There are so many clichéd song lyrics that are going through my mind right now. “I’m leaving… on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.” “Here I go again on my own. Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known.” etc. etc. Prime examples of facebook statuses I hope never to make. Nonetheless it’s hard not to try and equate what I’m feeling with a familiar source.
This will be the third time in my adult life that I’ve picked up and moved cities. I grew up in Winnipeg, and lived there until I graduated high school at 17. I have a late birthday, so that’s why it was so young. I moved out of the house to go to university in Ottawa. The first move was extremely easy for me, as high school is not one of my favourite memories. I was so excited to go try something new in a different city. It was an opportunity to be myself. Both in a sexual preference way, and in a social way.
I loved Ottawa. I clicked with a lot of like-minded people there and made so many friends, straight and gay. When I was finishing up my undergrad and decided to go on for a Masters degree, choosing to leave Ottawa was sort of a shot in the dark. I didn’t want to leave the city, but I applied to some schools that I thought would be better for my career. I got accepted early to SFU in Burnaby (near Vancouver), and had a very difficult decision to make. Pack up and leave the city that I had lived in for five years, the city that really allowed me to grow from an immature teenager into a well balanced adult, or stay in Ottawa where it was comfortable.
Looking back, I made the right decision. I figured, life was good in Ottawa, and if I wanted to come back it would still be the same. I hated having to leave my friends, but that was partially mitigated by the fact that one of my roommates at the time decided to come with me. I arrived in Vancouver curious as to how life in a bigger city would be. I was not disappointed.
More than a couple of my old friends from Winnipeg told me that they always pictured that I would move to Vancouver. I think they knew my personality and figured it would mesh well with what was offered on the west coast. When my Dad told me the exact same thing on the move down, it gave me more confidence that I was making the right decision. It took awhile to get a good footing in Vancouver. It was hard to meet new people in the beginning, because I was pretty invested in school, and I tended to lean on my roommate for most of my social interaction.
On a whim I joined the gay soccer league in Vancouver, and that’s when I really started to meet people, and find out how great a city it is. Just that one action lead me to all the people I consider close friends right now, and if you trace it far enough, it’s how I ended up being a part of this website.
Now, I sit at the beginning of another location change. Work has transferred me to our Amsterdam office, and I’m struggling to figure out how I feel. This isn’t the same as either of the other moves. This is not a move to start a new life, like the move to Ottawa was. I guess it’s sort of similar to my move to Vancouver, in that it will help in my career.
I feel like I’m giving up more by moving this time. Which is sort of funny, because one of the reasons I was selected for the move is that I didn’t have any financial or family obligations holding me to Vancouver. But I am giving up a life that I quite enjoy. Some of the best friends I’ve ever made. Although I’m staying in the same company, I won’t be working with the same people anymore. It’s a little heartbreaking for me.
Don’t get me wrong though, I know that this is a major opportunity to experience another life. And it won’t be permanent. I will one day return to Canada, either in 6 months, a year, or three. I’ll be back, and when I come back I’ll be coming to Vancouver. I just pray that the Atlantic isn’t wide enough to sever the close bonds I’ve made with the people here.
Sometimes, you just need a change. When I first found asked if I wanted to move, there was no hesitation. YES! Get me on a plane tomorrow! But now that the initial excitement is over, reality is setting in, and so are the nerves. That little compression in the pit of your stomach that’s saying: “What if you don’t like it? What if you don’t make any friends?” That’s just a risk I have to take, so shut up stomach!
I’ll still be active in the site. I’m going to try to stay doing the project runway recaps, even though no one reads them, ha ha. And I’ll throw up a few pictures every now and then, bragging on all the fabulous places I’ll be going. Don’t be too jealous :P