Sunday, May 1, 2011

Between chapters...

Something that never occurred to me was how hard it would be to leave Toronto.  The place that never felt like home; the place we spent three rather painful years.  As the days counted down, the reality crept in.  I started saying my goodbyes and realizing how much we had.  However limited, we had a life there.  There is plenty that I will miss.  

Still, excitement prevailed and we somehow managed to pack up and be ready for the movers.  And, a few days later, to get onto the highway in a car packed with belongings and high hopes.  We didn't look back.  We giggled and tried to wrap our heads around the finality.  Outside the warmth and safety of the car, it rained.    

Goodbye Toronto.  Goodbye new and old friends.  Goodbye smog and warmer weather.  Goodbye beautiful lake and access to everything and anything.  Goodbye freeways and too many cars and too many people and too much noise from neighbours and now-familiar streets and the safety of midwifery preceptors and studenthood.  Goodbye to our starving student selves. 

The drive was satisfying.  I had planned for a long drawn-out road trip with the intention of creating a distinct bookmark between chapters.  Instead, we ended up driving longer days and going further than necessary because that's what felt right once we got going.  It was a beautiful drive and we stopped often.

And suddenly, we arrived.

For now we are hibernating.  Trying to make sense of the changes.  Slowly it all sinks in.  Friends are trying to reach us.  My mother is feeding and taking care of us.  Our things are supposed to arrive tomorrow.  One more day, and surrounded by our things... then I think maybe we will be ready.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I'm feeling like a slacker.

Funny words from a person who rarely has time to eat and sleep, but it's true.  

I've had so little homework to do during clerkship, and I've taken advantage of that fact.  Around me, friends are studying for the final, writing their pharmacology exam, prepping for their in-class peer review (I did mine first, so nothing to prep since January) and just generally being more proactive than I am.  I'm the girl who makes everyone feel better about themselves when they THINK they've been slacking and then find out I've done even less.

The truth is, I've always been this way.  I'm a procrastinator, through and through.  Give me extra time for a task and I will fill it with something entirely unrelated.  Last minute is my style... mix in a little perfectionist for a fairly uncomfortable combo.  That's just who I am. 

Lately I find myself filling my extra time with daydreaming.  This is new for me.  I've never been much of a dreamer.  In my mind, I am imagining life after the MEP.  I am arranging furniture in our new apartment, exploring our new-old city, reconnecting with friends, catching up with my Ontario friends on facebook... I think it's funny that I'm spending so much time daydreaming and fantasizing about doing normal every day things.  I'm so ready to fall in love with Winnipeg again... maybe for the first time. 

Today one of the midwives told me she is really excited about my future endeavours, and she said the most lovely thing: "I'm excited for you, and you are totally ready for this."  Tonight I'm savouring that comment.  And not doing any work.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Final Countdown...

Two weeks until I turn off the MEP-issued pager once and for all.  At this point, life before the MEP feels like another lifetime altogether.  When I began, four years seemed so doable.  In retrospect, it seems like an eternity.  So much has changed. 

Rob and I have made jokes about how Toronto has aged us, but there is some truth to that.  While there is much excitement to be heading back to Winnipeg, there is also trepidation.  We don't really know what we are walking into.  How will the ways in which we have changed mesh with what we've left behind?  Where will we fit?  What is there for us now? 

Around midwifery... I'm so excited to be heading into a community where growth is still exciting and new midwives are celebrated and supported.  I'm thrilled to be getting involved in the midst of such positive changes.  But most of all, I look forward to feeling excited about and involved in pregnancy and birth.  I am so overworked, overwhelmed and exhausted that births blur into births and I've lost a sense of the miracle.  There is a lot of "med-wifery" in my current world and I look forward to forging and discovering my own way of practice.  I am curious to meet the midwife in me. 

Until then, I look forward to sleeping and packing for the entirety of April.  I may not have a long break ahead of me, but I plan to make the most of it! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Looking for the magic...

This year, along with the ugliness of the pre-spring melt comes the final countdown of the MEP.

