If I didn’t know better I’d say someone stole my brain while I was sleeping. Hell, who knows. Maybe it did happen. Something’s up, that’s for sure. Has been for a while, only I’ve just really become aware of it.
Kinda crept up on me, slowly. And it’s confusing the hell out of me, if you want to know.
When I look in the mirror it looks like me, but I don’t know, in some respects it sure doesn’t feel like me. Here’s the thing:
For as far back as I can remember myself — and trust me — it’s far, far, far back — I’ve been a city girl. I didn’t even know what suburbs were and I didn’t like ’em. All I knew was, sprawling ranch bungalows and big backyards and rock gardens and the sound of crickets and peace and quiet didn’t float my boat one bit.
It was always the city I craved. The more congested, the more traffic, the taller the buildings, the noisier — the more I liked it. My whole ‘being’ has always responded to the pulse, to the beat. It’s always made me feel ‘alive’. It’s always inspired me.
Gas fumes never bothered me. Neither did traffic, as long as I wasn’t stuck in it, behind the wheel of a car. I could sit in
terrace cafes forever, watching the world go by right in front of me, feeding off the energy.
The hustle. The bustle. The rush. The movement. The action. The horns. The voices. The laughter. The shrieking. The yelling. The slamming of doors. The backfiring of engines. The motorcycles. The squealing of tires. The pedestrians swearing at the drivers. The drivers swearing back, giving them the finger. The barking. The babies crying. The sirens. The clicking of heels on the pavement. The scraping sound of metal hitting metal. The policemen’s whistles. Hari krishnas chanting. Salvation Army members ringing bells. Street musicians strumming guitars. French being spoken here. Italian there. German across the street. English. Cantonese. And just over there, the oh-so-soft-and-gentle, rhythmic lilt of Caribbean English can also be heard.
The sights and sounds of life. City life. All happening together, at the same time. Like a Broadway musical or a contemporary ballet on an acid trip.
And then there’s the convenience of living right in the middle of this hodge podge. The thrill of living right in the thick of it. Knowing anything you could ever want or need is mere steps away.
That’s been my turn-on my whole life. My bliss. My Nirvana. My ‘need’. The ‘fix’ I’ve had to have.
So here’s the weird part. The part that’s got me shaking my head. Wondering what’s going on with me.
Because lately — as evidenced by my last several blog and Facebook posts — I seem to be going all zen. Waxing poetic over raspberries.. Sniffing grass (the kind you mow, thought I should clarify). Slowing down. Cooking up a storm. Meandering through memories. Breathing deeply. Listening to the Universe. Letting go. Opening up.
All good, absolutely. But a different ‘me’ than I’m used to.
Yes, yes, yes, all this isn’t completely new. There are ‘aspects’ of these qualities I’ve embraced and followed and believed in before. It’s just different this time. How it’s different I can’t explain. I can only tell you it is.
What I’m attracted to now is less Paris and more Provence. More Santa Barbara and less LA (not that I ever aspired to live there, but you know what I mean). I still don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles from my nearest neighbour or a carton of milk. It’s just that now I fantasize about smaller, prettier communities rather than over-crowded, smog-filled big urban centres. It’s less about ‘living in the heart of the city’ and more about ‘living in the centre of my heart’.
My preference is to walk more leisurely, enjoying the sights along the way — instead of being in too much of a rush to get to the destination. I no longer need ten or twelve or fifteen or twenty restaurants within arm’s reach. Two or three or four are more than enough. I only need one pharmacy. One tailor. One supermarket for the things markets don’t have, like cleaning supplies.
I think it’d be cool if the guy or gal pouring my cup of coffee recognized me or even know my name; and really meant it when they ask how I am. I like living amidst some greenery, some nature. Inhaling toxins and polluted air is something I’d now prefer to avoid. Instead of seeking perfection, I’m seeking peace. And calm — not necessarily around me, but in me. A little breathing space. A little room.
