Google doesn't recognize me either.

I tend to stumble into growth.

Last spring, I was working full-time, long hours at a local greenhouse. I was in a toxic place with my ex in the early months of quarantine and was balancing new blogging work while feeling completely lost on the mission I originally started with.

I don't know what I thought I was doing with my life at that time, except that I knew it wasn't going to be the same because of the pandemic. I didn't know how to face that. I was missing the potential for my life to change every time I drove my car from home to campus.

I was on lunch break, sitting across from a co-worker I wondered if I had feelings for. She was breathing, which was a good sign, and I was freshly out-of-the-closet and convinced that men were so frustrating I should just be lesbian.

Too bad that's not how it works.

I got a text from a friend I had coffee with in my first term at school. When I met her in my introductory psych class, she didn't know how to get to her next class after so I walked her there. Later, we had coffee and bonded over trauma and a Cinnamon Bun Cappuccino.

That cafe has since closed, and despite my longing for that killer Cappuccino again, we don't need that place anymore. She was messaging me asking if I wanted to move in with her and two other girls I hardly knew.

Maybe it was my people-pleasing and tendency to answer before thinking, but I said I'd love to and would talk to my parents. But the budget would have to be right... I'd have to have a place to park ...could I keep a bed at home? I wanted to be able to visit.

A few weeks later, the idea still hadn't sunk in. They had found a house for cheap near campus. Was this happening?

We signed the lease over glasses of wine that we wouldn't drink on zoom. This was happening ...and I was okay?

I thought I wouldn't move out for a while because of the terrible anxious episodes I had in high school. That was only a year before my friend's first text message about moving. But all of the painful, heartbreaking work I put in during that time must have paid off.

I quite literally woke up fully able to change my life.

It's been about a year now since we signed the lease. We're working our way out of phase three of the pandemic in my province. I own a bird and 23 house plants. I cut my hair in the bathroom. I've gained weight. I've quit shopping from anywhere but thrift stores, but I still spend too much. I work at a local family support centre. A producer from New York City sent me her resume to work with me, as if I needed convincing. I'm still as lost as I was a year ago.

But I've once again woke up with the ability to change my life.

I haven't written here a while. Even when I was publishing posts, they were other people's stories. I was so afraid to look around me and I feel like I still am; the world is so bloody heartbreaking right now.

It hurts to see it all even though we have to to change things

But yesterday, when a co-worker asked if I have a blog, I remembered that I did. The nostalgia hit instantly, like when you taste a favourite food from your childhood again after so many years. I remembered in that moment that I've always had this page as an outlet.

I put too much pressure on myself the first time around to do this writing thingy a certain way. I don't want to do that anymore.

This is our space. Me and you, the reader. What will we make of it? I'm not sure. But I woke up able to come back at this and I'm excited to see what my heart needs to work through on this page.

Google Photos was going through my pictures today and trying to recognize my face in different photos so it could make a spot for me to look through all of the ones of myself. It asked me several times to confirm that my face now was the same as it was several months ago.

It's the same, sure, but I'm not.

Thank you for being here, friend.

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