My Awakening Happened In Montreal

I’ve been in Montreal for four days. I’m in love. I’ve heard police sirens maybe three times total since I got here. I can be in Chicago for a day and lose count on the action that hits the streets. In Montreal, no one has the ‘mug’ look. Mostly you are left alone unless you have a question, they are usually openly willing to answer with a smile. These are the two things I noticed the most during my time in Montreal.

With my love of snapbacks, I found a Lids store in one of the metro stations in the city. With my love for the Habs, how can I not buy a new hat? I also had a decent conversation with the store manager that actually was working that day (Thursday to be precise). My mistake as a newbie in Montreal is commenting, “I am impressed with how well English is spoken here.”

Fortunately it awakened a knowledgeable conversation between the two of us about Montreal, Wisconsin, Chicago, & hockey. Another experience that has proved how fucked up the media portrays the world in general. The manager did compliment me in a sense, “If you didn’t open your mouth, I would have just thought you were a local.

What I loved most about Montreal is being able to walk around where ever and when ever without anyone fucking with me mostly, exempting the homeless asking for money. It was an experience, I didn’t stay in the tourism area of hotels for one. I stayed off the path at a bed & breakfast in the francophone area of the city on Rue Saint Andre. Every event I witnessed and location I journeyed to was either subway or walking distance without many difficulties. It is construction season as well, but Wisconsinites and Chicagoans are use to that.

It was a short four days, but I have been lifted fully of new inspiration with the opportunities that came with this trip. I got to journey through the Old Port, Chinatown, & Rue Saint Catherine (huge tourist area). I got to eat my poutine, crepes, croissants, and drink my coffee like a local. I didn’t even touch fast food or franchise that promotes America or the rest of Canada except my Starbucks. Most importantly, I didn’t have a drop of Mountain Dew or any soda the whole time I been gone from home. There is so much more to do that I never got to experience and I will return. Eventually.

I learn from this trip as a newly global citizen that travel is good for my soul (for the most part). The crowds were intimidating at times and caused small panic attacks, but it’s part of me growing as a human being. This was truly a spiritual experience for me and it makes me ache for more. But until I can, it’s back to making more of my goals into realities. Those on my list are no longer dreams, but goals. Anything is possible.

A Snippet From The Road To Healing Project

Leading a horse to water.

So for my birthday this week, I requested to ride Sterling. I didn’t get much time, because again, I am not very time oriented. I tried to pull off normal during my session. It didn’t last long. I didn’t open up much, but Sterling did react to my high anxiety the moment I stepped into the arena with him. My horse trainer spoke up about it.

Anxiety plays in a number of events in my life right now. I am permanently done with the army life, therefore a second try to a transition to civilian life. I am moving to a city that’s four times bigger than my present city, and I am finally figuring out my purpose in life after long adjustments in my personal life.

When stress is high in my life, the nightmares return and I become more restless than I already am. Not the war flashback nightmares, they only come so often. My nightmares are more symbolic and line up with my native spirituality whether it involves animals or natural disasters. Most commonly, tornadoes. This past week I was introduced to rattlesnakes and other venomous snakes. I think I have some research to do to find the meaning.

Anyways, back to my therapy session. The horse trainer was concerned. She warned me that if she felt tension and no comfort in Sterling, I’d have to get off right away. It was a chance I would take just to be on him. I trusted him and he trusted me. Sterling knew what to do though with my condition, before and after I was on his back. Sterling relaxed while I was grooming him and prepping. I kept hugging him to feel him breathe and sync with his calmness. Everything went smoothly regardless of having a new intern with us and my high anxiety issues for the day.

It was a bummer he doesn’t do bareback like Joseph does, but it felt good to be riding nonetheless. Bareback is how I also prefer. You have a better connection with the horse, feeling skin on skin. It’s the spirituality in me that allows me to feel the spirit/humanity in animals, let alone horses. Not everyone has the gift, but from day one, my therapist and my first horse trainer asked if I was a horse whisper. I guess the gypsy soul in me links with the spirit of a horse.