Elapsed since my last post: 40 days, 3 time zones, 4 provinces and approximately 5000 kilometers!
I apologize for not keeping up to date- I was busy (and am currently, have always been and will continue to be the absolutely laziest).
After a (truly, seriously) whirlwind trip across Canada with my cousin, in a Toyota Yaris no less, I am settling into good old Vancouver (Ladner to be more accurate). It has been ~*literally*~ more than I had even hoped for, honestly.
The last month in Ottawa consisted of a lot of painting (read: cramped hands/ arms/ neck, blistered fingers, very few showers, and a whole lot of ‘why am I doing this I won’t even be living here in a month?’), sorting/ packing/ disposing of/ donating/ selling/ shipping out all of my belongings, and hella anxiety. In my mind I knew I would be moving, but the piles and piles of things I knew needed to get done, paired with not really knowing what my future held (geographically, house/ car/ friends/ job- wise, etc.) had me in a confused, anxious, not-productive-but-still-trying-to-be-productive mess. In these instances I tend to have a really hard time concentrating on and prioritizing tasks. Essentially there was so much to do I didn’t know where to start, but I knew I needed to, because there was nobody else who was going to pick up my slack.
Mentally, I was putting everything into this very abstract thing that was supposedly happening, but was it really? This move was so up-to-me that I could have, at any time, just stopped packing, and not moved, and it wouldn’t really have made much of a difference to anyone but myself. I was not answering to anyone else, so I was kind of skeptical about this whole thing (or maybe about my ability to pull it off?) It also didn’t help that in my mind I could see a visual linear timeline of my life up to May 1, 2017 (the day I planned to leave), and after that was pretty much just black. Nothing. I had less than no idea. It was an adventure but also terrifying.
I was going from a place where I lived for 7ish years (September 2010- April 2017), had a nice place to live, know all my favourite/ essential places, know the bus routes, have tones of people I know and love, and a job. I was comfortable but not in absolute love with Ottawa. I could have easily stayed, but I knew it’d be more beneficial in the long run to uproot myself and be uncomfortable in the short term so that I could rebuild my life in a better place.
Now, the positives: Everyday that I’ve been here I have found more things to love about Ladner. It is an adorable little city surrounded by mountains and beaches. There are tones of schools close by. The city center is THE cutest, and half a block from my place. Everything (groceries, banking, liquor store, Dollarama, drug store, restaurants, thrift store, Starbucks, bakery, butcher, antique stores) I need is a 3 minute walk down the street. One of my best friends from Ottawa (and now roommate) was there to greet me at our new perfect apartment with cake, champagne and more. I have had a ball shopping around (shouts to CraigsList, which is basically the Kijiji of BC… regarded as much less shady here than it is in Ontario) for used furniture to make my new room and apartment absolutely perfect for me (and us). The other day I walked out of my apartment to find a full on fair set up, complete with rides, food, and music! The big city (Van) is ony a 20 minute drive North, and best of all, my sister is here for me to bug ENDLESSLY! We haven’t lived in the same city for 3 years (& 3 years too long).
I am thankful for my cousin who drove across Canada with me, for two of my favourite people on Earth who motorcaded me, camping and driving alongside my cousin and I the entire way, for my soul sister of a roomie, and for my real soul sister, for making me feel instantly comfortable here, and ensuring I didn’t spend the first night overwhelmed and crying as usual (see: Quebec exchange/ grade 5, Carleton residence/ 1st year, Ottawa/ 2nd year, Uganda/ 4th year, and probably many other instances). The transition has been fairly seamless and I’m pleasantly surprised (and still skeptical…when will this ‘honeymoon’ phase wear off? Where are the overwhelmed tears? Stay tuned hahah)
I will have to do a room tour of sorts sometime soon, as well as a post all about my road trip!