During our holiday visit with my parents, I accused my mother of having deranged optimism. But later that week my own husband laughed about my optimism, which, given that I often tend towards tears and breakdowns, surprised me. But, yes, it is true. One of the main traits of the people in the novel I’m writing is optimism. And I can make the best of it with the best of them.
We flew back to LA through the night on New Year’s Eve, and instead of melting from frustration or going into my stress-coma, I found myself welling up with some good familial feeling as I sat there, buried in children, hardly able to move for several hours. We are a unit in some newer, sturdier way since going through this whole adventure.
For some reason, I am not so good at being calm or settled. I find myself missing weird things, thinking about our first night in the horrible apartment in Toronto as we watched fire truck after fire truck scream past. Remembering those days so stressful that I can hardly remember many of them, can hardly remember much of the year of decision-making that led to this move. Here, I feel forced into a quieter life and a simpler routine. The kids are happier than they have ever been, leaving me with even less to worry over. And so my anxiety stalks its cage, looking for something to chew. My hairdresser in Hamilton told me I have fewer grey hairs since we moved here.
I am struggling with several identity-shake-ups. I’m moving out of an intense stage of parenting towards a little less relevance as a parent, for one, and I’ve left behind a satisfying, very full life to enter into an emptier one that I’m still building. Besides that, there is the fact of an alien landscape. As I go for my runs, acknowledging, yes, that the views and the weather are spectacular, I realize that running along the same route I am a little like a dog pissing on every post. Marking and trying to claim this place as mine. Oddly, when we were visiting, it was on one of my old running routes that I felt the strongest surge of grief.
But I guess I sort of like this place. And I’ve already adapted to the pace, have become a slower and more meandering shopper, unaccustomed to rushing. I like the people here, and I’m glad for Adam’s job.
A few things I forgot to link to at the time:
A mention from PRISM Magazine, complimenting “No Violence”: “An intimate look at motherhood that demonstrates how a small moment can make you reevaluate what you believe about yourself and others. I found this story insightful and beautifully written—it’s full of stop-you-in-your-tracks moments that resonated with me long after the first read.”