volume one hundred and thirteen
don’t know when i’ll be back again
📍Written from a mostly empty Vancouver bedroom, complete with an air mattress on the floor.
As I write this week’s substack, I wonder if I even have the headspace to do so. I am stretched thin in that at the time of writing I have one day left here before my life of full-time-digital-nomad-soon-to-be-down-under life begins for the foreseeable future and of course, that means there is so much to do in the next twenty-four hours, including panicking and stressing (or so I predict).
The good news is, that once this lands in your inbox, all that will be old news. I will be on my travels, I will have everything packed, I will be past all of this and well into the realm of excitement. So while reading, please relax, just as I am. *looks towards the future while writing*
Often when I feel like I cannot write to you, I know I really need to because if I don't I look back at my week and wonder “Where did I make room for the things I love?”.
Often when I feel like I cannot write to you, I know I really need to because when I get one of these into your inbox, it is a weekly declaration of “I am a writer, and I prioritise my writing”.
Often when I feel like I cannot write to you, I get great joy out of writing you a list. I love lists.
This volume’s list is simply: Vancouver
I will not miss your terribly impatient drivers who risk mowing someone down any chance they get in order to get somewhere faster — just like everyone else is
I learned that I may never learn how to dress appropriately for the rain (and simultaneously feel like myself style-wise)
I will miss bumping into friends when I manage to leave the house, because you, this city is actually so small
I will not miss bumping into horrible people when I manage to leave the house, because you, this city is actually so small
I learned that if you meet someone who lives here and who only has one job and no side hustles, their family probably has money and they will never understand you needing to pass on plans to pick up a shift
I will miss the mountains (that take my breath away every time I return from a trip especially when they are covered in snow) meeting the trees meeting the ocean meeting my feet on the grass or the sand and keeping my eyes peeled for a seal’s head above the surface of the water
I will not miss the cold, the rain, the moodiness of it all (both the weather and the people)
I learned that even if I claim to love all ice cream, when my favourite place burns down I will choose to go without
I will miss the man who smiles and says “Hello my friend!” to which I reply “Have a wonderful day!” every time I pass him and we have never exchanged names
I will not miss how fast most folks expect everything to move here: time, people, bikes, service while dining out, lines, trains, buses, the other person talking, even downtime
I learned that when I leave and go somewhere a little slower-paced, I am more than a little happier and breathe a little easier
I will miss all the dogs of Commercial Drive
I will not miss preparing before I walk out the door for the heartbreak of people in need, being ignored, everywhere I turn, overwhelmingly so — but I don’t think I will ever stop thinking about them, at least I hope I don’t
I learned not to take people asking me to hang out with them, then never replying when I say yes, personally — everyone is busy, we are so busy, this city never stops, this city requires everything from you if you want to stay afloat and it will take it all if you let it
I will miss New Town Bakery in Chinatown
I will not miss the evil, awful, nasty, fucking crows who want my blood (or jewellery or hair or something)
I learned that the longer I am here, the longer I turn into someone trying to keep up and that someone trying to keep up is never in the moment
I will miss going into the kitchen to top up my coffee, bumping into my roommate doing the same, and two hours passing by
I will not miss choosing whether to stare at a wall or into someone’s home, if I want to stare out my window, because good views — heck views, period — are for people in a different tax bracket
I learned that when it is time to go, I say goodbye and thank you
Lovely reader, think of a place you have left: What do you miss? What do you not? What did you learn?
hi, lauren deborah! is a reader-supported digital journal. Both free and paid subscriptions are available. If you would like to support my work, the best way is by becoming a paid subscriber. 🧡🧡🧡 Comments, likes, the chat, shares, listening to my podcast and kind messages are all other ways you can support me, too.
here are three things I struggled with this week:
🕰️ How do I make time slow down for a smidge?
😷 Crowds. There are whispers and I am listening and masking up.
🙏 It works, but only if you work it, not when you get so busy you put other things before it.
here are three blessings from this week:
✈️ Having visits from international friends that you love very much and making wonderful memories with them.
☀️ A forecast of rain for the week ended up being very, very wrong and that made plans very, very lovely.
🍲 Having food cooked for me (my love language) for the first time in I might not be able to tell you how long.
here are three goals for the coming week:
💤 Try to recognise that I am almost out of the busy, and have my schedule ahead reflect that shift. Try.
📖 Free up the time to pick up a darn book and read.
💯 100 days of writing. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Join us?
pics or it didn’t happen:
I love you. Now I am off to attempt to put my feet up while spinning several plates. We love a transition period of chaos to rest.