I took my first painful fall a couple of days ago. I got all the way home and right outside the door to our building I slipped right down the hill and smacked my head on the ice. The package I had picked up from the post office slid all the way down the road and I just stayed there and listened to it, thinking, 'please stop.' I checked to make sure no one saw the fall, then put my head back down. I felt old. Remember when you were little and you could take the most dramatic falls and bounce right back from them?... This morning I realised how far behind me my childhood is. I am in pain.
I've been having these thoughts a lot lately. I'll be wrapped up in a dirty joke with the old men I work with or be talking business with management and I stop to wonder when I became an adult. When did I go from being a little girl taking direction from grown ups, to calling the shots and having adult conversations. When did I cross the line between wanting to live with my parents forever and getting on a plane to move 1472 miles away to the arctic. When did 'someday' become the present? When I was little I wanted to grow up and have a house full of babies, I said I would start when I was twenty. I'm almost twenty two now and I still feel like the twelve year old girl who never thought her sixteenth birthday would come. Where did the time go?
Since I want to be in one piece for the years to come, I am going to head over to Arctic Ventures and buy a pair of shoe spikes. The ground is so slick here, like a City wide skating rink. I thought my Baffin boots would cut it but even they don't grip. Most of the people here wear spikes, like removable cleats. It also helps to walk on the dirt trails. They don't use salt here to melt the ice, they simply sprinkle a trail of dirt along the walk way. I like the lack of salt, my boots stay the colour they were made to be. The roads also get "dirted," (rather than salted, heh, that made me laugh) and they become this slick, cappuccino colour. Some mornings they look almost like marble. The people here are used to skidding and sliding around on the roads but as a pedestrian it terrifies me. It seems that the vehicle of choice during arctic winters is a snow mobile, often with a large sled tied to the back. I see them zipping by our living room window and every time it makes me think about how different life is here. Sometimes I get comfortable and forget what the life I came from looked like. Which is one of the many reasons I need to fulfill my goal to successfully keep pen pals. I know the art of love via letter is almost dead but I feel like its a really cool way to build and keep relationships with people I adore. I know most of my love letter recipients wont write back so I simply send up dates. Other than Christmas cards, I wrote my dear friend John Sanfillipo this month and my newly recruited pen pal, Mr. Patrick Clancy, who thus far is the only person who has agreed to the writing part of this kind of exchange.
If you'd like to write me, and you should know that getting mail is often the best part of my day, my address here is, PO BOX 130, Iqaluit, Nunavut, X0A 0H0.
My hope is that no post office trip for the remainder of the winter will result in bad falls, and every trip will result in feeling love in an envelope.
Here's to a fantastic Christmas Eve spent with people we love. Although I will be spending tomorrow evening in an intoxicated blurr with my family away from family, I will be thinking of all of you and missing each and every face in Oakville.