Earlier this week I went to Moncton to help my in-laws move from the house in which they’ve lived for more than thirty years into a spiffy new condo where they still have lots of space, yet won’t have to shovel the thirty centimetres of snow expected to fall there today. I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday helping them clean, carry, unpack and organize. It was glorious.
Yesterday, I went to a friend’s mother’s funeral at two in the afternoon. It felt so good to be able to support my friend in this way, and to hear all the stories about his mother that were told during the service.
Last week, I went to deep-end water-aerobics, a workout I love and which sadly isn’t taught in Halifax before ten am or after six pm. That’s a middle-of-the-day workout only in this town, for some reason. I go at quarter after twelve on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
And on Wednesday night I filed my application for the Writing Studio at the Banff Centre. This is an experience I’ve long longed for. You spend five weeks in the company of other writers who are engaged in serious projects. You work with an editor. You write all the time while someone else fixes your meals and makes your bed. You live in the glory of Banff, walking the trails, soaking up the culture, being a writer first, last and always. The Writing Studio has always coincided with Spring Ratings. CBC had a really strict policy about hosts having to be present during ratings periods. And anyway, five weeks of annual leave, taken all at once? Nope, not possible for this girl. It’s one of the compromises I made with my writing while I worked at CBC. But I don’t have to make that compromise anymore. There’s no guarantee they’ll accept me, and it’s super expensive to go and I probably won’t get financial aid…but I don’t care. If they take me, I am going.
Another compromise I made while working at CBC was not (for the most part, with one notable exception) stating my opinion in public venues. That was monstrously hard. I failed spectacularly that one time, linked above. (And, I guess, with this follow-up, even if it was more public-service-minded.) In any event. I don’t have that stricture anymore, but it’s taking a long time for me to really realize that. But it occurred to me, while I was thinking of all the other things I can do now that I couldn’t before, like help my in-laws, go to aquafit, go to funerals, go to Banff, it occurred to me that I can also say, as loudly and as often as I want, that I believe Lucy. I believe Lucy and I am sending everything I have her way. I think she’s a hero. She is testifying to a survivor’s truth. A truth we rarely get to hear from a court room, loud and clear across the nation. Still, it hurts to watch the trial unfold, it hurts to hear the kinds of questions Lucy and the others are asked to answer in cross-examination. It hurts to contemplate that the outcome of the trial may indicate that nothing has changed. Except, except…despite that possible outcome, everything has changed, thanks to Lucy. I believe Lucy.
Here’s to doing the things we never could before.
6 responses to “Things I couldn’t do that I can now”
Both your posts on that subject were lifelines. I found it so very difficult to express my thoughts then; the news stories were bringing up memories I didn’t know I had. Because I hadn’t yet outed myself as a survivor of rape, I didn’t know how to convey how or why I was (and am) so very angry / frustrated / grieving / frightened / exhausted …
Your posts gave me words to share when I couldn’t write my own and for that, I will always be profoundly grateful.
Oh, thank you for saying this. I am so sorry you have had to live with those complex emotions. I hope you are taking good care of yourself through all this.
Thanks for this post Stephanie. I too am in a new place, having closed my practice of 20 years as an alternative health care practitioner. This fall I had surgery and subsequent radiation for breast cancer, and like all illnesses it has brought with it many gifts and a desire to do something different with my life. So, I am embarking on a process of discovery and looking for what makes my heart sing. I’m doing some writing, lots of rug hooking and some days sitting in a comfy chair reading with my cat. After 20 years of having other people depending on me it is such a relief to be a free agent.
Warmly, Meryl Cook >
Meryl, I hope you are enjoying the heck out of all those things. I am sorry to hear you haven’t been well, and I’m keeping a good thought for you!
Hi Stephanie, Let me start by saying how much I miss your humour and bantering with Bill on the Mainstreet program. Your wonderfully dead on questions, your ability to be curt yet respectful. I miss your voice, your thoughts, your humour, so much, but celebrate reading your blog posts since you left cbc and although there is no auditory, I can still hear you as you write your wonderful blogs. My heart sings for you that you are doing the things that got put on the back burner because of the full schedule of going to the office work. As well thank you for adding your voice to Lucy’s cross examination. Your right…”that nothing has changed. Except, except…despite that possible outcome, everything has changed, thanks to Lucy.”
Thanks for these kind words, Stellalita.