When I went house-hunting with my parents as an eight year old, I hated it; it was boring, and seemed to embarrass my mum and dad. They had never bought a house and couldn't really afford to. How strange it felt to go out with Tim last night to meet up with a man we'd never seen to look at a basement suite that might be our home. I had to play the adult, asking about utilities, painting, the laundry facilities; proving we were responsible and wealthy enough to make our payments, lying about my age. I've never been apartment shopping for myself before, but I wasn't embarrassed. I was only choked at the challenge of making the suite cozy and livable.
It's ugly, huge, and cheap. The carpet isn't tacked down, paint has soaked into unprimed patches on the walls, the windows are tiny, the sink is sausage-colored porcelain, the lights are dim, the switch plates feature Mickey Mouse. It needs paint, new lino, lots of halogens, some fresh air. But there's a backyard we could plant tomatoes, peppers, and poppies in, there's a room for Tim's tools, and a room for my desk. There's a gas stove. There's a month of free rent to paint if we take it.
There is nothing wrong with beginnings. The new year coincides with a new semester here in Canada and the adoption of new habits seems natural, and the change is hopeful. The pleasure of Christmas gifts, especially new books and new clothes, is always the promise the objects carry for beginning a charmed life.
This year I would like to practice feeding myself. Since I began recovering from bulimia I've made great strides - for over a year I felt nauseous every time I ate, no longer - but it has only been during the past month that I have known when my body needed food, what it needed, and how much to put in. I cannot remember consistently noticing, recognizing, or responding to hunger until I was 17, except when I was attempting to starve myself and noticed with pleasure and responded by drinking a glass of ice water.
For quite some time, I was really sick. I scanned books about recovery from eating disorders in order to learn tricks, I searched youtube for anorexia videos and drooled over emaciated photos.
I had sores in my throat, chalky teeth, and a horror of food.
Yesterday I kindly poured myself a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I had a hot bath, put on cigarette jeans and a soft shirt, put my hair up. I packed tea, water, fruit, and cookies to eat at school, and when I came home at in the early afternoon I drank warm milk and ate a mandarin orange while I sketched. Two hours later Tim and I had a Liberte yogurt tasting, and a piece of homemade bread. There was a pear, and more homemade bread with butter and garlic for supper, then there was letter-writing to the newspaper.
Later today I'm off to find some yoga pants and a sports bra. I would like to start running again as well, and using the gym at school that I pay 70 dollars a year to use.
Unexpectedly, today became the first Day of Doing Things since October. What did I do? I started the sketch that Paul [a wonderful zine subscriber who pays me] requested, and wrote a punchy letter to the editor of The National Post. We might see Avatar 3D later, or we might work on the bookshelves we designed for our soon-to-be-amalgamated collection. We are getting married in 130 days.