Little lady, are you just gonna stand there or are you gonna jump?

There are many reasons I don’t feel the need to skydive. Most of them are related to some measure of fear: what if the ‘chute doesn’t open; extreme heights; that rickety old plane.

But now, I’m about to face a fear worse than the prospect of skydiving: change.

And not just any old change. Extreme change. Moving-to-a-different-continent change. Thankfully, it’s temporary. I’m coming back, but probably only in a year or so. It’s exciting, because I lived in Germany as a young girl, and going back to Europe is something I’ve always wanted to do. But with this event came the realisation that by “going back to Europe,” what I really meant was, “so long as I get to return to Montreal.”

The thing is, I’ve built a whole life here. Even if I’m never exactly sure what my career path is supposed to be, I love living in Montreal. It’s precisely how I’ve always wanted to live, and how I’ve been living for about 12 years.

This Europe thing was mostly theoretical until the husband unit booked our tickets a couple of days ago. That’s when it all became real. Very real. And that’s when the “little things” caught up to me.

The “little things” are the things I’ll miss. Don’t get me wrong: I’m completely looking forward to visiting Europe. I honestly can’t wait. But Montreal has become my own little couch groove. I’m not already getting nostalgic. It’s more like I’m doubly appreciating what I have here before I go off and get over-stimulated by European travel.

In the past couple of days, I’ve been revisiting these little things, without really knowing that this is what they were beforehand. One of them was eating a delicious vegan meal alone at the bar at Aux Vivres. I used to do it a lot when I found myself freelancing back in 2002. I spent most of that winter going to their old location on St-Dominique, sitting myself at the bar, and ordering their “surprise” soup of the day with some goopy cashew-buttered chapati. Complete with some reading material, it made my midday.

There are a bunch of other little things, like the Farfelu window display, the crunchy dried leaves bunched up on sidewalk edges (autumn rocks in Montreal!), and couples getting extra cozy at the first sign of a winter breeze.

Some people leave a place in a right huff. They’re ready to call it quits and storm off. That’s exactly what I did with Moncton some 12 years ago. But this is different. I’m looking forward to leaving and to coming back. Equally, at that. I’m glad the husband unit and I get to do something like this before “real life” kicks in. It’s a slight change to our regularly scheduled programming, but I just know it’ll be well worth the leap.

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