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{Editor's note: I wrote this

{Editor's note: I wrote this about a week ago, and finally decided to go ahead and post it today.}

I don't know if anyone else suffers from days where you hate everyone and everything, but I woke up this morning despising everything. And I couldn't figure out why.

Oh, there were lots of things I could blame it on, easily enough. I've spent the last three weeks studiously decluttering my apartment, which is a lot of freaking work. Plus, since I'm nicely boxing up things that belong to other people, or that I want to donate, or that have other reasons to be boxed or bagged up, I'm living in a house that looks like I'm moving at the end of the month - but I'm not. I spent a good chunk of my days off at Margery's place doing tons of laundry, of which about 3/4s was either donated or thrown out, and 1/2 of what I returned with is either Barry's or Kris'. So, more was added to their piles of boxes. When I came home after my days off, expecting one more night to myself, I found three messages from work asking me to please come in to work last night, since they'd already changed the schedule.

My cat hates me. Again. *sigh*

And going back even further, my three best friends all moved to other cities within a month of each other.

So, I woke up this morning in a terrible mood, and nothing I've tried all day has worked to kick me out of it.

I did what everyone does when they need a pick me up. I called up a friend and whined.

Because he's a good friend, he listened to me whine for the better part of an hour, then calmly asked me a few things. Like, how I actually felt, beyond the whining. Which I had to sit down and think about.

"I feel like I'm killing time. Like I'm just waiting for something to happen, and nothing's going to. Like this is it, these four walls, and this job that's going nowhere, and this life that's just dull."

"Have you felt like that before?"

"I guess... Yeah, when I was putting everything together but hadn't actually done anything about going overseas. When I was still just talking about it. Life was so dull, but I couldn't seem to do anything."

"You know," he said. "You've been talking off and on for the past year about going overseas again. You didn't want to come back from China. You talked about Japan and stuff, remember? Didn't Paul warn you about having itchy feet when you came back?"

"Yeah, but...."

Yeah, but. But, I missed Edmonton with a deadly passion while I was away. I had dreams about coming home. I talked about it constantly, about all the people I missed, all the things I didn't get to do. I remember back when Barry and I lived in Vegreville, how if we lived in the wonderful land of Edmonton, everything would be perfect. We'd do stuff with people every weekend, and we'd never be bored again. I like that idea of Edmonton.

"You're bored, Anna. You're stagnating. You don't even go through the motions of trying to do anything exciting anymore. When was the last time you even left the house to do something new? And no, going to Camrose to do your laundry doesn't actually count."

"It's not that simple."

Because it never is that simple for me. I haven't left the house for a lot of reasons, and part of that is that I'm bored. I'm bored of work, it's not challenging anymore. I can't stand the idea of going to a game because I feel like I've really played them all, you know? The people I want to talk to, I can call them, I can email them, I can talk over ICQ. I can make that sort of effort. But going out for coffee? I'm bored of coffee. Meeting at the pub? I'm bored of the pub. I'm bored of a lot of things. I can't even stand the idea of reading a book some days because it's so boring. Some days I'm sure this is a sign that there's something wrong, that I should talk to someone seriously about how bored I am, how nothing interests me anymore. Other days, I think it's because I've done everything in Edmonton I conceivably wanted to do, and now it's time to go some place else.

I've never lived anywhere as long as I lived here.

"It's never that simple for you. I love you, but you make things more complicated than they need to be."

"Probably."

Translate probably as yes.

"I know you've been thinking about going overseas again. What's holding you back?"

"Lots of stuff."

I'd need to get a visa again. I need money, I always need money. I'd have to give up a job that, although it bores me, pays well and has opportunities to pay more. And has benefits. My parents want me to settle down and get a career, my friends are getting married and having babies, except when they're already married with babies. They're being grownups. Going back overseas seems like a selfish thing to do, some days. I have all this stuff, and no idea what to do with it all. What would I do with my cat, he can't come with me. What if I go over there and I'm deathly lonely again? What if I can't find a job? What if I go away, and everyone here forgets about me?

"Tell me some of them."

"Money."

"Then we'll get you the money. Anna, you got the money to go to China, and we'll help you get the money to go someplace else. You do have friends who love you, and know that you're going insane here."

Have I mentioned that I'm blessed in my friends?

"I'm running out of time to get a working holiday visa to a lot of places, I have to do it before I'm 30."

"You're not even 29 yet, there's lots of time."

"I don't know where I want to go."

"Uh-huh. Which is why you have a new UK guidebook. And all of these pamphlets on your table from Wales and Scotland. And why you've suddenly been emailing people in Edinburgh."

"Everyone there will think I talk funny."

He gave me a look, and ignored that statement.

"Let's make a plan," he said. "Let's sit down and figure out all the things you'll have to do. Let's get you to Edinburgh. Your friends will still love you, your parents will still love you, and you'll be happier to be traveling again. There's nothing wrong with being disatisfied with your life as it is, Anna. It's chosing to continue to be so unhappy when there are solutions that will make you feel better that's the problem. If you want to wallow in being miserable, fine, but I think you'll feel better if we get everything sorted out to get you on a plane and happy."

So, we sat down, and made of list of everything either one of us could think of that would need to be done before I could go overseas. The list wasn't nearly as long as I thought it would be.

"Are you feeling any better?" he asked me as we finished it up.

I looked around my apartment. The walls didn't seem to be closing in so much.

"Yeah," I said. "Yes I am."

Estimated Departure Date: June 6th 2005


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