Having said that, though, don’t expect to find me living somewhere remote, where I’m completely isolated.
At least not yet. Because at the rate I’m changing, anything’s possible.
But for now my intention is to have a simpler, less pressured, more meaningful life — one that nurtures my spirit, fills my soul with joy and contentment and makes a positive difference.
That’s it, Fransi, the slippery slope… one city girl to another… 😉
Ha! Yes, I guess so 🙂 Now to see where this all goes 🙂
*takes straw from teeth*.. Could lead anywhere at this point! My own hankering for the village I now live in has moved on to wishing I could afford a camper van or isolated hovel on the moors and be miles from nowhere…
Though I insist on a bathroom and internet 😉
I can see that happening, you know. Yes, I agree, a bathroom and the internet are essential! 🙂
Lord, I wish I could 🙂
Well, you never know … Hang on to the dream .. 🙂
Wishing on every star there is 🙂
Now that is funny! Doesn’t everyone know you?
Well … This is a pretty dramatic about face for me. So I’d say nobody knows ‘this’ me — including ME! Haha! Keeps life interesting 🙂
Nothing wrong with wanting a “more meaningful life — one that nurtures my spirit, fills my soul with joy and contentment and makes a positive difference.” You must be in that stage of life where these things have taken on more importance. But I’m not sure why you can’t find these things no matter where you are 🙂
Oh you absolutely can. Didn’t mean to give the impression that I had to go somewhere else to find them. I’m just attracted to a different kind of an environment as well right now. There’s a lot going on in my head is all 🙂
Oh I do get it. I moved out to the burbs to see how the other half lived 🙂 It was good for the kids, but now that I’m older, I also enjoy the fact that I can have a small garden. Plus I get into the city a lot, so in a way I have the best of both worlds.
Yes, you do. I am coming to appreciate where I live — right in the heart of the city, yet my immediate neighbourhood is really residential — lits of grass and trees and flowers. Houses rather than apartment buildings. Any offices that there are are in old houses. And it’s quiet. So concrete and crowds and fumes are losing their appeal. I’ve always enjoyed photographing nature but not living in it. Now that’s changing. It’s good to evolve:)
The trick is not to move too far out 🙂 And yes, we all need to evolve! 🙂
There’s not too much liklihood of me moving too far out 🙂
I expect Toronto is like Chicago, where the suburbs close to the city are enormously expensive. Plus the taxes – oh man! We’re about 20 miles north of the city, where we can afford to live 😉
Good luck to you!
Thanks! Toronto is expensive, period! I am not moving anywhere at the moment. Everything’s in the exploratory phase right now. It’s all about possibilities, not probabilities. I like possibilities. They inspire me 🙂
Yes, I know. I used to watch House Hunters 🙂
Possibilities are interesting. I expect you’ll keep us updated!
Oh I will! I love House Hunters International. I am addicted to that show. They also had a beach version I loved. Maybe that’s what’s responsible for this yearning I have!
I hear you, Fransi! I’m back in the city for a few months. Let’s have a latte and talk about this. Talking about it is always good fun!
Great idea, Patricia. Let’s try for next week or the week after — not a Tuesday though.
I hear you. There’s something to be said for a quieter, simple way of life.
I think so :). Sometimes I sit and just watch the tableau in front of my, watching people (nd cars) zipping by and I wonder if they’re having any fun. They’re just rushing to or from somewhere, not paying attention to anything or anyone around them, munching on a sandwich or gulping a beverage on the run. I’ve certainly been in that ‘picture’ so it is really interesting to step out of the frame and observe. And to my great surprise I’m discovering I like it outside of the frame 🙂
Moved from the outskirts of the city to a place in the country years ago highly recommend the easy life or maybe it’s me being lazy but which ever you choose it will be what is in life’s plan –
Absolutely! The path has already been laid out for me. It’s starting to come into focus …