I woke up this morning, rolled out of bed, hauled on my snow-pants, and a plaid work coat and gloves and scraped off my truck, started her up, blasted the heat, shoveled out the box, cleared the mirrors.

Anyway, it’s -25 with the wind-chill here today. The cold air was moving across my face and through my lungs and I remembered this thing my mother had said one time when we were walking, about being cold and how it makes you feel alive. And, darling, I was feeling alive this morning. And I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being self-sufficient and independent. I enjoyed feeling that cold air against my skin.

So, anyway, I finished that up, had a shower, did my makeup and changed into my office clothes. Went from what we call unemployment boots in Newfoundland to blundstones, and a red, plaid workcoat to a Canada Goose. I was, by all accounts, a changed woman. And I enjoyed it. I enjoy being self-sufficient and independent. I freaking love feeling like a kickass woman.

So, fast forward an hour, and I’m driving to work, here in Labrador, The Big Land. We just had a massive snowfall, and so there’s powder snow down everywhere and I’m thinking of getting my sled on the go later, and it occurs to me, that I have become the person I wanted to become.

I own my own sled, and a truck, I have a great career and can afford nice things. And I am a fully capable, independent person. And that’s, I mean, awesome. I’m not bragging about that, it’s just I’m happy. I worked hard to get to where I am. And man, it’s sweet to see hard work pay off. It’s a refreshing feeling to know that I can do and go and become whatever it is I want to.

I think the most important part of the journey is getting to know yourself. Getting to see who you are as a single person. What decisions do you make for yourself? What do you want to do? Shit, I want to rent a beach-house in California for a week, I want to go to Portugal, and I want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Time Square. I want to get back to my pre-university weight, and I just want to have fun.

The last couple of weeks I’ve just been going to the gym and hanging out with girlfriends and laughing at the stupid, crazy things we’ve done. Meeting new people, and hanging out, with an occasional glass of wine.

My girlfriends are social workers, and teachers, and nurses, who, like me, spent a tonne of time in university and post-secondary wondering whether we’d figure any of this life stuff out, you know, what we wanted to do, where we’d live, if we’d ever actually find a job…and here we are, in our twenties, still uncertain of what we’re doing, but rocking it anyways… for the most part…

I’m not saying it’s always easy. I’m not saying there’s no tears, or ice-cream venting sessions, breakups, and divorce, and illnesses and the question “what is this life?” on constant repeat. I’m not saying that.

What I am saying is that…

There’s freedom in being able to care for and provide for yourself. There’s freedom in having the power to make choices knowing you’re going to be okay. There’s freedom in being able to walk away from anything that no longer serves you. There’s freedom in having a good education, and in investing in yourself.

xx Mandy

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