No one ever knows what the future holds, so we may as well take any and all opportunities that speak to us.

Mandy said...

I struggle with the not knowing, but it always turns out amazing.

Surfergrrl said...

I agree. That level of uncertainty is both exciting, scary as hell, and partly sad, I'm sure. No chance in hell you will end up in the same city?

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

The moving is something that I didn't fully realize until I was doing it. The idea 6 years ago was that it'd be an adventure, but it starts to get old. I'm officially over it....with at least 1 more move left to go.

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

It's going to be fine. You know that.

Take it from one who knows. Moving this far from home has been the best decision I've made in a long time. I havn't seen my mom, my sister or Jessica in almost a year now, and you know I miss all of them, but now I have so much else to worry about and occupy my time... like trying to keep up with all of you from this DJ booth in between making ruebens and pizzas and announcing drink specials while setting playlists to work in my abscence.

And you know I'm not getting paid what I should for everything I'm doing at this dive. But, I do get some serious respect for doing the jobs of 3 to 4 people on any given night. And I will be managing this club, all the while perfecting my pizza recipe (nobody down here knows how to make a decent pizza, even though when they have an authentic pizza they love it. I could get rich if I opened my own doors) and practicing with the first band I've been in in about 10 years.

Busy. Yes, I know, I should post ths on my own blog...

Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know how it's going down here. Things will be OK for you as well.

Peace out, masterPP