Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blog Slog.

Oh, the visions of grandeur I conjured up about my first blog entry since my return to Canada. Clever, insightful phrases would flow from my pen onto the page (I write my entries on paper before transferring to computer), and you, Faithful Reader, would sit glued to your computer screen, gushing over every sentence that scrolled by. After all, I must have so much to share with you: reflections on my travel, now that it’s behind me; thoughts and feelings about what it’s like to be home, a culture shock follow-up, and of course, a clear and well thought-out answer to the question people love to ask me the most, “So – what are you going to do now?”

Yup, this was really gonna be a humdinger of an entry. Maybe even my best one yet!

After 2 weeks of letting that endless loop of thought run circles in my head, it’s time to face the music: I got nothing.

I know. You didn’t take time out of your busy life to click on yet another Link From Cara, only to discover....that (plus no photos!). Trust me, nobody feels more let down that I do (if anyone else even notices? Thanks, if you do.)

Pretty much all creativity, motivation, inspiration, insightfulness and whatever other reserves I draw on when I write are at a superlow. AWOL. Gone fishin’.

Chalk it up to whatever – jet lag, lack of salt water and 32-degree heat, a huge increase in sugar, fat and sodium in my diet....bottom line is my mojo ain’t working. So, read on, but only if you’re bored.

I spent the first 2 weeks in Canada pretty much just sleeping and shuffling around my parents’ house in my pj’s, trying to get/keep warm and trying to get/keep my skin from cracking like a croc. Oh, I also managed to delete all of my travel photos*, so spent a little time (days) manually fishing all of those from the Recycle Bin and returning them to their previously-very-well-organized file homes. Fun times, and all in all, just way too much reality for me, from every angle .But, more on reality in a bit.

I could go on a big tear bout how much I miss traveling and in particular Indonesia and Gili Air, but I figure you already see that coming, so, not very interesting for either of us. Besides, it puts little cracks in my heart every time I think about it.

Not that I expected it would be, but it hasn’t been an easy transition, coming home. Aside from the usual suspects – i.e. no longer tripping happily around the world with my backpack, not going where I want when I want (my driver’s license is expired), having to wear socks and shoes and a coat, frigid temperatures (when you’ve spent 3 months living next to the equator, 10 degrees is frigid), blah blah – there is a whole host of other (stuff) bugging me that I didn’t predict: an excess of (read: more than zero) motorized vehicles, radio, TV, billboards, a ridiculous amount of shopping centres with ridiculously large stores carrying more product than anyone could ever need, noise, prices, fashion, sales tax, processed food (I can’t believe how much salt is in our food, in general), people being rushed, stressed, concerned with appearances, pressed for time and generally not very cheery (thinking the current economic meltdown might have something to do with this)....the list could go on but it just sounds whiny. And maybe it is whiny. I might be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve done an exorbitant amount of complaining in the last 12 months. So I’d like to think I’ve earned a few minutes on centre stage at my own whine and cheese party.

Life is just so much simpler where I was.

I suppose the biggest creativity-stifler at this point is the fact that I need to think about working again, and fast.

I don’t want to work. Not in the old traditional sense (office; schedule; stress; outfits that require thought and coordination; mascara). But (and I hate saying this) I need money, and as much as I dream of writing for a living, at this point it’s still just that – a dream. Some people seem to like to interject here with, “Welcome back to reality!” I don’t really subscribe to that way of thinking. A few weeks ago, my reality consisted of living on a tiny island. How is that any less “real” than this? I came back for all sorts of reasons, but I also could have stayed (albeit with several complications). Reality is what each of us perceives it to be. Nothing more, nothing less. That being said, my reality is that I’ve got to reverse the direction of my cash flow. But it doesn’t mean that I have to do it by following the standard model (see “mascara”, above). I busted through the walls of my desperate reality a year ago. Why stop now? It would certainly be a lot easier to grab whatever job might come my way and ultimately I just may have to, if (when?) the bank starts calling; but I’m sure not going down without a fight. (Brief flash of inspiration here as I think how cool it would be to be able to Google-Map my career options; clicking and dragging the little interactive career path line, exploring all the possible routes, avoiding the non-scenic and under-construction ones, dead ends, etc).....good to know there’s still a scrap of creativity hiding in me somewhere, anyway.

I’m hoping a quick jaunt back to the old haunt will spark...something. A connection, a lead, an idea I hadn’t thought of before. I love Montreal in the spring and I’m excited to see my friends (and get my driver’s license back). Fabien’s there now too, so it’ll be a kick to show him around my city a bit (he’s already seen my island in Indonesia!) I wish I could stick around longer, but I gots no home, and I can only inconvenience my friends for so long. (Update: I'm here, and it's great! I love Montreal!)

That’s all I have for now, Loyal Readers. I’m back, in body if not in spirit. I still have no idea what’s next for me. I’m a totally free agent, which is scary and stress-inducing, but also pretty freaking cool when I manage to think about it the right way (thanks to BK for helping me with this part). If I can travel the world for a couple hundred days and manage to come back in one piece, I can probably figure this out, too.

Note: As far as I know, blogspot doesn’t have a feature that automatically sends you an email when I post an update. Some of you will be very happy to know this. If you are not very happy to know this, sorry, but I believe the only option is to check in to the site once in a while to see if there’s anything new.

*I hate Picasa.