These episodes always end with one last visit with the newcomers. It's the classic house party scenario. Ah yes, our intrepid newcomer(s) graciously ply a kitchen full of chic, new-found, fast friends with their own hand-made gourmet hors d'oeuvres creations as we say goodbye to them with best wishes for a happy and prosperous future.
Well, it's a year now and no new found friends are pounding on my door for a snack let alone a 6 course meal. Dang, and we bought our first dining room table and chairs for just such occasions.*
As the excitement of newness wears off, we discover that we are the same people who we were before the move. Despite claims that we want change, we tend to gravitate towards habitual ways of being and seeing life. But our surroundings and all that supported those old ways has fallen away and we're adrift and the stress begins to show (stress is a natural state experienced as we try and achieve homeostasis in response to change whether that change is desired or other). It's a painful process that dawns on us that we can't live in another vastly different area without the veneer of our old life peeling away.
I'm not disappointed that we made the move, not at all. I love it here! We live in one of the most beautiful areas in Canada with so much to offer. All one has to do is walk out the door. People say they've heard that it's expensive to live here. It can be. But so much is free or costs little - it's in nature all around us. The other night a new friend (also a Shiatsu Therapist) and I sat at the bluffs overlooking Ogden Point chatting over a picnic dinner and beer while witnessing a golden sunset and, just a few days later, a long time yoga friend and I swam all by ourselves at a local seaside beach a mere 30 minute drive from our apartment.
It's these little things that ingratiate me to the place, not big sweeping changes, grand ideals, and aspirations.
Though born and raised in Ontario I always felt like a fish out of water there. When my much younger self came west in the '70's the land and the sensibilities of the people welcomed me "home". Problem is that by the mid '80's the island spit me out, as they are wont to do, if one isn't suited to take root.
I cried so profusely on the plane trip back to Ontario that people thought someone had died.
In a way someone had.
I slipped back into Ontario Girl's skin, adapted to the demands of living there, reconnected with childhood friends, met my future husband within a week of my arrival, thrived and grew through major life challenges but my soul could never settle in, my spiritual home remained in the west.
Last year I brought my ambitious, driven-self, back here. Armed with a bag of skills honed in Ontario I was ready and rarin' to go. I would finally have the career I've dreamed of, studied for, and worked towards for so long. I hit the ground running setting up wildly successful, exciting (and profitable) dreamcircles, workshops and events… only to discover that I'm in a time warp. Manifestation is lagging behind the powers of my imagination.
My Ontario persona wasn't ready for this. Shock, anxiety and disappointment hit with a vengeance; old insecurities reared their ugly heads.
What MUST I do to change this? Ontario Woman demanded.
And then festival season came upon us.
Everyone is out and about enjoying themselves. Even the in-demand, prosperous and profuse population of psychics are twiddling their thumbs. The message? SURRENDER to what is, throw up my hands, give up for the time being and join in. Get reacquainted with "Island Girl", the one I'd left behind 27 years ago.
As I settle back into her skin my time-pressured, goal driven, hyper, anxious Ontario self is falling away and I'm feeling more myself. Gone is the pervasive background buzzing that had insidiously wormed its way into my nervous system over the past decades to such an extent that I it became part of "me". A transmutation is taking place as positive aspects of both my Ontario and BC selves merge.
I'm feeling more rooted than before; considering planting different seeds but now with an attitude of water them, till the soil and see what sprouts. Very west coast I must say. And, so that is what I must do. It's all up for grabs.
Other newcomers say it takes 2 years to adjust to pulling up roots and relocating to a new place. What will have transpired by this time next year when the metamorphosis is "complete"?
I greet the future with a sense of curiosity; discovering Island Woman.
* Since beginning this piece our in-laws - father, mother, sister and brother - have visited and we finally got to use the table - yea!!!