It’s my last day in Vancouver until I move here next month and I can’t help but feel a longing to come back here already though I haven’t even left. My whole life, I spent moving to a different place every few years. My family has never been one to fully settle down anywhere. Boxes were never fully unpacked because we knew we were going to get up and leave soon and I could never fully feel at home anywhere.
When I moved to my university town, I thought I’d love it there. I thought these past four years would give me some sense of what it’s like to feel at home and create a family, and it has. This is where I got my shit together. This is where I started working, where I figured out that it was writing that I wanted to pursue and any other work would be a way to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. This is where I decided that I didn’t want to go to grad school in psychology and take on a 9-5 job. This is where I decided what I didn’t want my life to look like, and that was a big thing.
I chose to change my degree to 3 years and start working full time at a job that’s now letting me move to Vancouver with it. A job that gave me a family, structure, financial stability, and a comforting zone that just let me be exactly who I was, even when I didn’t know who that person would be.
This small town gave me friendships that I thought would last a lifetime but those people were only supposed to be a part of my journey for a certain period of time. I lost a lot, but I gained even more in terms of authenticity.
Sometimes we feel we outgrew a place, a position, a person, a life. And when I reached that point, I felt lost all over again. I felt like I was back at square one when really, I just got better at knowing myself and what I needed.
Yesterday, I got a call back on my first real adult apartment in downtown Vancouver that I got approved to live in by the kindest manager/landlord of the building who helped me know the city, the laws and what to pay attention to. I got the same feeling from her that I did when I signed my previous lease at university with my roommates from a landlord that I established a wonderful relationship with.
I went to my second work meeting at another store where I got that same feeling from the Store Brand Leader who worked there. These past two days have felt like things are beginning to fall into place, FINALLY. I realized that since the day I fell apart, wanted to quit everything and go back to the way things were, I’ve gotten nothing but good news and success after success. How funny life is that it’s always after you reach your breaking point that you begin to rise higher than ever before.
My life here will begin sooner than I can fathom. I mean, by the end of August, I’ll have moved in to my first apartment on my own. I’ll have a better position at my company waiting for me. I’ll live a 10 minute walk away from it. I’ll be in a city of wonder, beauty, nature, outdoor adventures, and a wave of calmness that swifts through the air.
Yesterday, I climbed Grouse Mountain and got the call for my apartment as I was exploring the top of it. First of all, climbing a mountain is no joke. It’s always been on my bucket list and for someone who lives a very active lifestyle, I still wanted to die about 3 times in-between. I went really fast in the beginning and quickly learned that that isn’t the way to reach the top. You just have to keep a steady pace and not outdo yourself. The group of people around me became my cheerleaders and I was theirs. We were our own little family, supporting each other. When we reached the top, the 9-year-old boy hiking beside me jumped up in the air and high-fived me. I was speechless and on a new level of high. I wanted to experience that sensation all over again.
The views for beautiful at the top, but the climb was my favourite part. I met so many amazing people and was surrounded by beauty everywhere I looked. I took moments to stop and just look behind me at how far I’d come. How beautiful the world looked from where I was standing. I wanted to stay in those moments forever, but I absorbed what I could and then continued to climb.
I made it up a lot faster than I thought I would: 1 hour and 23 minutes. I can’t wait to come back and live here so that I can do it again because I learned a lot from that climb. I learned a lot about myself. How quickly I want to speed through it to get to the top, how quickly I’ve always wanted to rush through my life to get to where I want, and then understanding very quickly that that isn’t how you’re supposed to do it. You’re supposed to meet people along the way. You’re supposed to keep your pace steady so that you don’t burn out. You’re supposed to have cheerleaders and be the cheerleader for others. You’re supposed to take moments to stop, breathe, and look back at how far you’ve come. You’re supposed to look at the world around you and take in the wonder, the beauty, the life that exists everywhere. You’re supposed to let yourself feel like you’re a part of it all.
It was a beautiful climb, but it doesn’t end here. You’re never finished and I don’t know if I want to be anymore. There’s always more beauty, more heartache, more tragedy and more wonder. I’m grateful for it all and I can’t wait to see what’s to come next.