I was going to write another entry about how winter’s been wearing me down (particularly the physical aspect of traipsing over insufficiently cleared sidewalks), but I already explored that subject in the last few posts and it’s already March, so I’m just going to give another short update on what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been thinking about, and what’s on the horizon.
The big news in my corner is that I actually booked vacation time this year. For the longest time, I was either working through a temp agency or just on short-term contracts (some that had extra pay in lieu of benefits), but even though I technically got benefits a year ago, when it came time to have vacation requests in for the next year, it was a big question mark as to whether I would have been working past the end of March anyway. I still managed to take a short vacation to New York in June and went to Miramichi for Christmas, but this is the first time since working in a call center that I deliberately set aside week-long chunks away from work so that I can get out of the city.
Right now the plan is to go to Montreal in June and to Boston in September. As much as I enjoyed going to New York with my sisters last year, I had been craving a solo trip for quite some time. I’ve traveled alone before but not for as long and as far, and in the case of Boston, I’ve never been there (at least not that I can remember). I may meet up with people and check out the queer scenes in both cities, but for the most part I don’t have any set plans for what to do on these trips. I’ve been putting money away for a hypothetical trip for a little while, but having the actual dates and places figured out makes it so much more real to me, and there’s more impetus to figure out a financial goal.
Getting back to my everyday existence, I sometimes look at apartment listings online for neighborhoods on the Halifax peninsula, but compared to what I’m paying for rent right now, most spots are considerably more expensive, and I don’t really want to go to the trouble and expense of moving at this time anyway. If I were willing to have a roommate I would be more likely to move, but I’m not willing to trade my space and financial independence for a shorter commute, as tempting as it would be to live in a more walkable neighborhood. Besides, I’ve lived in my current apartment for longer than any place I lived continuously while growing up, and the distance from nightlife is less of an issue as I get older and recovery from evenings out takes longer.
Speaking of evenings out, I had my gathering at the HopYard last Friday night. It was the usual crowd (including the Raccoon on the Moon), but the change of venue was nice, and there were some good beers on tap. I’m debating whether to do anything for my birthday this year; I sometimes do the big event thing and invite the usual crowd to The Foggy Goggle for dinner and Charlie’s for more drinks, but this year my birthday falls on a Tuesday. Last year I held it the weekend before and was also celebrating starting a new job the following week; the year before, I was too depressed to really observe my birthday; the year before that, my friends arranged a surprise party combined with a visit from my sister. As much as I like seeing people, having a bite and a few beers, it takes more and more out of me each time, so I may want to keep things low-key this year.
I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve managed to wander into over the years, but I am so used to the periphery, it feels like there’s a level of performance I have to maintain whenever I’m among others that drains me. At the same time, there are so many interesting people I would love to know better, but new connections always require effort to find and maintain, and I just don’t know if I have that energy anymore. Time alone is time to recharge, and when I’m in close quarters with other people for more than a certain amount of time, I really begin to feel trapped. I don’t know how people with partners manage this feeling. As enjoyable and even necessary that sex and companionship are, I've come to learn they aren’t as important to me as my autonomy is. Maybe that makes me weird.
Besides, if I need companionship, cats are much less tiring than humans.