the 100 day project – day 37/38

Another weekend comes to a close. Did a lot of running, run cheering, hangouts, house organizing, and not a lot of all of the productive things that I told myself that I was going to do. In fact, none of them. Unless you maybe count getting a haircut.

I made some small steps forward with a crush that I have, who I will say no more about for fear of identifying them. But let’s just say that I am THE WORST chicken when it comes to crushes. And at least I am maybe starting to be a tiny bit less of a chicken. So there is that. SO VAGUE.

Crushes are the best/worst thing in the entire universe, no? So exciting and hopeful, but also completely agonizing and spirit-crushing all at once. The over-analysis of every single text message and interaction, going over every moment in excruciating detail to try to derive its meaning – even though in reality, there could actually be nothing whatsoever to excruciate over. THE WORST (/BEST)

the end.

the 100 day project – day 15

I should probably start doing this in the morning, because I KEEP FORGETTING.

Also, maybe one of these days soon I will plan out a post about something that I’ve actually been reading/researching about instead of just doing a mad type out of whatever’s in my head that day, MAYBE! Probably after I’ve moved? But in the meantime… WHAT HAPPENED TODAY??

Work. Which was fine. Rain. Some packing. No running.

Caught up with a few friends, planned some CMTO stuff, and potentially made some interesting connections for upcoming informational interviews about cool health start-ups in Toronto. Oh, and also got a really amazingly lovely note in the mail from a past CMTO speaker, and that made me feel so great. It also made me definitely want to start sending ever MORE MAIL. Woo!

I can’t believe that I am moving in 5 days. Again. This will be my 6th move in three years. I am REALLY HOPING that it will be the last for a while.

ANYWAYS. There. I wrote something.

The End.

Settling in doesn’t have to mean settling

After years of living in a bacheloresque apartment for fear of committing to this city, I finally realized that nesting and giving up were not the same thing…

So here’s the thing… I love Vancouver. Vancouver is my home. But at the same time, I have never been able to help thinking that I actually want to live somewhere else. I have lived in other cities, and I have loved it, and my dream has always been to move away to somewhere that I imagine to be more cosmopolitan, more fast-paced, more interesting than Vancouver. I have always sort of felt that I don’t fit here. And so, while living in this city, I have always felt a strange limbo, where my physicality was here, but my heart was looming out on the edges somewhere else.

So how did this manifest? Well, it manifested in me living in an apartment that I felt really lukewarm about for many years. It also manifested in me never really investing any time/money into said apartment because I was worried that this meant that I had given up on my dream of moving away. Somewhere, somehow, my brain had decided that committing to paint and a couch meant that I was committing to a 10 year lease.

On the career side of my life, while scouring job boards in other cities, I was also working a full-time job here, but on a million teeny tiny contracts as a ‘casual’ worker so that if need be I could still leave at any moment.

Basically, I set up my life so that if at any point I needed to drop everything for my dream job in New York, I could easily do so  with less than a month’s notice and not have any messy contracts to get out of, and also not really have that much stuff that I needed to get rid of to leave the city. To be fair… I DID have an interview for a dreamy job in New York at one point… and in that case, I would have actually had to leave at a moment’s notice… but that was only one interview. One interview. In four years.

So here I was talking about how much I hate my apartment, and talking about the uneasiness of my job, and doing this FOR YEARS because I was afraid of committing to one thing, only here I was just committing by default to things that were not serving my well-being in any way shape or form*

Then I went through a weird breakup. It was my first breakup in YEARS (though it was pretty minor), and it completely catapulted me into the mode of “ok, missy. Time to get your life together.”

I took the plunge, and one month later, I was giving notice at my shitty apartment of 4 years. Let me tell you, giving notice for a cheap giant one bedroom that allows cats (also sketchy, on a loud street in a bleh neighbourhood) is no feat to take lightly. It was terrifying. What if I just did not find any place to live? What if I only found somewhere SHITTIER for MORE MONEY? What if I had to move out to the suburbs? WHAT IF?!?!

After many a sleepless, panic-stricken night, and anxious days filled with calls and emails to every apartment posting within a 20 km radius of where I ACTUALLY wanted to live… I DID find an apartment. It was not my DREAM apartment, and it was also more expensive than I would have liked, but it was about a million steps better than the one I had before, and the moment that I brought the last box out moving truck, I knew that it was home. And you know what? After having lived there for about two weeks, it LOOKED like home. Two weeks! And it was more of a home than my old apartment of 4 years had ever been. Why? Because I decided to commit.

