it’s funny that at a certain point in time we often think about how much better things would be if something were different. I have been having many of these moments recently – not of present moments but of past moments, and how much simpler things were – in some ways. This evening, I fell upon an email I had written years ago while I was a second language teacher in northern Quebec. I read the email and it felt like I had been transported in time. I remember the email clearly, I also remember the time. Back then if someone were to ask me if I’d ever look back at this time with fondness, I would have vowed to never reminisce on that time in my future – I would have sworn that once I left this place I would be so much happier.
And now, whenever I speak of yoga I thank that period of my life because if it weren’t for hitting rock bottom I would have never gotten on my mat in the first place. If it weren’t for that period in my life, maybe now I would not be where I am today – maybe I wouldn’t be who I am today.
But this email also made me realize how lucky I was to have found that job in Northern Quebec. Trust me I am not discounting the hardship – a year and a half of being told I was unemployable, working my ass off to get the hours in order to obtain a position on base where the pay was better and the work more steady. But I did it, and in a matter of a year after finding my first teaching gig in Saguenay I was working full-time, on base, killing the belief that anglophones (english speakers) could not make it in the deep french north.
And if you were to ask me then, how I would feel when I finally returned to Canada (more specifically the Canada I knew) I would have told you it would be fabulous, I would be working full-time, we’d have our own house, and things would be just perfect. But life is never perfect. Actually scratch that life is ALWAYS perfect. We just don’t see it until later. Because tonight as I reminisced of the days in which I worked full time and was super busy – it seemed perfect in my memory. Perfect, because now I do find myself in the Canada I know but am not working full time. I am struggling with french (I am ashamed to admit it and am taking courses to rectify that) and thinking of that time brings nostalgia – trust me when I tell you I never thought I would ever think of my time in Saguenay with fondness. Trust me when I tell you I counted the days to leave and when we did move (to Belgium) I was more than thrilled. But it is where it all started. It is the place where I was forced to strip away the labels I had defined myself with and figure out who I was underneath all of the labels. I was forced to face various demons in my life there – and I was asked to show up 100% or get eaten up by depression and anxiety – and I did show up 100% every single day – starting every morning on my mat no fucking questions asked.
I need that girl now. I need that woman to slap me in the face and remind me to wake the fuck up. She had guts. Man did she have fucking guts. She had tenacity and spunk. She had hard -ass fucking balls that never let go. She got up every damn day in the dreary, smelly, racist (sorry Quebec but seriously fucking racist) place and held her fucking head high. And when people dared to question her presence or dared to ask her where she was from because she looked different or spoke different she screamed. Ok seriously I don’t miss the rage (yoga remember) but I do miss her inability to give up.
I honestly think I was meant to see that email tonight to remind me of who I am. I’ve been hiding out of fear of being rejected and for fucks sake I got rejected almost every single day living in Saguenay. If it wasn’t a store clerk who refused to understand my then PERFECT french, it was so many other things. I was rejected so many times – yet every damn day I got out of bed and unrolled that mat. Every day I met myself on that mat and I dared myself to smile and to be happy. To let go of control and find what I could do in the now. And I killed it. I fucking killed it over and over again.
So no I am not going to give up. I will continue to kill it even if it means that I first have to pick myself off of the floor. I got this. Somewhere inside me lies that warrior goddess that once upon a time dared yoga to change her life and what she found was that yoga taught her that she needed nothing all that she needed was already there she just needed to start screaming and make shit happen. And she did.