Where do I start telling you, dear reader, about what the hell has been happening since January 4? It has probably been one of the hardest times I have yet experienced in my 31 years, and I don't appear to be at the stage where my wounds can be licked just yet, because new ones keep opening, and I am unable to buy enough bandaids.
I (foolishly) asked that this journey i'm on should be about testing myself: seeing how I cope under stress. Unfortunately, I was not specific about just how i'd like this to happen, and it would appear that it's been determined that I should be popped into a little wooden dinghy and thrust out to a stormy sea with 50 foot waves crashing around me, and no land in sight.
In my mind, I had a sweet little picture that upon my return from a wonderful Christmas holiday with 4/5 of my family that I would sail through the US/Canada border and return to my home and work and everything would be schweet after spending some time with a nice American lady in Seattle. This particular cool-as-a-cucumber-in-official-law-type-crisis lady was indeed cool when the nice Canadian border lady said to me "I'd prefer it if you returned to the US, and had your friends in Vancouver bring your things to you there". I said "OK" as she went to answer a phone call. Nice American lady said "Why don't you just ask if you can go to Vancouver?". So I asked, and was granted 24 hours in which to uproot for god knows how long.
I spent a harried 24 hours in Vankie, grieving with my dear roomies who appeared to be just as shocked and angry as I was. Debra, the Super Duper Unitarian Minister was kind enough to drop everything and come over to give me a hug on the morning of the 12th, when all I seemed capable of was nothing, and in my pyjamas at that. She told me of how she had been wracking her brain to try to see how she might help, and she went as far as to suggest offering me sanctuary in her church. This made me laugh. A lot.
I packed up all my belongings in my little room on Adanac street. Tears were shed. I took off in my mid-size rent-a-car one way for the US of A, hoping like hell that I would actually be able to get in.
I went to the border at Douglas, to return my face to the Canadians, who had warned me that if I didn't do this, a warrant would be issued for my arrest. I thought I should make that meeting. The funny thing was, after an informal chat with the customs officer outside the building where he was waiting to watch me 'go south', I found myself giving him a cheery wave as I drove off in mid-size rental. What the hell is that???
The American border man (who I actually recognised from a previous visit) was nice enough.
"Put your mid-size rental in park, and open up your trunk", he said.
His dopey sidekick asked "What's in the boxes?".
"Oh, books..." (And my fucking life for fuck's sake!) I was to be visiting Seattle for 2 weeks, not returning to Australia any time soon, and my next international destination was the UK. I must have appeared to be quite the jetsetter, thanks to my mid-size rental.
My new border acquaintance said "Have a nice week," as I pulled away on to the I5.
I am in Seattle now, and have landed in an apartment which is not being used. It has been lovely that some of my new friends here have rallied around me to help. They probably don't realise how much this means, and how much I appreciate it. I find myself repeating that over and over, and it's probably starting to lose some potency... but anyway... the question is: WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO NOW?
I am beginning to understand warnings like don't count your chickens before they hatch. I received some warning (albeit from an incredibly dodgy source) which suggested I be on the lookout and I just didn't prepare for it.
I wrote this on December 18:
So now it seems I must re-evaluate everything I had planned. And I mean everything.