Two weeks later, I accepted a new job. A permanent one. Which, again.. is not my magical dream job love of my life, but it is better than the job that I had before and it’s a place that I can really sink my teeth into without having to worry about relentless contract renewal and piecing together projects just to justify my existence.

So what have I learned here? Well, committing to something doesn’t mean that you can never ever have another thing that you want ever again. Do I still want to live in New York one day? Yes. I sure do. But can my experience living in Vancouver be a whole heck of a lot better while I’m working towards making that happen? Yes. It sure can. So here I am now, in a home that I love, though I know it’s not forever. And not committing to this city forever, but at least committing to it for the time that I’m here.


*disclaimer while my job WAS a variety of tiny contracts, it was also incredibly interesting and satisfying in many ways. I actually learned a whole heck of a lot. It just was not a place where any kind of real LONG-TERM growth was going to happen for me career-wise. Plus… contracts. Yeesh.

Learning to drive, but I ain’t got wheels…

At age 29, it’s finally time to think about learning to drive. 

There are certain rights of passage that generally mark ones transition from teenhood into adulthood. For most of us, these include such activities as moving out of your parent’s house, losing your virginity, maybe going to college, and usually learning how to drive a car… Well, good reader, I somehow managed to skip over this last one, and have just today, in the middle of my 29th year and for the first time, obtained my Learner’s Licence to begin learning how to drive. Hurrraaaaaaaay.

One might wonder how I avoided this particular milestone for so long. Well, it’s simple really…

When I was 16, I took the test once, and failed it. I was so much of a keener in highschool that my extra-curriculars were in direct and constant conflict with the operating hours of the DMV, thus making it nearly impossible for me to retake the test. Let’s not forget the fact that I was also joined at the hip to the love of my teen life, who happened to always have access to his mother’s ’66 Comet, so who needed to drive anyways? This combined with the fact that both of my parents are CRAZY, and not only would it have been horrible to learn to drive from either of them, I believe that they both actually outright refused to teach me. Eight months after turning 16, I moved to the big city (Vancouver) to attend university. Here, not only was there noone who legally could teach me how to drive, there was also no need. I lived on campus at the time, and in the years that followed once I moved away from school, my bicycle coupled with the city’s transit system served me well.

Of course there were moments when a licence would have been helpful… for instance, that time when two girlfriends and I were giddily planning a roadtrip down the coast to California until we realized that none of us could drive. THE END. It would have also been useful when my friend Ayma and I took a whirlwind trip from Whitehorse to Dawson City in the Yukon and back in two days; Ayma was the sole driver for 10 hours each way. My job was to keep her company, shuffle through the three good songs that we had found on the collection of CDs in her mom’s car, and shotgun a beer at every rest stop for her amusement. Then there has also been every time I have ever moved; many times begging a friend to drive to the waterslides in the summer; and let’s not forget, every time I have ever needed to get anything from IKEA.

All of these events were irritating, but not quite irritating enough. Plus there was still the fact that in Vancouver, I would need to either shell out a bagillion dollars for driving lessons, or have a friend who was over 25 who had a full licence and also had a car to teach me how to drive (this combination was exceedingly rare).

Lately though, as “I’ll have my licence by the time I’m 26” turned into 27, and 28, and 29… it seemed like more and more pressing of an issue. I mean, what if I wanted to take a roadtrip on my own one day? What happens when I have a baby? Would I always have to rely on the kindness of friends to get to IKEA? These questions kept swirling around in my brain until one sunny weekday afternoon when I decided that this was it. Also, as I pushed 30, more and more of my friends had cars and were also pushing 30 themselves. IT WAS FINALLY TIME TO GET MY LEARNER’S LICENCE.

After a short 30 minute study, a quick trip over to the DMV, and a few *beep, bop, boops* on a computer touch screen later, I was finally legally allowed to get behind the wheel of a car and drive (albeit under strict supervision). After being congratulated by the clerk at the DMV and sent on my merry way, I wondered why it had taken me so long. Fear? Laziness? Who knows…

But from this day forward, July 16th, 2012 will be known as the day that Altaira Rebekkah Jude Northe took her first steps towards learning how to drive.