I used to be a temp for the provincial government of Ontario. Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services. Someone asked me recently what exactly we did there, and after thinking long and hard about it, I had to admit I had no sweet clue. I was just a cog in the wheel. These are your papers to push, here’s your pay cheque, have a nice day. It suited me just fine at the time.

A couple of other young ladies were in the same boat as me. Stef was an aspiring actress and she didn’t give a rats about any of it. It was just her day job, a means to her meals. We quickly became partners in crime, commiserating in the drudgery of the tediousness, and were always coming up with ways to keep ourselves stimulated ensuring our souls weren’t completely sucked dry.

I’ll never forget the day we were walking along the boring, carpeted hallway back to our cubicles and I felt compelled to cartwheel. Oh yeah. Cartwheelin’ down the hallway of the Department of Justice, and juuuust as I managed to straighten back up to standing, the card swipey door opened with the head hauncho, CEO or something, coming through. Sweet mother of god. That was a moment that meant something for me. Seriously Cynthia, what in the hell are you doing in a place like this? I can’t even imagine the reprimanding that would’ve awaited me had I been caught acting like a 6 year old at gymnastics class. Maybe he would’ve loved it? Maybe he secretly did some kind of jig when the elevator doors closed, just to make sure he still had a soul too. I’m not sure how else you could make it to the top without at least a couple of discreet diddly dances.

I also used to be employed by the House of Commons in Ottawa. A big swanky desk, fridge, TV, bathroom, the whole shebang, right in my office. My boyfriend at the time made a road trip from PEI to visit me. He met me in the office at the end of the day, and patiently waited for me to putter around, taking care of a few last VERY IMPORTANT pieces of government business before calling it a day. I went across the hall to the neighbours, and actually, come to think of it, it likely wasn’t anything business related I was talking to them about – I used to perform a daily diddly dance for Susan, because god love her, her poor soul was pretty near sucked outta her, and she would get the hugest kick out of it. So yeah, across the hall under the guise of business, and I guess I must’ve been giving her the extended version, because when I came back to gather my bf to hit the road, he was gone. “He must be using the bathroom,” I thought to myself, “so I’m just gonna hide behind this filing cabinet until he gets out.” Tick, tock, tick, tock, he was taking forever, and I figured he must’ve got caught up in some VERY IMPORTANT personal business, so I gave up on my hiding spot and stepped back out into the light of day. Just as I came out from around the cabinet, I saw him crawling up from underneath my desk. “What are you doing under there??!” I asked him, “I was hiding on you, waiting to scare you!” he said. “I was hiding on you!!” Hilarious. I was working on Parliament Hill, playing hide and seek in my big, fancy government digs. Another big sign, Cynthia.

Anyway, I guess I’ve figured a few things out since then, because I’ve made a commitment to myself that I’m going to honour that little lady inside me who needs her daily dose of the absurd and ridiculous, and I’m just not going to do the soul sucking work I used to convince myself was ok. (not to say working for the government *necessarily* sucks ones soul, it just did a number on mine, is all) I’ve uprooted myself yet again, and as annoying as the rigamarole that entails is, I don’t even mind any of it, because I know I’ve got to keep following the path of what is true for me. I was walking along College St. in Toronto last week, and once again, the urge to cartwheel overwhelmed me. I managed to keep it at bay, but by golly, watch out. Everything is coming up roses and good vibes are hard to subdue. I should add “spontaneous gymnast routines” to the “Interests” section on my resume…I guarantee, the person who sees the value in that will not be disappointed.