One thing you should know about me is that I love lists. I love to make them, cross things off them, and throw them away when all the items are complete. Lists give me a feeling of satisfaction and comfort because it means I won’t forget anything. But my latest list has me a little nervous. On top of my desk, I just began a new list that is titled: “Things To Do Before Moving To Vancouver and Leaving the Military”. Oh, it is such a daunting list.
Among the items are things such as, “Get British Columbia driver’s license” and “Change all addresses for mailing purposes”. The scary thing is, the list is so long and so authoritative, that I’m scared to actually do any of them. In my head, as soon as I complete an item on that list, I am officially moving. It will all be real. I will be leaving the military to move across the country and that makes me both sad and excited.
One of the happy items on my list is to buy a bicycle. Not just any bicycle but the “Ultimate Vancouver Bicycle”. The criteria are that is has to look like one of those fantastic pieces of work from the 1950’s with the cool curving handlebars and a rack for panniers. Most importantly, I require a place for a front basket and the piece de resistance, a bell. I have images in my head of me in my new artsy life, travelling smoothly across the city of Vancouver on my painfully cool looking bike, picking up my groceries from local shops and buying flowers from street vendors. I’ll blend right in! I’ll be one of them! Corny, I know. But hey, it’s my dream!
The thing is, once I buy the Ultimate Vancouver Bicycle, it really does mean I’m moving. Mark came with me to the shop and I found the one I wanted but when it came to actually making the purchase and handing over the debit card, I balked. I panicked a little. I had to walk out of the store and regroup. For me, it felt like buying that bike meant no more Mark, no more family, no more military, no more Kingston, no more house. It meant CHANGE. And I am someone who fears change.
But when I got home, Mark and I researched panniers and baskets on the internet. Helmets and pant protectors. Even shiny silver bells. And suddenly, I realized that even if I buy the bike, even if I move across the country and even if I leave the military, the purchase does not mean I leave everything behind that I have loved. Instead, it means excitement and passion for my work and a new place to explore! It means success!
So I’m sitting here staring at my list of “Things to do” and I know that tomorrow, when I pick up my bike, I will cross off “Buy the Ultimate Vancouver Bicycle” from the lined piece of foolscap. I’ve found the bike. I’ve found the job. I’ve found the man. Now all I need to do is make the dream a reality.
That’s #208 on my list.