We woke up in the warmth of what we fantasize was the home of a famous Manitoban writer. Her skin was soft and her jawlines as strong as her handshake. The evening before, as we tiredly dragged ourselves onto her porch, she starred us dead in the eyes while welcoming us into her airbnb unit for the night. Despite our exhaustion we spent the next thirty minutes on tour through the kind of home we all dreamt we had. It was an old house, the creaking of the stairs sounded like a pigeon massacre but in such a jovial and eerie kind of way that it was actually quite delightful. Her bookshelf was exploding with words. Each of our favorite authors adorned her nooks and crannies, and that night I crawled to bed with Margaret Atwood, Susanna Moodie, Khalil Gibran, Gabor Mate and Rumi, rummaging through their poems and tales and philosophies until my roadrip beat body fell asleep, literally upon a pile of books.
We were already convinced that indeed “Friendly Manitoba” was a thing. Our host treated us like royalty, guiding us to the best organic food stores and coffee shops within just a few minutes walk. We ate farm fresh eggs for breakfast while plowing through hours of technological desperation. Mercury was in retrograde for the entire duration of our trip and this was enough to validate the sporadic crashing of each of our laptops and Iphones. I’d smashed my phone so many times in the past three days that I couldn’t even hold it up to my ear without fear of scratching myself to a bloody ear death. With healthy food and a long anticipated fancy coffee from one of Winnipeg’s coffee shops, we would begin our day devoted to Change, starting at the Royal Canadian Mint.
The intimidating building was overpopulated with geese. The smell of geese feces imploded our nostrils, but it wasn’t a terrible shift from the persistent smell of manure that had occupied the previous few hours of driving on our trip. We wandered into the mint, and I was swept back to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. People of all shapes and sizes plugging away behind a big glass window decorated with nickels and dimes and state of the art money-making machines. It felt dead to me.
Yesterday I had been the recipient of an hours-long coaching session from Shannon and Jordana about my relationship with money. About how I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove that I have more than I do, then working tirelessly trying to make as much as I pretend I have, and then getting so damn frustrated in the whole game that I take all the “spare change” I have and spend it on six months gallivanting across the globe to “find my purpose” only to come back and do it all again. This is not a one-time gig. More like a 10-year long pattern. And today, the girls weren’t having it. So while I sat awkwardly in the backseat of our rental car, I realized that money doesn’t matter so much to me, but it matters to others and so I feel a need to make more money so that I matter to them. As such, I lived in a world of constant self-sacrifice to make money that frankly I didn’t really want. “You need to know what is enough for you, and focus on that, focus on you, on your family” continues to ring through my ears.
Being at the mint was full circle. Today I had to face my money issues head on and change the way I related to money in all facets of my life. We blew through the long dark roads singing our favourite country songs to lighten the mood. Stopping periodically at sheep farms and strange industrial towns on our way to Portage Le Prairie, the stomping grounds of a dear old friend I once wandered Honduras with back in my days as a development worker. It was a late night and an early morning and I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
Namaste from Winnipeg!