Wednesday Journal Entry, Week 5
by Karina Lafayette – May 11th 2022
A restlessness built up inside me. I had no choice but to give into it. I was still young, and had yet to really step out of the city of my birth. It was now or never, or at least, it felt that way. Back then, I had a full-time job in customer service, and due to a high turnover, this meant I could pull a few extra shifts, which also meant the money I needed saved up to ditch this place was right at my fingertips.
I grew up in Montreal, a lovely small city in Quebec, Canada. Montreal, the city torn between two-languages, the old world and the new world, with me just on the edge like a performer on a tightrope. There were as many festivals as there were coffee shops, yet every street I wandered felt the same, despite one area being so carefully distinct from the next thanks to the melting pot of cultures pouring so efficiently into one another. It was the only city I knew, and though still tugging at my heartstrings, it was time to set my foot out into the outside world. My new destination would be Vancouver or Toronto. With a college degree in cinema and a budding artist portfolio under my belt, I was bound to slither my way in quite well in either place. Little silly me didn’t know much about anything beyond Montreal. I thought everyone was as warm-hearted and friendly as I was.
Determined as can be, I began working six days a week. I figured with that momentum I could have just enough savings set aside to be heading to my new world come later that summer. As much as my colleagues were amazing, in my heart I knew better than to get too attached, even though nobody was aware of my plans except for me. Around my birthday, it just so happened that a few of them made plans to go clubbing, so I decided to tag along. Feeling pretty in a fitted blue dress, I was disgusted by all the random men who wanted their hands on me. All I wanted was to look sexy and dance, can I please dance alone in peace? Even as I kid, I wanted to be wild and free, and tonight was no exception. At one point, we had to rescue a female colleague who had been pulled to a table by a random older dude. She tried to get away on her own, but he kept on putting his arm around her.
On my way home, a bunch of guys standing outside a bar were ogling me. One of them yelled out, “Sixty dollars for a kiss?” I looked away disturbed. There’s a line in the Bible about Jesus telling dudes to “pluck their eyes” if they can’t resist the sight of a beautiful woman. It’s one of my favorites.
Around two months later, I booked my flight to Toronto. Well, actually, I had to book it twice. You see, it was my first time on a plane, and I was terribly unprepared for it. For the first attempt, I thought there was enough time to spend one last lunch with my Montreal friends. Once I got home, the flight was two hours away, and I still hadn’t finished packing. My whole Jupiter Return at that point seemed like a culmination of new experiences, life just daring me to step outside my comfort. And I haven’t been comfortable since. So I booked another flight for a few days after, and spent the next two nights almost sleepless. Luckily for the past month or so I had been texting back and forth this guy who graduated from Concordia, the same uni I would’ve graduated from if I hadn’t dropped out.
What I needed more than anything was to get out of the world I came from. It didn’t fit me anymore. I’m not really sure if I changed or if it just was no longer what I needed it to be. This guy said he would pick me up from the airport. We would chat day and night, so it felt like I knew him since forever. Even if nothing was established between us, I assumed it was only a matter of time before things became official. All this uncertainty was somehow exhilarating for a girl who still hadn’t been in an actual relationship. We flirted. We chatted. We spoke about everything and nothing. A part of me even assumed this was love.
More important was my dream of finally working in the film industry. Focus, Karina, you aren’t going there for a man, remember? At the end of the day, he was just a bonus treat.
At last. It was August 9th 2016. I was shaking with excitement. The flight was early that morning. I packed two suitcases and a crate in the back of a cab, along with Teddy and me. Teddy cried the whole way to the airport, and he cried even more once he needed to be sent in the crate in the luggage department.
While on the plane, everyone decided to nap, but not me. No, I had to be looking out the window, and the whole flight too. It lifted off, and somewhere around 31,000 feet above ground, I was pulled into a different life. My ears blocked from the pressure, I made sure to hold my Canon camera lens focused on the view, the bright blue sky hugging all around with Montreal becoming smaller and smaller, eventually fading into the distance. Along with it Le Vieux-Port, La Petite-Italie, Mont Royal, Place-des-Arts, NDG, Laval, Montreal-Nord… once my usual places of daily travel, now just frames of memories in my camera. I still wasn’t sure if the knot in my stomach was from excitement, or regret. Maybe both.
I made it. Toronto Pearson Airport. I ran over to Teddy as he yelled for me from within his crate, shaking his tail, eager to get out. Somehow I brought him and all my luggage from the terminal as we waited for our ride.
After a day of driving around, I had my sight set on a roommate situation. I knew from the moment I saw this one it would be bad news, but I needed a place to live and went with it. Turns out, there wasn’t much of a danger, only a whole lot of drama, like most roommates tend to be. Yet I was in Toronto, and that’s what mattered.
Despite never having worked on a professional film set, I managed to use my way with words to sway producers to hire me for gigs. My first role was as a production assistant for the World Cup of Hockey, where we interviewed hockey veterans. The next few roles were as script supervisor. I didn’t get as many gigs as I liked, but it didn’t matter to me. However, my first real job in the Six was as a popcorn server for the Toronto International Film Festival. No true excitement came from this position, but it was all the same. Just being there was more than enough. I was in my field of choice, and stubborn me wouldn’t have it any other way. As for the guy, well, let’s just say he later revealed he “just wanted to be friends”, because that’s what they always say. It was fine. Like I said, I didn’t come here to find love.
Instead, it was love that found me, and a regrettable one at that, which eventually became a year and a half of misery and a prison of a marriage. But I digress. Somewhere inside me there was a need to make my world bigger, and I did it. There might have been a lot of failures and regrets along the way, but that is the point of the Jupiter Return, to take one big risk, whether it turns out or not. It wouldn’t be called the planet of expansion if it wasn’t for the risks that come with it. Naturally a rebel at heart, it was only a matter of time I’d cave in. Fantasizing about the world around is great and all, but is there a point unless you’ve actually lived it?
Oh, and a little bit about the Jupiter Return: the Jupiter Return typically happens every twelve years, usually coinciding around your Chinese zodiac sign. During this period, you feel the need to rid of anything that is holding you back. The house that it’s in shows the area of life you’re focused on revamping, but it also helps to take a peak at the ninth house for any planets there, since Jupiter naturally rules over the ninth. In my case I have a cluster of ninth house planets- okay well only two, but a lot still happened. It’s common to leave behind a job, relationship, or in my case, a city and a job, but unlike the Saturn Return, where change requires a lot of heavy lifting, somehow the universe conspires to give you what you want. This isn’t necessarily a good thing however, because with Jupiter there can be a tendency to overdo it, and boy did I overdo it.
In my case, I moved to Toronto with enough money to get by only a few months. Afterwards, I had to grind, and grind, and grind. Because no one told me it was pricier than Montreal. Do I regret coming anyway? Not one f*cking bit. Change is scary, but every now and then, it’s necessary, because it’s the only way we grow. Despite Jupiter in Virgo being seen as so cautious and calculated, I was still born the year of the monkey, and what are monkeys like? Restless and laughing, hopping around to the next goal, the next dream, the next place, and the next passion. Sooner or later, I might as well hop onto the next plane or train to goddess knows what adventure. For now, I’m still in the midst of finding adventures here in this place called home. Then again, Virgo is mutable, so that could easily change tomorrow.
Still no regrets.
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