Changes

This is a restless time. I see it in my friends and sense it in my peers, and can feel it stirring, stretching, settling in my own chest. The weather echoes this unquiet — the lion and the lamb have not yet reached a truce.

The walls of my apartment are sky blue, and yet there is no freedom there. Instead, I have opted to follow the real skies north for a few days. As I slowed to an energetic crawl down a side road the other day (yes, I opted for the “scenic route”), gale-force winds swept ice crystals and reddish dust in equally blinding amounts across my path, directly perpendicular to the nose of my little rented Sentra. Was this some sort of sign? Is my current course the opposite of where the world says I should be?

Maybe it’s just the wind.

Change is inevitable. Without change, progress is impossible. Nothing changes if nothing changes. And yet, no amount of common sense or inspirational truths make change any less excruciating for me.

The older I get, the more familiar I am with my own discomfort regarding big changes. Growing up, I experienced a moderate amount of traumatic alterations to my life, some of which I’ve only just begun to reflect upon as a 28-year-old. As I’ve been gradually unpacking the last two decades, a lightbulb moment:

I dread change because when it’s been thrown my way, I’ve rarely been given the time, space, and encouragement to explore and subsequently express my own reactions to it.

Changes sure did happen in my young life, and happen hard, but absent was the space for me to have feelings about these things, and furthermore, the space to choose to express or reject or even identify them. There was rarely any sort of in-depth discussion or questions about such matters. I did not often feel like I was in a situation where my thoughts and feelings were an item of interest or concern, or even worthy of acknowledgment. Things were happening to me and around me, and I did not know how to express myself to confront them.

As an adult, I have difficulty confiding in people, and I am often extremely anxious when I try to articulate what I’m feeling, even to my closest friends. This is directly at odds with my overactive sense of empathy, hyper-awareness of the norms of social communication, and my extremely sensitive nature, and will potentially be, as I’m coming to realize, my inevitable emotional and/or social downfall.

[Hi, I’m Emily, and I very often live in my own head.]

Yesterday I went snowshoeing in the Blue Mountains. This morning I hiked 8km of the Bruce Trail. This evening I’m taking full advantage of the bathtub in my motel room (also, I’ve spoiled myself with an $18 bottle of Baco Noir!). I’m up here alone — I have the time and I have the space to process what I need to process, even if I’m not entirely certain what that is.

One of my best friends is moving half a county away next week. I have feelings about this. I have been contemplating how to handle my image both as a musician and as an avid feminist without selling out either way. Predictably, this also gives me many feelings. Spring is coming, eventually, assuredly — and I get spring feelings REAL bad.

I am restless and I know you are too — change is change, and change is happening. But now I want to talk about it.