Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why keep on telling the story?
Part 1: It's not just about me

Written on: My Own Desktop, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
Composition: Caffeine induced inspiration.

Previous Post: Just an Update

Yesterday, July 1st, was Canada day - her 140th.

As a result, today, Monday the 2nd of July is a statutory holiday. This is a type of weekend that everyone looks forward to having. So much so that it has even entered the North American vernacular: The Long Weekend.

Having an extra day off of work counts for a lot. And because it's summer, there's a lot more freedom as to the things you can accomplish.

This is a time to do your home projects. Finally you can cut that grass that's grown too long because you've been too busy. Perhaps you can weed that garden. Tend to your raspberries and strawberries. Prune that juniper that's so overgrown it's starting to look like a knocked over spruce tree.

Or maybe you can finally attend to some other home improvements that need finishing. Maybe finally finish laying that last coat of stain that your deck has been begging for since the previous summer. The deck's done? Maybe you can apply sealant to your driveway. And if you found spring to be too wet and cold, then perhaps you can finally do some general spring cleaning - in summer.

If not the house, then maybe the car needs some attention. All winter long your car's been


...your car's been battered by the elements. Mud, snow and slush. They take their toll on your paintjob. Now that it's summer, you can finally wax your beloved. Wash, dry, wax, and buff. Rinse. Repeat. You have the time - it's the long weekend.

Or maybe you have all these domestic chores done and only have obligations left to fulfill. For the family and or home oriented, this is the perfect opportunity to fire up the barbecue grill and roast up some dead animal of your choice. Wash it down with your favourite spirit, Canadian made or not - we have a variety of alcoholic beverages available to us here, you just have to look (no de facto monopoly here!). Invite friends and family over. Soak up the sun in your backyard with your stained cedar deck, newly pruned trees, and freshly cut grass.

Single and renting? Even better, because events and gigs abound. Party it out downtown within your city, town or community. This is the time to have a drunken, bar hopping experience. Hook up, drink up, and party up. If you manage to still be single by sundown then you can end the night by watching a fireworks display visible from a popular vantage point for all to see. Chances are, it'll be free.

For the outdoorsy, this is a time to take out the RV, the boat, or the camping gear to head out away from civilization and explore the countryside. This is the time to go fishing, go exploring the wilderness, and enjoy Canada's rich natural wonders. Maybe even go shooting.

For those who have family elsewhere, this is the time to visit and perhaps have a reunion. Head out of town to see old friends and family. Catch up to old times, and reconnect with people you knew from your youth.

These are all examples of how Canadians usually spend the Canada day long weekend.

Me? I did not do any one of those things. Not one thing.

In another post I accused Canada of being boring. Well, it isn't. It's MY LIFE, as it has been lived so far in Canada, that is kinda boring. The place itself is amazing. Just amazing. There are many things to do, much to see, and lots of people to meet. I definitely haven't been taking full advantage of this tremendously lovely place where one can live an awesome life. But me? I've been, and I still am being, foolish.

To be direct, what I've been doing is subconsciously blocking myself from having too much fun in this country. Like I don't deserve it.

I think.

I can only guess.

But what I'm trying to say is: A part of me always holds back when I should be going all out. I end up repressing myself and stopping halfway just before I achieve full enjoyment of something.

It's not just expressed in my lack of participation to Canadiana.

I somehow feel guilty everytime I have fun doing something exclusively Canadian. I mean, there are hobbies and interests to be occupied with; but none of them are purely Canadian. Sure, there really is nothing "purely Canadian" per se anymore - it's a globalized world - however, if I do an inventory of the things I do and claim to enjoy, it could be anybody's from anywhere in the world. But I digress.

Simply put, I seem to have a prejudice - to which I will not openly admit - against enjoying myself here. I just won't let myself have fun all the way. For someone who is all-or-nothing, as I am, this isn't supposed to happen.

So where does this come from?

Ten Years ago, during my first summer here, my Dad's Ditse, Tita Sofia came here for a visit. As per usual custom for Calgarians when they have visitors staying over for at least a few days, to take them to the Canadian Rockies was requisite.

I remember, there's this one part of the Trans-Canada highway, just past the cement quarrying plant near Canmore where, if you were heading from the Canadian interior westwards TO the Rockies, a layered rock face would be the first really obvious feature you'd see. From inside the car, it fills your whole window. I unfortunately have no photograph of that feature, despite the many times I've been there since. Not even the words majestic, imposing, and awesome can do it justice.

I distinctly remember Tita Sofia (aka Ofie) going, "Ay nako Randy! Ang gaganda ng bundok dito! Diba? (Oh, Randy! The mountains you have here... they're beautiful! Eh?)"

My response? "Meh".

I dismissed it. I shrugged it off as if I weren't all that impressed. Of course I was ONLY pretending not to like it - I was a bitter kid, like I've said before elsewhere. I pretended not to like because somehow, that lessened the sadness of being away from the dear and familiar.

(Edited January 2014... much of what comes after this has been deleted and revised for being either too embarassing or too nonsensical)

With this 2007 return to Canada being my "second coming" - in a sense that I am reliving being wrenched from that 'dear and familiar' place of my birth and trying to make sense of what's it like living in Canada all over again - I now have a unique opportunity to share my experiences, and hopefully, maybe, help someone else undergoing the same kind of difficulties.

Because for all my philosophical flourish wannabe pretend pseudo analysis whatever... it probably just comes down to this: Moving is hard and uprooting from one country to another is even more difficult

Hopefully, no one else will have to go through this.


Next Post: Some Poetic Wall

Related Post: The All-Encompassing Rant about what it was like to be NEW to Canada

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