My Nation’s Birthday.

It’s Canada day.

Last year on this day, I woke up feeling as I always woke up feeling- as if I’d been chewed up and spat out, run over three times by a Mac truck and then beaten down. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but I felt pretty awful to say the least- and with good reason- I was not treating my body well. I was not respecting myself.

Regardless, after my morning rituals I gathered up all of my leftover energy and hit the big city with my friends. We ended up downtown Ottawa, bar hopping. Not my idea of a good time when so much patriotism was at my fingertips, but I didn’t protest. I just went along with everyone else, like always. A day like any other, last Canada day was punctuated with bizarre little routines and inner turmoil. I talked very little, I listened even less- I was physically there but mentally I was on a completely different page.

I remember the day because I took pictures. I remember my friends leaving me alone in a huge crowd so that they could go home briefly to get “supplies”. I remember weaving my way through masses of people, willfully blind to the debauchery going on around me, trying to find someone, anyone, I knew.

Suffice to say, last Canada day was an explosion of suck. A suck-fest extraordinaire.

A year later, and I hardly recognize the girl that I was. I woke up this morning feeling well rested, and thought about what I wanted to do today. As I searched through my closet for something red to wear (which I did not find, and now I feel like somewhat of a “bad Canadian”) I thought about how we mark our lives through milestone days. That while Canada day has nothing to do with me, directly, besides the fact that I was born and raised in this wonderful country, Canada day means a lot to me. Canada day last year, I truly knew that I would not be staying in Ottawa. Though I fought tooth and nail to stay afloat there, there was a part of me inside that sunken little girl traipsing around behind other people that knew that I could not stay. Ten days later I packed up my things and went home- but July 1st will stand out in my mind as a day of stark realization.

As my great nation turns 143, I look back on the journey I’ve taken over the past year. Fully present, I can take it all in.

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