At our volunteer base in Haiti, there was a group of us who would semi-regularly go up onto the roof in the evening to practice yoga under the stars. It was there that I was introduced to Bikram, a modern yoga style in which you do everything twice. The first time you do a posture it can be difficult to coerce your body into such an awkward and unnatural position, extending it outside its normal comfort zone. In your second set of the same posture, the improvement is noticeable – your muscles have warmed up to the idea of stretching or contorting in this way and are much happier to be doing so.
Now that I’m back in Ottawa, I’ve been thinking about Bikram a lot. (Not just because it’s -20°C out on a regular basis and Bikram is done in a hot room at around +40°C.) I’ve moved back into my old apartment with most of the same roommates, I’ve unpacked all my old clothes that my sisters had been wearing all last year, I’ve reactivated my old cell phone, and starting on Monday I’ll be back at my old job at the YMCA. I have the same boyfriend, same friends, almost the exact same neighbours…did 2010 even happen, or was I just on a quick vacation from my adult life?
Clearly it happened, and I definitely learned from everything I did over the past year. So I guess 2011 is just my ‘second set’. I was quite happy with the way my life in Ottawa was when I left it in December 2009. Obviously it wasn’t exactly what I needed at the time, seeing as I was more than happy to peace out like I did and stay away for so long. But after a year of running around, never having four walls to call my own, and watching my bank balance steadily decrease to nothing and beyond, I think I’m ready to give the whole adulthood thing another try.
Not that I intend to sell out to the man entirely (retirement savings? home/boat ownership? Please!), but I do think it’ll be good for me to spend some time just in one place. This time around I’ve had a year to get used to the idea that I will likely live to see my 25th birthday (which, may I remind you, is only 10 shopping days away) and beyond, so I am allowed to get a bit comfortable and let everything I’ve done in the past marinate for a while. I’m excited about the things that come along with having a proper home, like a mailing address and a fridge, and also about doing stuff that can be hard to do while on the road, like taking classes in awesome stuff, owning ice skates, and maintaining long-term relationships.
I’m happy to have this sort of cosmic do-over presented to me, and I’m excited to make my new old life as awesome as possible. Come visit me anytime…I now have a couch you can crash on, a neighbourhood I can show you around, and a toilet you can actually flush. Life is good!
P.S. – At the request of some of my friends and family, I’ve decided to continue writing regularly even though I’m no longer in Haiti. For those of you who read for the Haitian content, I recommend Se La Vi Ayiti or On the Goat Path. For those of you who read for the Madison content, I’ll never understand you, but I will do my best to keep you entertained!