Everybody's changing and I don't feel the same
I think the lead singer of the band that sang that song is in rehab, which is a bummer, and made me think twice about using his chorus to describe what’s going on lately, since the changes around me aren’t pointing towards rehab. Unless you count the feature article I’m working on about rehab.
I can feel Whitehorse changing me. Or me changing in Whitehorse, whatever karmic chicken and egg analogy you want to use.
I can look back at 2 months ago me, new in this northern mountain town gawking at the stereotypical small town staples and boasting about what I knew. I knew nothing. I deliberately set out to come here with a mind open to whatever unfolded before me. And to be fair to myself, I tried to be, and thought I was.
But as newer people come, and I see 2 months ago me in them, I recognize that I am changing.
I don’t try and figure out how much money people make when I meet them.
I don’t purport to understand anything, knowing that I can never truly understand something 100 %.
I don’t care what purse I bring with me, if it matches, or if its season-appropriate. That was the first to go.
I don’t gloat about hiking a mountain when the people I live here with do that twice a week and travel all over the territory doing so for fun.
I don’t purport to be a runner, at least not by Yukon standards. I am a runner in early training. When my colleagues run half marathons just for kicks, up and down mountain trails even, I cannot in good grace call myself a race runner. Humble pie for me!
I drive slower, and don’t notice.
I get excited to go to WalMart.
I get excited to order catalogues.
I don’t spend paycheques the day I get them after one walk through the Rideau Centre.
I don’t spend all my paycheque ever.
I write letters on nice note paper, and take the time to do this without scheduling it in between classes, work, bus rides or coffee runs.
I do yoga every morning, waking up at 6:00 and I really LIKE it.
I don’t get tired until bedtime.
I drink 2L of water a day, and notice when I don’t because of the lip-smacking and tongue scraping I unconsciously begin doing.
I can’t go a day without a book to read, or continue reading. (On to Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex)
I am learning the names of plants and animals around me, expanding my natural savvy beyond the squirrels, sparrows, rabbits and Maples that formed the suburban nature of home.
I don’t feel like a tourist anymore, and I stopped shopping in the tourist stores.
In short, I am retaining the me I like and building on it with the characteristics that Whitehorse air has begun filling me with. Like a slow intoxication of Yukon qualities with every breath of mountain air. I am scared I’ll visit home a different person. But isn’t that why I was excited to move here n the first place, seeing who I’d turn into?
I feel excited and anxious to meet a little more of the new me every day. It just requires the kind of quiet and introspection that a slowed-down, balanced and happy life I’m getting from Whitehorse.