Saturday, September 21, 2013

Life wrap-up - Debrief - Part 2 of an Indeterminate Amount of Blog Posts

I'm only writing this today because of four people. Well, six if you include my parents who got it on just shy of 40 years ago leading to my birth 40 weeks later, but I digress.

I'm here today because I once had a best friend. A best friend who needed my help, and she said she would help me.

I'm here today because I flirted with a man on the internet and I wanted to find out if the online attraction worked out in real life.

On September 20, 2003 I got on an airplane. I had a few thousand dollars, a one-way ticket on a now-defunct airline that offered the aviation equivalent of Greyhound, and I had hope that something would be different.

My best friend and I would stop speaking the following March, and would not see each other again for five years. 

I'm here today because an ex-partner let me move in with him after we broke up because he realized that we didn't break up because we couldn't live together, and having someone splitting the rent and bills with was better than going it alone.

The online flirtation turned into a 15 month on-again, off-again, something or other. It ended with me screaming "Lose my number, pretend that I am dead." into the phone on Boxing Day afternoon, 2004.

10 months after that fateful bubble bath of rage and fury, I would marry a man I met online just days before that break-up telephone conversation. 

I didn't know that then. I didn't know that man's last name then. In that moment, I didn't know if I would ever speak to him again.

I would leave my ex-partner's apartment to move in with my spouse; just three doors down.

I'm here today because I met a man and the only way we could be together was to get married.

Ten years ago today I spent my first day in BC. Breakfast and coffee in North Vancouver. We visited 29th and a Half beach in West Vancouver because I had never seen the ocean, I got my first piece of beach glass there. Then we had more coffee and patio time at Bean Around the World in Ambleside. I was ridiculously dressed for West Vancouver. In hindsight, that should have been my first clue that where I had moved was not the big city I'd been hoping for. In hindsight, I am pretty sure that my "something or other" was kind of embarrassed by me. In hindsight, I was hopeful that something would be different.

So much has changed in ten years that I don't even recognize the person who got off that plane in 2003. I'm no longer a redhead. I no longer use $30 hair goop. I no longer wear stompy boots, or go clubbing, or drink 6 double shot lattes before 4 PM and smoke a pack a day.

As terrible as my first year in BC was, and as not quite as terrible as my last year was, I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I got on that plane. I'm glad that I loved two people enough to trust them, even if that trust ended up being a little misguided. I'm glad that I went to Bowen Island. I'm glad that I went to the parties, clubs, and The Cambie. I'm glad that I dressed ridiculously for West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Vancouver Vancouver. I'm glad that I bought yoga pants, and Gore-Tex fleece jackets, and learned to buy jackets with hoods and stop using umbrellas.

As much as I miss the weather, I am glad I don't live there. As much as I miss functional public transit, cheap and plentiful sushi, edible Indian food, and conveniently located amenities, I'm happy we left.

Edited to add the sentence that should have closed this post:

I miss my friends, but I'm relieved to be away from the place that never quite fit.