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Leaning Forward

For part of my undergrad degree I lived in Lethbridge, Alberta. For those of you who live in southern Alberta, you'll have heard the jokes about how windy it is. Anywhere in the prairies, actually. If the criteria are met, the majority of Canada will be issued an official high wind warning if there are gusts up to 90km/hr. A high wind warning means there is risk of structural damage to buildings or property. The running joke in Lethbridge is that they don't bother issuing a high wind warning until those wind gusts reach at least 100km/hr.

That said, a high wind warning in that part of the province isn't actually a joking matter - a full-sized semitruck being blown over (think cow-tipping) while driving down the highway has been known to happen.

While living in Lethbridge, I had to cross a pedestrian overpass en route to the university. As you can see from the picture, trees are few. The wind loved to fly down that coulee and whip up along the side of it, tackling the bridge-walking and shelterless pedestrians. If it was spring or fall, the prankster wind would threaten to steal your backpack and fling it over the side. My roommate, a petite Japanese student, refused to walk alone because she could never make any headway. She could only manage to get to class by clinging to one of us and we had to walk leaning into the wind at what felt like at least a 20 degree angle.

My life feels like I'm leaning forward into the wind to place each step right now.

There's a brutal headwind trying to bully me a little bit - the management stress, preoccupied brain space, and financial strain of running my new business. All things I can handle fairly easily, but are tiring nonetheless. My practiced skill of "leaning" into the wind is helping balance it all. Leaning, in this case, is my habit of managing and being in charge and organizing people developed over years of avoiding my emotions by becoming helpful to others. I'm also making very clear and steady steps forward, almost unexpectedly. I haven't been planning any of this, but I've discovered that I'm regularly posting on the mental health blog I run for the business, and the posts have become more fun to write. I've also very unexpectedly joined two vibrant writing communities online in a social media format that actually works for me. (That's a whole story on it's own - identifying what works for me.) I'm reengaging with that part of myself that really does genuinely want to finish writing my book and see it printed one day. And I'm letting my inner child make more decisions.

The 17-year old who was Bound and Determined to be published is beginning to see a little satisfaction. It's not an uphill climb for me, I'm just walking into a headwind and, having grown up on the prairies, that's at least a familiar difficulty.

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