Thursday, September 24, 2009

nuts to this!

So things are a little nuts right now.

Nuts, but good. Like, almonds or hazelnuts. Those kinds of nuts.

I had another three days of my self-created retreat, and while the whole time was really good, and I'm really glad I did it, it was actually harder than I had thought. You know how meditation retreats are notorious for being really hard, because you have total silence and nothing but your own mind? Well, it turns out that even though I wasn't on a meditation retreat, my time away had some things in common with one. For one thing, for a lot of the time I was by myself. For another, I was in a small cabin away from home. So, you face yourself pretty darn quickly, despite not keeping a vow of silence. (Hey, I have to be able to talk to myself!)

And, I realized - the hard way, the way involving emotions and all that stuff - that wherever I go, there I am.

It's the kind of insight that is so obvious as to be simplistic when you first hear it. But then it becomes real, like in-your-face, painfully-aware-of-your-own-neuroses real, and each word in that simple, small little sentence slows down and gets full of meaning.

Wherever I went last week, whether down to Mabou or up to Cheticamp, there. I. freaking. was. Going hiking and eating in a pub and driving around in my own (rented) car didn't actually make me a different person. I was still me - still me with my anxieties and fears and doubts.

It made me think a little differently about the idea of self-acceptance. Specifically, that if one is serious about loving oneself and changing the negative voices in one's mind, it is damn tough. And, part of the process is accepting that you are probably not going to change very much from the person you are right now, in your lifetime. Going to Italy, going to Asia, going to the moon - wherever you go, there you are. Yes, those experiences will become part of you, and you'll learn new things, and maybe change your behavior somewhat. But it's not like you walk through a magic doorway when you go somewhere new, and become a whole different (cooler, hotter, thinner, more forgiving, more sociable, more introverted, more muscular - whatever it is you're yearning to be) person.

So yeah. So I came back from my week away. I hugged my kitties and did some laundry. I slept and took a walk. I packed more stuff. I hosted a Writers' Group meeting. I slept some more. Then I got up at 5:30 am on Tuesday morning, got ready, and got into my neighbour's car at 7:00 am. We drove to Sydney, part of a daily commute for my neighbour and many others in my area, who live with their families in the Baddeck area, but for one reason or another - usually economic - have to work in Sydney.

Then the fun began - training at the library in Sydney. After these two weeks I'll be back in Baddeck, but they're giving me two full-time weeks at the busiest and biggest branch in the region, to get me fully prepared. So far, so good - although I feel a little like a waitress! Although, the difference is that books don't get cold, and people aren't as cranky when they have to wait for service. It is, after all, free.

But, I'm constantly on my feet, going to the circulation desk, and around to other parts of the library, and I'm really in full-on learning mode at this point. The computer system that's used, the way things are run - I'm saying, "I don't know," or, "Show me?" a lot.

It's really good, though. I'm loving being around all the books, I'm loving helping people, and most of all, I really get a thrill being the one to check people's books out, and wield the almighty date stamp. "These books are due back on October 9th, and you can always call us to renew." Magic words!

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