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.