June 2016

It has been six months, and I figure it’s enough of a milestone for me to blog about my time so far.  So I have broken myself into a workable routine and of course so have all my peeps. The beauty of the human experience.  I have a 9-5 with weekends off. A luxury not shared by many here as you know, so I count my many blessings one by one. An easy commute, a work space and environment that allows me autonomy, solitude, and most importantly I enjoy work-life balance. This was a non-negotiable for me (God is good to me) and I will not elaborate ……………….you can fill in the blanks.

I have figured out my way around my area pretty well, but I challenge myself every now and then when I take my walks or go for a random bus ride. Speaking of walks, I have been walking more and farther these days…..it gives me peace, helps me to relax and tires me out enough so that I can avoid the drudgery of nights, I will expound on the latter later. Add to that, I have changed by diet somewhat, I eat better portions, less meat and carbs (never mind it’s all hormone imbalanced and deeply preserved non-fresh food) and of course the same amount of junk. Hey, we win some we lose some- it’s complex being a human being these days.

So we have moved- at first I was tentative and apprehensive. I had gotten accustomed to the train, mall, post office, junk food , Safeway, Bank, pharmacy -all available at my fingertips. I didn’t want to leave that- did you hear that? This is someone who is coming from rural St. Elizabeth and just a couple months ago. Suffice to say, the move took place and I am loving it – not missing for a moment all the amenities I thought I would, but instead I am enjoying the quiet and peaceful surroundings- especially because it’s motivation for the walks. Makes me reflect on how easily we adapt, even though it is difficult to embrace change.

Although I can’t quite put a finger on the reason why, each day I become more and more comfortable in my size 14 skin- no I am not walking to lose weight. Maybe it’s all the courageous acts I have been forced to undertake, like leaving my mom ( still miss her, family, home and my friends) finding a new church, staring prejudice squarely in the face and not flinching or bellyaching, standing up for myself, accepting incomprehensible choices and making difficult decisions. Either way it all redounds to good-and now I do not have a plausible excuse to buy clothes.

I have had a few gaffs- of course. Like the morning I was busy doing what I do best- ‘puss in new boots’ quite forgetting I was a novice. I fell flat out in the middle of the road in all that mush- yuk, yuk.  Thankfully, it melts and I was in black. But more importantly I was not jaywalking, as I would have been mowed over for sure. These drivers don’t play- of course this is not NYC but still. A kindly gent stopped to help, but I was up before he could reach out a hand- you know how it is when you fall. My conversation continued unabated, he been unaware of my most unfortunate demise.

Then there was the other morning when I became so engrossed in the paper, that I walked out of the bus centre without my lunch bag. So deeply engrossed I was, that I didn’t even realize until we were well on our way. Now what could I do? Makes no sense I call out ‘ one stop driver’- in times like these you see the perils of discipline and decency and you miss home for sure. Thankfully again, I found it quite in tact when I made the return trip. I said ‘ thank you God’ it was there and that it wasn’t my hand bag. I know for sure,I would not have been so fortunate. I don’t care where you live- some things are universal. And what a good thing they are not so paranoid about terror…….

And then there is the matter of the hairdresser, no sah, I haven’t stepped into a salon since I am here. I improvise, yes man that’s the beauty of ingenuity. For as you know, the salon a dem yah place is where you really understand the price of beauty.

So the issue of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I didn’t even know the thing had a name. But this is how it came on the horizon. I got a ride to church this morning and polite me proceeded to ask my kind host how her week was. Yes when in Rome we do as the Romans do …..

Host: ” it was good not quite busy now as we don’t have many patients and many of the doctors take vacation now”

Me: ” oh really, so are you saying less people are sick in the summer?”

Host: ” well yes it seems so, people refuse to be sick in the summer, weather is too good for that.” ” We seem to be solar- powered you see, and when you live in the most northerly city in the world ( I need to confirm his) we make the most of our summers”

Me: ” that’s really interesting, you really see more sick people in winter?”

Host: ” oh yes, and remember a lot of people are affected by SAD”

S.A.D is it really a coincidence that this thing spells ‘ Sad’. So I started wondering whether I will suffer from SAD. “Quite likely” I thought, as from every since I can remember, I am not a friend of the darkness. No sir, Oh my gosh, I hate nights and that’s a big reason why I don’t nap during day time, why I walk and also why I go to my bed early. I can’t wait for nights to end and for mornings to come, so I do all I can to make sure I sleep right through. Does it always work? As often as we get what we want”, I would say.  Darkness, by the way is also the reason I don’t like the ‘underground’.

So daylight, sunshine, blooms, trees, faces, light, colours, oh those make me so happy and alive. So what will I do when night comes at 5pm and ends at 9 am? When the only colours around are black, grey and white? When sun is accompanied by frigid temperatures? When trees and grass and blooms go dead and nothing grows.  Am no bear, I can’t hibernate. I will take seriously that light therapy thing a friend of mine told me about when I just came, as well some positive therapy and in the meantime strike two items off my bucket list- making a snowman and skiing. Maybe wearing bright colours will help too??? Wish me luck !!!!! Afterall, I mustn’t complain a me tek up and lef mi yaaad. 🤐🤐🤐

I must mention too, that I have discovered some very pristine sobering friendships and have deepened existing ones ( priceless combination)- funny how some things happen. Absence makes the heart fonder they say and truth is stranger than fiction. But they are really awesome friends and I am so grateful for them-it would have been so grey and bitter here without them- no need for me to be any more candid.

Is it a shame that I grew up on an island and spent my lifetime there thus far and can’t swim? Well, the community centre is close by and they have a swim program- it’s called Scared Stiff. So you think I should enroll? Oh one more thing, I have heard of people who have completed the program and still can’t swim- because they are scared stiff for sure.

And I forgot to mention, that the one thing I like so far about here is Anonymity- I love it. And yes me love the free health care system too………but tell me isn’t it a waste for it to be raining and I don’t hear the drops on my roof top!!!!! Uggggghhhhhh- I hate that.