I'm not yet in the clear.  I am short on numbers, and have three clients due this week alone.  Tomorrow, my preceptor comes back from a month of holidays so there will be adjustments to make.  We must never get comfortable, you know.

In the meantime, I have accepted a position in Winnipeg to start mid-May.  I am relieved to have a plan in place and terrified to imagine going on call on my own for the first time in a completely new place.  In some ways I envy the new registrants who are hired on at the practices from their final year of the MEP.  Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't.  But I am grateful to be heading back to my familiar city with its familiar foibles.

We wait wait wait wait on word about an apartment.  Our application went in over a week ago.  I am excited for the open, airy space overlooking the river and city.  I know we could transform it into our happy home for at least a couple of years.  Here's hoping they let us!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Fall..

I don't know what it is about mid-term, but it gets me every time.

Despite any strength I had going into the term, around the halfway mark anxiety starts to creep in and becomes more and more difficult to overcome.  At least now I know it's a bit of a pattern and that it will eventually improve.

The roller coaster of confidence and doubt is a scarier ride than ever.  I suppose the stronger one feels, the further they fall when they realize how much there is left to learn.

Keeping my eye on the finish line is what keeps me going.  Visions of Winnipeg dance in my head.  Plans are forming.  I think, mentally, I'm already gone from here. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

...time flies...

It's always amazing to me how time can drag and fly at the same time.  The weeks crawl by, but they do keep crawling and things continue to change and change and change.  So much change.

I am a Midwifery Clerk now.  Something I was always so in awe of - it seemed an unreachable goal.  Midwifery Clerks do things like think about what comes AFTER the MEP.  I had forgotten such a thing existed - or, at least, given up on ever getting there. 

And what comes after the MEP for us continues to appear to be Winnipeg.  Toronto - especially the midwifery scene - seems as impenetrable and uninviting as ever, and although our wee pool of friends and acquaintances is growing, we still aren't very attached.  I've been encouraged to apply for positions in Manitoba, and so I did, and now I have an interview coming up.  It will be nice to have a plan in place for that "edge of a cliff" that is the end of the MEP.

I have actually begun to imagine graduating.  Walking across the platform in my red shoes to receive my degree.  Working.  Being near family and old friends.  Having an income.  Owning a house. 

In the meantime, being a Clerk has proven interesting.  Different and yet the same.  It doesn't feel as much like an initiation... a different level of respect, perhaps?  I am increasingly comfortable with what I am doing and yet when I try to imagine not having the safety net of another midwife overseeing me in everything I do I feel terrified.  I still do silly things all the time.  I screw up daily.  My stomach is in knots... often.  But it's really amazing to see that as the days, weeks and months roll on... I am growing.  It is and has been so painful, but I have grown so much.  I am becoming this.

Monday, December 6, 2010

...winter awakening...

My soul is stirring.  Strange that feeling should come at a time that I also associate with darkness.  Today, finally, snowflakes fall.  All at once, winter is here.  

I was beginning to chalk the lack of festive spirit in our household up to exhaustion and isolation.  Sitting (studying...) under the warm orange glow of the kitchen lamp watching the grass get swallowed up by white outside our bay window, I realize that this is what we've been missing.  Feeling cozy inside, sipping tea, candles lit, protected from the wind and snow... the holidays are here.  A prairie girl through and through... need me some of that icy air.  

I should be studying.  It's so hard.  I say this every time, I know... but it really is hard.  I don't want to focus.  I want to pour a glass of red wine and laugh at this crazy life.  I want to walk in the snow with Rob until our cheeks are pink and numb and our kisses warm and connected, remembering each other.  I want to be surrounded with friends and food and drink - feel the sensation of belonging that we were reminded of at the farmhouse in August. 

Tonight we are going for dinner with some friends... I realize now, too late, what bad timing that is.  I will, as usual, make it work for the exam... I just need a 70%.  Doable... I hope.

Then... take THAT Midwifery 4!  Moving on.  Amazing how it all feels like forever... and yet it just keeps going by.