It’s about time I started writing in this blog. I promised myself that I’d start soon, and now is probably the best time that there can be. I’ve been in Victoria, BC for a little over a week now and I’m starting to get back into a routine. It feels like I can make time for this.
Over the next little while, I’ll tell you about how I got from Point A to Point B. Right now, I can tell you that this was one of the biggest, most important things I’ve ever done in my life. I’ve been in love with the west coast of Canada since I was a toddler and it’s the absolute place to be for the creative minded. I’ve had family out here for all of my life, and we’ve visited about once a year for as far back as I can remember. I think that part, that completing-the-dream and this-place-is-familiar part, has helped me handle the homesickness so far. It helps to know that I’m not really that far from home. It’s far enough away that my best way back to the farm that I grew up on is by airplane, but the trip is only a couple of hours long from start to finish. I sat through longer routine road trips when I was a kid, honestly, crossing the big, boring prairie from one big city to another. Even if I were to take a bus, it’s like my mom pointed out when I was in my nervous but stoic stage before the big hop: no matter what method of transportation I were to take, home is still less than 24 hours away. It’s just one province over. It’s not so bad.
Still, I’ve spent my whole life being able to see my parents on any weekend that I chose, and with the knowledge that my big brother was only about twenty minutes’ drive away. I could call him and he’d be there later in the afternoon. That’s a big shift. Knowing that I need Skype (and a more stable internet connection than I have now; more on that later) to see them clearly now sometimes causes pangs of lament, however brief. I’ve lost my routine and all of my usual haunts.
Not much else, though. There wasn’t much of a future for me in Alberta, emotionally or professionally. Instead there was a lot of stagnation. I feel like I was late to that realization, even. After all, one thing I noted on the way out is that I actually didn’t leave too many friends behind when I moved west. Most of them had left me behind years before, and after having done this myself, I don’t blame them. I know this is the new start that I needed in order to learn how to thrive. It’s a clean slate. I can see from looking back that it’s exactly what all of them needed too. They needed to go where they could thrive, and thrive they did once they were out where they needed to be. Some of them went to Toronto. Some of them went to the good ole United States. All of them are living better lives for it and I’m happy for all of them.
Of the few remaining friends that I did leave behind, it’s not goodbye. I’ve got a track record they should be able to depend on, I’d hope. I’ve always, always gotten on a plane to hop back and forth between provinces before. That won’t change. Home is still home and it’s always precious to me. I need the woods I grew up in. I need the city that taught me the basics of how to be an adult. That won’t change either. I’ll always come back. Probably pretty often, honestly. I have a terrific relationship with my parents, I’ll miss my brother, I’ll want to see those old friends and the old places we would hang out. It’s not hard to, either. Between the modern wonder that is Air Miles collecting (I already have enough for a trip back!) and the fact that I’ve taken local Edmonton bus rides that are longer than the plane ride between, there’s nothing to worry about. My boyfriend, Tim, is already talking about wanting to go back with me in June or July, maybe. It’s just going to be a part of life, those trips back to Alberta. Knowing that helps.
Most of the people back home have understood that, too. I’ve felt lucky that most of the people in my life heard about what I was doing and were positive and supportive and understanding of the change. Often, during the scariest of times, they were more positive than I was! A lot of them knew that it was a big leap for me in a lot of ways, even if it wasn’t travelling halfway around the world or anything. There were rough times. In order to afford to move and also because I wouldn’t have a home waiting for me when I arrived in B.C. (more on that later, too), I had to pare down a lot of my possessions. That was a relief in some ways – we all carry around a shocking amount of useless junk – but it was tough in others. At the absolute worst moment, I remember crying over a jar of pickles. Again, there’s a story there. I might tell it. For now, the point is that it’s tough to uproot and it does some strange things to one’s mind.
But again, most people have been understanding. My parents are planning new travel routes that’ll lead to them being able to visit both me and the family we have on the mainland. My brother’s said he’d like to visit, as have a bunch of friends, and they’re the sort where I know it’s not just words. I’ll see them. I’ve gotten loads of encouragement, lots of pride that I’m chasing the future down, and that has all made it so much easier to be here. There were still one or two people who were unfortunately so mired in sad that I was leaving that they barely expressed any joy that I was chasing my dreams and that was kind of disappointing, but… such is the way. There’s nothing you can do in life that won’t garner a guilt trip or two. The rest of the encouragement helped me shrug it off and since then I’ve just felt a lot of love from home.
For now I’m still in transition mode. My new routine involves getting up, seeing my boyfriend off to his job, hunting for one of my own, exploring my new surroundings, and keeping the Feline Helper Minion Aleksi Nikolaevich entertained (no small feat, let me tell you!).
That’s a good start, I think. I’ll post more when I can. I know a lot of people out there are curious about how I’m doing.
(On the flip side, to those of you who have it: my cell number hasn’t changed. Call me! Text me! Absolutely feel free. I like hearing from home, too!)