Five Boxes Full

So it has been a month since I last posted on this rat-hole of a blog. Between the final scholastic blitz, my near immediate return to the work-a-day world (mine begins at 5am! Kill me now!) and the gradually dawning realization that I must now live the rest of my life like a semi-normal person, poor old Hello City has gotten the short end of the stick. For the few people still reading this, I apologize.

This past month and a half has been an extremely busy period in my life. When I last wrote I had yet to tackle the seemingly insurmountable mountain of papers, exams and presentations piled messily on my slate. Stressed, exhausted and soaked with panic sweat I proceeded to spend about two solid weeks in an all out academic blitz. It was a battle of inches but eventually I managed to fight my way through and was given a brief respite of about six days in order to prepare for my two remaining hurdles, a ludicrously easy French exam and the epic task of moving out of my insanely cluttered apartment. The former I completed with little trouble but the latter took a few long nights, sizable amounts of Red Bull, a trusty broom and a whole fuck load of garbage bags. I succeeded nonetheless and by the end of the thorough mucking out the sum total of my physical existence had been reduced from a collection of crap that ate up half of a large panel van to just barely enough to fill five standard size moving boxes. And I’m pretty sure half of that is still largely superfluous. At first I was mildly disturbed by the fact that 22 years of life could be condensed so easily but now I think this lack of a heavy material anchor suits me just fine at this point in my life.

Only a two days after my final challenge and I was on a west bound plane once more. Set to start full time work only a day after I arrived. I was headed to a city for which I have little affinity or affection. Calgary, though home to some of the nicest and most interesting people I have met, holds little luster for me. It is and has always been a stop-over. A way station in which I can take advantage of the friendly economic climate to rebuild my repeatedly shattered finances and of course visit family. My time in Cowtown (which has only been roughly 11 months in total spread over four years) has never been accompanied by any notion of permanence. This time is no different, especially considering my sister and parents are likely to leave the city within a year or so. As am I. But my habitual western journey was accompanied by a new feeling this time. An oddly numbing sense of finality. After twelves years of non-stop public education, the vast majority of which was spent in Halifax, and four busy years at the University of King’s College I have finished my epic scholastic odyssey. Now begins my haphazard entry into a wider world full of much greater possibility, responsibility and uncertainty.

It also means that once again I am dislocated. Calgary is no home to me and with my successful completion of my degree, the current of my life has once again carried me away from my beloved Halifax. I suspect I will once again be departing Calgary in the near future but this time my outward flight will not be an inevitable return to shabby student accommodations in Halifax. In the end it really doesn’t matter. I’m going. I just don’t know where to yet. So here I sit, at the opposite end of this vast country, where I have few relationships or connections to sustain me and no clear plan for my immediate future. I have been laughing, crying, ranting, drinking, learning, living and yes occasionally even loving, in Halifax for the vast majority of my life. It is hard to simply let that all go, but let go I must. Trying to pretend that my life hasn’t just undergone a massive transition would be as useful as pissing on a raging forest fire. Now is the time for me to adapt and consolidate. Just like I discarded the useless clutter collected in my old apartment, I must cast aside illusions that will only hinder or slow me down. What I will keep from my many years in Halifax are the many memories and the great friends, nay new family, I have made. Five boxes in my mind full of what is really important.It’s a big country ladies and gentlemen, and the world is even bigger. I guess we’ll just have to see if I’m big enough to face it head on.

Stephen Fearing at the Carleton

Bluenose and Blue Jays