It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.

30 May

So I’m working nights now, a seeming throwback to a lifetime ago. 9 years ago or so I was working nights, a younger me, early twenties, riding the subways and streetcars at empty hours, alone with the hush of the snow, the warning bells, the odd drunk.

I’d stumble home near 2am, on paydays I’d order pizza and rush to the nearest bank machine, starved. No debit at the door then, and I, without credit, had to run for money. Sometimes I’d catch the delivery man getting out of his car, and exchange money for food in monosyllables as the moon rose and the air chilled.

It was just a job, a way to pay bills and support my magazine and coffee habit, the one that had taken root at Bloor and Bathurst, in a cup of muddy water in the sun.

Years later, a world away, not just a few provinces and languages, I walk home under the same dark sky, the stars a little dimmer in places, my legs perhaps a little weaker. Sometimes the same music blasts in my ears as my hair, flares in my wake. It’s changed. With two children and age, my hair has settled to me, it’s wave defined, it’s body stripped and weakened. My body has changed, my hips clicking into a place I can now love, marks from pregnancy tattooed across my belly.

Things are different, but not quite how imagined them. I look back at the girl doing this same shift, much the same job, and wave to her silence, to her solitary time in the hippie bookstore. But I don’t wish to return. There’s a woman here now-borne of time, of age, of marriage, of children, of choices, of mistakes. She misses the magazines, the time well wasted. She misses indian food weekly and lying in bed all day with her love.

But she loves her confidence, and she loves being loved. She might grumble at being  jolted awake by a small sticky face 5 hours after falling into bed, but she’s miss it if it wasn’t there. She loves to stare at the same stars, and try to remember if she dared wish for any of this.

30 seemed so far off, so daunting, and so firm an ending. Her reward for it’s passing? Finding her, finding the girl she lost, the woman she should have been, and picking her up, setting her gently on her feet.

I would never go back, except for one thing. I could run on a lot less sleep then.


I’m so so bloody tired lately. I know it’s the switch but DAMN it sucks. I can sleep for days, and still wake up completely exhausted. The other day I had dizzy spells so bad for a few hours I couldn’t move without holding on to things, something I’m attributing to eating these ridiculous little “entrees” for dinner each night then walking 3.5kms. And headaches-at least 2 of 3 nights my head pounds until I want to be sick.

Other than that, I’m enjoying work. I’m good at it without working hard, and have already been told people have noticed my performance. (In a good, non-sexual type way) Granted, if I wasn’t good at this job, I’d kill myself, but paving the way for the promotions I want is never a bad thing, even three weeks in on the job.

It’s strange to have a drive to get somewhere, whereas before, I didn’t much care.

I’m relaxed though, and happy enough to go to work. I’m happy to see my husband, happy to see my kids-hell, I was singing and dancing while roasting a chicken today. I’m just…well, happy.

And I damn well deserve it, even if it’s taken years to grab on and cling to my shoulders.


12 Responses to “It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.”

  1. Cynthia May 30, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    You do deserve happiness. I’m happy for you.

    I hope your body adapts to your new shift and the exhaustion quickly abates.

  2. Dont Be a Slut May 31, 2009 at 4:54 am #

    Thordora, just discovered your blog via your Birds and Bees post. I love your writing, and can’t wait to learn more about you as i dive further into your blog.

    • thordora June 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

      I can’t wait for you to dig in too. 🙂

  3. Marcy May 31, 2009 at 6:03 am #

    This is good to hear. I hope the physical adjustment completes itself soon.

  4. Hannah May 31, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    The switch to nights SUCKS ASS, I remember it well. And I always found it hard to strike a balance between eating enough and stuffing my face at 2AM.

    I’m so happy that things are settling down for you. And I love this post.

  5. Jennifer May 31, 2009 at 8:55 am #


  6. Kelly May 31, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    There is so much I relate to. When I married my husband, I told him I never wanted to be a mother. I felt too damaged, too fucked up to be good enough at the gig. Now, I have two children underfoot at all times. There is no Sunday morning lazy with crossiants and the New York Times book review. There are not dates to poetry readings and wine tastings. And, I miss it. I miss it something fierce sometimes. But, I’m so damn happy with this life, with sticky faces, and even the whine of two toddlers and shared toys. I’m so filled with joy, that even I would dance while roasting a chicken. And, I’ve been a vegitarian for 12 years.

  7. Helen June 1, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    This is so well-written, Thordora. I am happy that YOU are happy with what you’ve become in the intervening years. Not everyone is that way, you know. Some people are ashamed to look back 10 years ago and see that they haven’t come as far as they would have liked, or that they’ve taken a less-than-positive turn in their lives. But being happy with your life, feeling in charge of what you’re doing, every year becoming more of what you want to be… that is the best that we can ask of this life!

  8. EJ June 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Maturity, wisdom, excellence – all good things to remember and strive for. Also vastly under appreciated in society today.
    Getting old(er) has benefits, too!

    Well written.

  9. thordora June 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    Thanks all. 😀

  10. Bon June 3, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    i’m late floating around to this. but i felt like i was walking with you. and i’m feeling much like i’m back, workwise, to where i was ten years ago too…and yet, am not the same. am working my way through that and it’s okay.

  11. C. Bowie Photography June 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    Great story. I remember those days as well but don’t want to return

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