BE GONE, CLOUDS

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Not sure if the mother unit will make it into Trail today! It snowed again like crazy and everywhere is out of power (except us for some reason.. could it be that Karlin works for Fortis and controls power distribution? hmmmm). The snow has stopped but because it’s so warm here, this fog and cloud cover is crazy, hence bringing the ceiling really low and making it terrifying for planes to land in the valley. You’re welcome for those who did not know I am a weather expert AND a pilot. I know a little about a lot.

I wanted to talk about my lifestyle today, because Jen (probably the only person reading this) wrote about hers yesterday. I live in a tiny little village called Fruitvale in the Kootenays in BC. It is a really small village and comes with a lot of really small minded people. But it’s not all that bad. I grew up in big cities, mostly lived downtown in tiny apartments, and enjoyed the busy life I was living. Sort of. I always struggled with the fact that I am not really fond of people. I have my friends and family who I love dearly and love spending time with. But standing in line at Superstore for half an hour in a crowd of equally annoyed and impatient people was just not my thing. I developed huge anxiety growing up in busy places and going to busy schools and universities. When I was 14, I could barely go to the mall without feeling dizzy and panicking. My mom started calling it “Mall disorder” because any time I was in a large public space with lots of people, I fucking got weird. Over the years I learned to cope with all sorts of strategies. Ativan, if i was lucky and happened to have some on me, but mostly staring at the ground and shuffling through crowds, while inside feeling like I was about to faint or die. Mostly die. I knew if I fainted in public, I would likely die.

This is for Aynsley

This is for Aynsley

Anyways, this anxiety/phobia of crowds lead me to just hate people in general. I would get anxious going to the grocery store, getting gas, having to run an errand in an area of town I was unsure of. It was fucking stupid. It still is stupid to this day. Karlin and I can be walking somewhere and all the sudden I’m like HOLY SHIT I NEED TO LEAVE OR I WILL DIE. I’m sure that I am not alone and that lots of people suffer from way worse cases of agoraphobia and the like. All I’m saying is that as much as I loved Calgary and all its amenities, I also hated it because it was too big and there were too many god damn people. Also, the traffic drove me up the fucking wall. It took me 1 hour to get to Karlins house from my apartment downtown during rushhour and 20 minutes during non-peak hours. Either way, it was irritating having to sit in my car and listen to my static iPod radio transmitter thing.. In retrospect, I probably could have done something about my stereo situation and made my commutes much more enjoyable. Not the point. Calgary was a busy place and I constantly had people wanting to catch up, get drunk, have dinner with, hang out, etc. Which was so awesome because I love my friends. But here’s the kicker. I am extremely introverted. Lots of people think I am really outgoing and always energetic and up for anything. It’s all a facade. I love being alone. Here in Fruitvale, I am largely alone.

The other day, Karlin went to his moms place for something and she told him that she was worried about me because I am always alone up at the house. He came to my defense and assured her that I was perfectly fine. I love that he gets me. The truth is, I never feel “alone” in the general definition. I am literally alone, as in not having anyone else in my presence, my the mind of an introverted person is extremely loud and constant and always on the go. I don’t want to sound like a crazy person, but there is a constant dialogue in my head at all times. I am always thinking intently about things and planning and making lists and organizing my thoughts. I have enough going on inside me to keep me occupied (and entertained) for a lifetime. A common misconception of introverts is that we are quiet and not social and are loners. If you ask any of my friends, not one of them would tell you that I am a quiet person, nor that I am unsocial. A loner, maybe. But I love getting together with friends, and even family! I just can’t do it all the time. It is mentally draining for me. I can’t always be “on”. When I appear to be extroverted and outgoing, I am. It’s not totally fake. But it takes a huge amount of effort for me to be “that Colleen”. And I love being outgoing and sharing my thoughts and woes with the people around me, I just can’t do it all the time. I need a period of rest. It’s sort of like when you get a bunch of friends together at a table for dinner and drinks and by the end of the night there are 10 different conversations going on and everyone is engaged and having a good time. That is what life’s about. Having these great moments and memories. But nobody gets together with that many people EVERY night. Ok well maybe Kim Kardashian, but most people aren’t THAT social. For me, even having one friend over, or running into someone I know at the grocery store feels like that huge dinner party sort of a social interaction. And it fills my need for companionship just like that! Then I am set for the week!

So back to living in Fruitvale. Everyone I know thought I was absolutely batshit insane to move to here and give up my job that I loved and my adorable apartment downtown, right next to all my friends, and leave my family and my brand new niece. When we moved here, I wasn’t sure that I had made the right decision. It didn’t help that we moved in right away with his parents in their VERY busy household. I went from extreme privacy of my 600 sq ft apartment, to a house full of kids and aunts and uncles and parents and siblings. It was a shock to my system. 100%. Then when we couldn’t find a house of our own, I REALLY started questioning if I was the dumbest love struck human alive. Please note, this wasn’t the first time I had moved to BC for a guy. But I knew that Karlin was different and we were ENGAGED, not just newly dating adolescents. So I did it for love, which I know I was scoffed at by friends behind my back. And still am. But I am learning each day to give less and less fucks about what other people think I should be doing with my life.

So now I live in this tiny village. I never stand in lines to get groceries. There are no traffic lights anywhere near here, so there is never traffic. After a really hard long HOT summer, we have built a gorgeous house with an INCREDIBLE view. It makes me smile every morning when I get up and look down this crazy mountain valley. The weather is so mild. There are so many outdoor activities to do around here. I can shoot my gun in my own backyard. We have land! I haven’t been able to find work yet, but I am ok with it because I am lucky enough to use this time to do things that I never had time for in the city. We have family within walking distance. I struggle sometimes with the lack of shopping. I miss malls and Bestbuy and Chapters. I miss eating out at restaurants. But overall, I really am adjusting to small town living. Everyone knows who you are. Everyone always offers to help with any project you’re working on. You know all your neighbors. And I get to spend a lot of time doing my favorite thing. Staying in! Cooking! Watching movies! Going for adventures! Going to the lake! Hiding from large crowds 🙂

So this sort of touched on a lot of personal SHIT. But there you have it. The Housewife of Fruitvale.

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