Culture Shock

I don’t even know if that’s what this is.
But it sure feels odd.

I went shopping in the mall a few days ago and was thrown off big time. Not just because I didn’t know if I was supposed to fold up the clothes I had tried on or not, but because I realized I didn’t know what my style was anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted it to be.
I hadn’t shopped for winter clothing in years.
Skinny jeans are almost the only jeans people wear? And jeggings? What ARE those.

I didn’t use to be shy with employees. I would ask them easily, if they had this shirt in this size
I try and do it myself and when they confront me, I’ll even steer away from that.

Free Wifi at Tim Hortons? REALLY?
I’m used to paying for it.

I got pretty overwhelmed a few days. I’m not prepared for people and there questions. It is why I have only seen three friends in the week I have been back here. But the English is alot, it is fast and I listen but my words are still tangled and lost.
I had a good conversation with my Mom the other night and I walked away thinking, ” WOW. Life HAS that in it? Someone to listen like that? Someone to smooth out my thoughts and ideas?’

I’ve really been in my head and been wonderin how the heck do I get all this out. I must eventually get out what I want to do, the changes I want to make. To make it more real.

I am happy though. I know I will settle in. I will get things where I want them.

At least I know that one person I thought that might not want to see me, has seen me.
And we have meshed right back into how we were.

And that changes things.

Country to Country: People and Interaction

The last three visits I have made to Canada, have been for two months at a time.
Going into it my brain and heart know this. Going through it, my brain and heart know this.
Even though I absorb and seem to mesh into Ontario life quite easily, it is more what it appears like and not what it is.
Since I already know this is temporary, the impact is greater and longer lasting. Conversations are always so much better after I’ve been away. Clicks in my head happen at the slightest things. At things like understanding my rapid mumbles. I am impressed with people and their ability to pick up on feelings and senses. I am humbled by human nature and somedays, it even brings me to tears.
I won’t even have grasped the entirity of my stay- my confrontations and conversations- before I go back.. and knowing this, is just another of those alterations.

I always was a bit shy with my eyes but.. I was better at speaking. I knew where I was going with my sentences and I didn’t feel like the world was spinning backwards and I had to run to keep on top.
And now, when it comes to interaction, there is more that I feel.
And that always makes me feel connected…
and distracted.
So when I’m at an event full of people I haven’t seen in years, there are obligations and conversations that act as magnets and some that lack concentration. I am all over the map as I tighten up my hair elastics and hop right into their train of thought and go. Two miles later while it is still moving, I am getting out. And in that three minute train ride I’ve calculated my insecurities and outwitted my doubts, I’ve surprised myself with my bold and confident form, and I’ve seen someone else that I need to talk to.
So I hop on the next train.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I was all over the map.

When it is all said and done, whether it be weddings, a pub or a funeral party, a downtown group I know well.. I end up reeling in goodness. And also in bad.
It matters that people make effort. It matters that they drive 20 minutes to see me. It matters that they pick me up on ten minute notice and drive me to get a Greek salad without olives.
Being outside of this country has given me new appreciation for friendships and has helped me self reflect in a lot of ways.
Even though I value effort, I know I love certain people by the way that I will go to them.
Every single time.
And it circles back to the fact that I know I am only here visiting. I can do this much now, because in two months time I will be away from the opportunity.

I will not have unloyal or disrespecting friends. I will not have friends that ignore me.
Each new time these two month visits are over, a slew of Facebook friends are deleted.
It doesn’t take a life in another country and then the reentry, to figure out that some people just aren’t wanted in my life anymore..
but that’s the way it happens for me.
And that is where the bad comes in.

It is likely considered dissapointment.
In which; I feel sad when someone I thought would, doesn’t.
I get cocooned and it becomes interesting when I turn it inside out and have the fuzzy touching me.
Because I too, am capable of effort.
I too, can make the approach and dismiss the current car I am in.
If I value that person enough, why shouldn’t I.
I take this fuzzyness and accept how I don’t care to wrap it around people that I used to.

When it comes to people in my life, the selection becomes something I am more selective about. Life is busier and time is more valuable so the people I want to be with, had darn well better be special.