Well, here I am! I’ve arrived at the little house in the big woods today, not too far from Lake Superior. I’ve graciously been invited by Kathy to be a guest here this afternoon, so I’m wearing my Visiting Clothes: polite shoes (not too flashy, definitely not my tall red boots), dark denim (a cross between casual and business-like attire), a long, black wool coat (the one with the nice brass buttons), and freshly combed locks (instead of my usual hot mess of tangled triangle hair).
I’m nervous as I wait for the front door to open.
You’ve all been hanging out here for a while. You lounge around Kathy’s place freely and comfortably—old friends gathered around the wood stove, sipping tea, and chatting together easily. Kathy is a superb hostess, and visiting with her is always a treat. You know that there will constantly be sage words served here on platters—words that nourish your spirit and pepper your thoughts with exactly the right amount of zest. Tantalizing images are inevitably offered up here as desserts, too—profoundly simple photographs with perfect composition and colour saturation. You’re quick to confess that your days don’t feel complete without a quick trip to Lake Superior. What will she feed us today?, you wonder when you come inside, shrugging off your jackets and stacking your shoes by the door. What does Kathy have on the menu this afternoon?
Ahem. That’s where I come in.
The winter wind nips at my cheeks as I wait for Kathy on her doorstep. It’s probably overcast in Victoria today. Definitely not below freezing. I shift my weight from foot to foot on the stoop– anxious, fretting a little. For a moment, I seriously consider turning around and heading back up to Canada. Am I underdressed? Am I overdressed? Will the other guests like me? What if they don’t? Is it too late to go home and pretend this whole thing never happened?
I’ll wait just one minute more.
When I was first invited to be a guest around Kathy’s virtual hearth, I confess that my heart did cartwheels of joy before awkwardly stumbling back down to the ground, more than a little bent out of shape. Part of me was ecstatic to have the opportunity to meet some of Kathy’s friends. I could be social! And (maybe) popular!
The other part of me was terrified that I wouldn’t fit in—like that time in junior high when my Phys. Ed. group was supposed to do a choreographed backwards somersault routine, only my body plain refused to crouch into the requisite ball shape and ruined the intended “cascading rolls” effect. Shouldn’t everybody know how to do a somersault?, my group mates sneered afterward, furious with me for spoiling the grand finale of an otherwise majestic stuntnastics routine.
I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to properly execute a somersault, forwards or backwards. I felt like such a failure! Now I would never fit in!
The last thing I wanted with this guest post was to revert back to my 12-year old self, desperately wanting to be accepted by the cool kids but finding myself physically incapable of completing the requisite Somersault Test of Likeability. Writing this guest post would require some leap-of-faith risk-taking, yes, but I plied myself into doing it by believing that the catty days of junior high were over and that Kathy’s trusted companions were a much more friendly and welcoming bunch. Was I right?
The door swings open and Kathy is there, beaming and beckoning me inside. Don’t worry!, she assures me. Just be yourself! Nobody will begrudge your age, your occupation, your relative lack of sageness, your love of run-on sentences, or your liberal sprinkling of Canadian ‘u’s throughout your prose! Come! Come inside and be my guest!
So here I am.
I am a 30-year old recovering academic who grew up in frigid Calgary, Alberta but now calls gorgeous Victoria, British Columbia home.
I am an Almost Vegan who doesn’t want to give up eating eggs or honey, let alone knitting with wool or wearing sturdy leather boots.
I am a consumer and appreciator of both sage words and new-agey nuggets of wisdom, but I don’t usually feel like I have my own original thoughts to contribute to the conversation. (I am, after all, but young and green.)
I am blissfully partnered with an artistic and athletic man, a person I refer to as a “creative genius” to horrify his humble sensibilities.
We work for 6-7 months each year selling his artwork at an outdoor booth along Victoria’s bustling Inner Harbour.
I have lived a mostly ordinary existence, but I like to find humour in everyday experiences and blog about them at my own virtual hearth: http://zonapellucida.wordpress.com Making friendships and creating supportive communities are the two biggest reasons why I blog.
Yes. I am more relaxed now.
I pour myself a cup of tea and take a seat at the wood stove beside you, technically forging a new friendship but laughing with you like I’ve known you for years.
After all, we’re at Kathy’s little house in the big woods, where all are welcomed and treated with respect. So nice to meet you! Thank you so much for having me by! (Just don’t ask me to somersault, please.)
(Note from Kathy–Dana is off on an unknown Mystery Adventure all day today. She’ll stop by to say hello to you lovely commenters when she gets home, she promises. She doesn’t want you to think she’s ignoring you if a few hours pass before she responds. She’s a conscientious one, Dana is. Please visit her lovely blog and get to know her better.)