This is a letting-go situation many of you may have lived or may be living right now: you have made the decision to suspend your life (work, apartment, friends) and leave for some months to a foreign country. In our case, it will be a leave of absence. It will be British Columbia.
I guess that my last post about it may be now renamed: “British Columbia #1: The Elation of Having Let Go”.
Now to Episode 2: Family and friends all know. There’s been our neighbor who had missed our email and was taken aback when we discussed our departure over our weekly cup of tea together. There’s been that friend who was real sad. There’s been that very hard-working, I-will-never-take-a-sabbatical-even-if-you-pay-me-a-million-dollars colleague who surprisingly exclaimed: “I think that’s an awesome thing to do, I’m so happy for you!”
Now that the papers are signed and all the beloved ones are notified, there’s that strange change in the atmosphere. The loss of tension in my muscles, my mind and that sudden reminder from my brain (uttered in an unpleasant whisper):
This is a breath that you needed to take.
More than a romantic move, a leap of faith taken hand-in-hand with your wife, it is a banged door. It is a relief. It is, in fact, a personal challenge based on a shameful morbid thought: “I don’t want to die before I do this.”
Hell, it may even be mid-life crisis. It may even be pathetic.
I am now entering a comfort-zone in my life and it is freaking me out. I am a Darwin-award mammal who would rather run toward a Bengal tiger than face her own shadow.
But there is also that longing. That West-Coast crush. That nostalgia for a place where people do not know me as Carrie “who came out late”, or as “Carrie the vegetarian” (in France people tend to be obsessed with your vegetarian-ness — I need to write something about this someday), or as “Carrie from f*cking [my district in Lyon — a district I fell in love with but that people who do not know it tend to despise and misunderstand]”.
Where we're going,
people know me as “Carrie”. And they never seemed to need — or in any case demanded — any further specification; adjective; suffix; box.
It’s funny how identities vary. I have shared that simple, uncluttered part of my identity with strangers living all along the West Coast, but with pretty much nobody at home. Maybe I tried, but then it didn’t work out.
I need to let that part out. I need to get more acquainted to it. Somehow, it is missing.