"Aint it funny how your new life didn't change things. You're still the same old girl you used to be." -The Eagles, Lyin Eyes
It has occurred to me lately how my new life is not all that different from my old life. Initially it was a bit of a culture shock. You cannot avoid that when you move from a city of 2.5 million to a town of less than 50 thousand. I was braced for that. My choices were reduced in just about every category. Shops and restaurants and theatres that I once took for granted were limited. I was grateful for the absence of traffic jams and the competitive nature of city living. I felt like the proverbial fish out of water.
Grocery shopping took me twice as long as I had to learn new labels. Driving required intense focus. No more auto-pilot. What do you mean? No right on a red? Ooops! Thought I was in the slow lane. Keep an eye out for kangaroos. No joke. Paying extra for ketchup? You gotta be kidding me! Don't tip the server. What?!!! Hanging the laundry outside to dry. Only turn on the A/C when you absolutely cannot stand the heat another minute. Taking cold showers...on purpose. Don't worry, that snake is not poisonous. You get the picture.
So now that a few months have passed and I have made it through these changes, I have managed to re-create some of my past life. I have found a lovely bunch of gals to play tennis with and have just hooked up with another group for golf. A local book club has invited me to join them the first Tuesday evening of each month. I still need to focus on my driving, but it is less scary now. I have discovered where to buy just about any and all ingredients (even organic) I need for cooking and have found a couple of decent clothing shops that carry some stylish pieces when I need some shopping therapy. Although I have not found a replacement for my beloved Humber River walk, I have a couple of loops nearby that offer me a nature fix daily, replacing spawning salmon sightings with mobs of kangaroos.
We are truly creatures of habit. I still even manage to play Scrabble at least once a week with my darling daughter. Technology has made the distance between us seem less overwhelming. Without it, I could not have made this leap. So, what, you may ask, compelled me to move to the other side of the world to start all over again, only to engage in mostly the same activities I had enjoyed in Canada?
Well, in the words of the great poet Rumi, I "gambled everything for love". There was no guarantee. I had to rely entirely on my gut instinct. Every time I woke in the middle of the night, overwhelmed with fear or the voices that cast doubt on my decision, each and every time, I came back to my gut. What was it telling me? It was not a screaming, bossy, aggressive voice. No. It was a soft, gentle and constant voice. A nudging. Just go, it would whisper. It could offer me no real outcome. No fancy promises of happily ever after. No defined security. It required a leap of faith like no other I have ever faced. I came from a family that defines success as financial security and the owning of things. Up until then, I had followed that path. What madness had come over me to leave it all behind?
Call me crazy, but I can sum it up in one short sentence.
He dances with me in the kitchen.