Notes from the Mainland

For nearly a week, I’ve been on the Mainland.

It is, for me, a reckoning — of incomplete sorts, I guess.

While I’m comfortable here and have no problems getting around, know all the places and such, it just doesn’t feel like home anymore.

I’d expected that, of course, ‘cos it’d kind of stopped feeling that way before I even moved, but now this is sort of a New Normal. It’s now UnHome.

As I sip my Kicking Horse coffee, I’m thinking. If this feels less like home, then I’m hoping the opposite is true as I ride my ferry back to my island tonight. I hope I go “home” in my soul as much as I do with my luggage.

Maybe I would have enjoyed Vancouver more if it’d been less rainy this week, or if I’d not had a sinus infection for my whole visit, or my allergies weren’t being stupid. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But that’s not the case. I’ve been under the weather, and really not up for adventure.

Still, it was nice. Saw my friends, my family, and a whole lot of other folks. But that’s all it was for me. “Nice.”

It was also draining, exhausting, and frustrating at different times, because that’s how “the big city” feels to me these days.

Maybe after more “Rat Race Detox,” I’ll be excited to return to the bustle. Today, though, I’m excited to leave it.

Soon, later, I go home. A bus to the valley to see my folks once more, get a lift to my boat, ride the ferry home, and then I’m island-bound for another two months.

Naturally, I’ll be back. People who are so important to who I am — friends who were there for the last two decades, my brother, Dad, stepmom — are all here, and I’ll be quite happy to visit them, knowing my good hosts have comfy beds and accommodating homes.

***

Next time, I’m not going downtown. I’m packing less, and nothing fancy. I’ll bring my bike, play tourist in some of Vancouver’s outlying areas, and get a refresher on those parts of why Vancouver’s caught the whole world’s eyes.

But I don’t need the concrete jungle, the droning of traffic, or the grumbling masses that comprise “big-city” life.

***

So, there I was, finishing my over-easy eggs, when I was struck by the desire to record my moment of uncertainty. Enter, le bloggedy-blog.

What will it be like when I return to Victoria for my first time as a resident?

Because, if this isn’t home anymore, is it home THERE? And, if it isn’t, then what does that leave me — displaced?

As I type this, I’m just a few blocks from where I spent a lot of time over a couple years with one of my long-time exes. It’s strange. Much of my time spent here was at the end of another era of my life, before and after I moved to the Yukon. Now, it’s where one of my two best friends bought a home that his family will be growing into for years. I approve, for them. What a great place to be a kid.

For me, it’ll be a weird headtrip when I visit for a while. It’ll be nice to think of this as Their World one day, and not as I do now, which is Where I Used To Be A Lot.

I sit here, in this ‘hood, thinking about how different I was then, 15 years ago. How much has gone down. How much hasn’t happened that I’d dreamed of. How much still could. How much I’m trying to find that girl I thought was awesome then.

This is an area, I think, that held a lot of promise for me for a while. My brother lived here off an on for years as well. And, over that time, my life spiralled down, sort of just into a place I didn’t want to be.

Now, I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I’m so much closer to it than I’ve been in years.

Funny, my brother last lived around here when my mother’s death was still fresh. I haven’t hung out here in all that time. Coming back to this area sort of makes it clear to me now just how far afield I was, way back when, and how I’ve found the right path in this new era.

I’m packed and ready to go, but my head is miles away already.

***

At this point, I don’t feel like I’ve made any mistakes leaving Vancouver. Coming back cements that for me.

I know I’m at the cusp of a new time. My time. My “transition” to my new Coastal life is further along. Change is afoot.

Whatever Victoria is to me now, Vancouver just ain’t home anymore.

Sometimes, figuring out where you’re meant to be is better when you simply establish where you oughtn’t be. That’s all the start you need: Don’t be there.

And I’m not “there” anymore.

***

So, tomorrow, I’ll wake in my bed, in my apartment. I’ll be able to sleep naked, pad around, do all those things you want locks on your door before you do.

That’s home enough for now — life a few blocks from the wild ocean, miles and miles from the Mainland.

Soon, I’ll either know I’m home, or that my journey to find Home will be continuing indefinitely.

But maybe, just maybe, the ferry ride home, as the boat sails through BC’s incredible “Active Pass,”  a lightness will find me, a sense of calm will settle upon me, and I’ll just know.

Maybe. (I hope so.)