These are some [more] pics I've taken + thoughts I've been having while walking through this lovely city. Quebec is on the unceded territories of the Cree, Mi’qmaq, Naskapi, Algonquin, Montagnais, Abenaki, Mohawk, Attikamekw, Huron and Malecite nations.
The first month of this trip involved a lot of feelings and a lot of anxiety. You can check that out in my previous Montréal post. But in the past couple weeks I have found an enjoyable pace to live in, and my brain is fully invested in 'adventure / big trip mode'. I have moments when I realize it's been quite awhile since I have slept in my own bed, seen mom or been around all that is familiar in my life; but my reaction isn't to miss those reliable comforts. It's to be appreciative of my time away from them, because returning to them will be that much more fulfilling. And experiencing all that I am here - away from home - is exciting and new. I've been meeting tons of cuties, going dancing, getting tattoos, eating bowls of delicious food (mostly homemade but also at some eateries) and watching great/weird/old movies with Evie, the wonderful, beautiful, hilarious, illustrious friend I am living with. I've read a few great books and am tentatively getting back into making art (mostly colourful geometric pieces inspired by a documentary about the Bauhaus design movement).
I am feeling more spiritual than ever. I am not particularly religious - though I am fascinated with religion and its many histories around the world - but I have always felt a deep reverence for this earth and cosmos. From the micro-levels of life inside organic cells to the known edges of the universe: whatever set of chemical and physical precursors were laid billions of years ago to allow life to flourish in all its endless forms here, I feel is worth of some kind of worship. I am in awe of the world as it is; as we perceive it and as we cannot perceive it (I cannot actually comprehend how star-filled our solar system is, and that in itself is meaningful). We are as a species only here for a moment, and this planet will go on without us just fine. I care *very much* about environmental consciousness and responsibility, but it's important to recognize many of the ways we think about 'saving the planet' are primarily with our own human needs in mind. Evolution and extinction are not moral processes, yet we have prescribed morals onto them. I am NOT saying we should all feel free to recklessly litter and keep destroying ecosystems since it doesn't matter. It DOES matter because environmental degradation and climate change negatively affect human lives and health (especially lives of people who are already marginalized due to race, class, region, gender, etc.) We must do whatever it takes to bring justice to all.
I am a feeling, seeing, hearing mammal with a relatively advanced brain and nervous system (compared to other life on earth). I am going to enjoy the heck outta this existence while I am able, and then I will inevitably die. At the same time, I am something much more than that: I am a point in a constellation of unbound energy that spans farther - in time and space - than we can cognitively grasp. I don't know why life has a knack for chemically and physically manifesting itself in this universe when it doesn't have to, but here we are. I don't need to know. Existing and being self-aware are glorious enough. Understanding I am connected to and a part of something greater than "myself" is grounding and powerful. It it worth living for.
I haven't been thinking about Jack - hereafter "The Ex" - much at all and when I do, I think about him and our relationship with a reflective outlook: it was a young love and I am grateful it's over. It was beyond time for it to end. I have known this for awhile but I am finally actually *feeling* it, ya know? I am better single, because I deserve all my time and energy right now. I am more interested in falling more in love with me than with someone else. Maybe I'll do that in a few years, but for the moment: I just wanna work on myself. I still don't even know who I am, and at this age (early 20's) do/did any of us? My relationships with queer/femme/female friends and my family fulfill me completely. I am loved. I am enough. On my own yet surrounded by caring people. <3
I had a rough time after initially getting here, when I doubted my own capability to be alone. My self esteem got pretty low on top of that. I lost sight of my identity (what even is gender / being alive!?) and what I want out of life (a house, cupcakes, my cat, more activist work, love, alone time, a heat pad, self actualization??) I am relieved to say that has turned around. It was a healthy period of vulnerability and for now it has passed. I am sure there will be others, but at this moment I am doing really well. Much love to all of you, I super appreciate your thoughtful, kind emails and messages: they mean more to me than you may know.