In an unexpected turn of events, a lack of internet has brought me back to blogging (written in Word and hoping the internet returns soon). That and someone starting to follow me in an impressive display of hope. Some big changes have happened since last I attempted to bring my blog back from the dead.
I think you could probably trace my overall happiness with where I was in my life by how regularly I posted blogs – my level of enjoyment in writing, my ability to think creatively and write short stories. Kind of sad when I realize how long it’s been since I last wrote consistently. Or wrote fiction, even that not posted on this site. Man.
That isn’t the important thing, though, so move out of the shade. Listen to music, feel better.
The long and the short of it is that I realized that my obsession with finding/buying a house in Toronto was, to put it bluntly, an effort to distract myself from the actual issue. My strong dislike of where I was in my career and life in general. Some things popping up at work, combined with the dog’s injury (full recovery, fyi), and my friend (and also coworker) leaving work to go on maternity leave brought things into focus. So what if I bought a house in the city? It wouldn’t change anything else, other than adding pressure to stay where I had an income. Not exactly a real solution to my ennui. Enter thoughts of job hunting for the first time since I was in university.
In a twist of fate I promptly got called by not one, not two, but three separate headhunters over the course of about a week. And unlike previous calls, I said “yes” to all of them. Salmon Arm, BC? Love the name, gosh that’s far, let’s give it a go. Mississauga? Why, it’s just down the road! Collingwood? I was there… once…maybe… as a child… it’s… northish.
Well, it turns out that the location in BC is one of the hottest dryest parts of Canada, and nearly impossible to even find a rental. I was feeling my yes-man attitude, but I really like having a roof over my head… and the Ontario bears are more interested in sewage than hunting people.
Mississauga turned out to be a job in which my entire job would be construction site administration. RESPECT the people working on construction, people. LONG days, rarely any shade, and even as basically a photographer/construction journalist, just doing it for a month at a time leaves me completely drained. Necessary work, but not for me.
Collingwood, though. Collingwood hit ALL the marks. Interesting job, interesting company, interesting place.
I quit my job. I tidied up 7 years worth of deck clutter and paperwork, said seven years’ worth of keep-in-touches, and headed north. To a town less than half the size of the smallest place I’ve lived for any length of time. I QUIT my job!
And promptly realized that, while most places that aren’t Toronto and are much smaller than it would have much cheaper rent… places that cater to cottagers, boaters and skiers… do not. Especially when you add in a dog.
It takes about 15 minutes to get anywhere in Collingwood. It’s got a village-ey rural vibe with a great downtown strip, multiple grocery stores, multiple independent coffee shops and easy access to basically EVERYTHING outdoorsy, and an assortment of great local things. For example, while at the local farmers’ market a few weeks ago… sampling some delightful Georgian Hills Wine and Cider… I met a couple who’d moved to this area for the rock-climbing. After that, I checked out the local alpaca farm’s wares (and the two alpaca they brought with them!), and bought locally made pierogies. Had this town ever been on my radar before now, I might have realized that I’m not the only one who thinks this is pretty cool.
I found a place and moved in the day before I started work at my new job. And boy did I ever find a place! My little cottage has cows down the trail in one direction, horses in the other. Still within a 10 minute drive to downtown Collingwood, but unexpectedly rural. I could go on and on, but sufficed to say: gas fireplace.
I’m a month into living here, and my only complaint is that my friends from Toronto aren’t quite as close as I’d like them to be. Luckily, there’s a lot to be said for visiting me.
Work-wise, I hope I’m not jinxing it by saying I think I’m doing well. A bit of a learning curve for sure, but my new boss is excellent, and I think that on the whole I’m taking on enough of the work-load. My new coworkers are friendly, my new work really seems to care about its employees, and the cafeteria is full of fruit in a much appreciated display of that care.
Living-wise, Gwynn is adjusting to the new strange noises, my rental is charming, and I have mostly successfully adapted to living on my own for the first time since university. Minor incidents of cheese-and-crackers for dinner aside.
I’ve still got things to do… but overall…