Flew The Coop


I’ve always loved sunrises and sunsets. There is something so otherworldly about that brief transition from night to day, or day to night. I know everyone frowns upon littering and cars and everything else that contributes to global warming, but I read somewhere once that the different hues in the skies during these moments are actually caused by said pollution. So I’m not going to complain about all the traffic clogging up the streets and elevating my heart rate in unfamiliar territory on nights where I get to witness the most beautiful fuschias and oranges and purples while the sun passes the sky to the stars and moon for another endless dance. I also much prefer to bask in these breathtaking moments from my new patio, or on a beach, or on the highways where the speed limit is 120 so you really do feel like you’re chasing the last rays of light. The picture above was taken on my first ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria. It was so perfect and awe inspiring, almost like the west welcoming me home with a spectacular display the heavens know I live for. Sunsets are an exquisite example of time passing, heedless of  your wishes to slow or quicken it. Proof that ends can be just as beautiful as beginnings, and that another sunrise is guaranteed to be around the corner to complete the cycle again and again.

July 25th I got to my new city. 7 weeks ago today actually, I honestly feel like it’s been a lifetime and a blink all in the same breath. Brit and I spent 8 days driving from Halifax to Victoria, with two full days and three nights designated to Calgary for family visits. It was a gorgeous drive all in all. 60 hours of straight drive time from one tip of Canada to the other. The landscape was even prettier than I imagined it could be, even through the shitty little towns in southern Onterrible with no street lights or gas stations or restaurants for hours at a time. It seemed to change seamlessly from province to province, each area with its own natural beauty to boast. I will never do it again if I can help it. Most people who’ve driven the country say the same. Once is more than enough.

I haven’t decided if I want this to be a recap of the places we saw in our road trip, including pictures and stories, or if I just wanted to finally put to paper (or keyboard really) that I’ve officially flown the coop. I was in boarding school for grade 9 so my Mama and brother had their blessed break from my wretched, hormone filled, massively chipped shoulder for most of a school year then. I got kicked out so they had me back sooner than expected – I could most definitely spend a full post just on that year of my life so maybe I will eventually. Then for college I moved to a town about 100km away. I was far enough away that I could claim independence, but close enough that I went all the way home (Halifax) after work to drop dinner off to the fam and get a quick hug, and then hopped right back on the highway to make it to bed at a decent hour for school the next morning. So again, they were used to my absence but it wasn’t really an absence in the correct sense. In 2012 I finally got a job working in Alberta’s Oil Sands and living in camp for 2 weeks at a time. So for 2 years they were used to me being away at work for a couple weeks, and then having me home for my week long turnaround. But work dropped off as the oil prices failed to rise significantly after their brutal drop last year. My company wasn’t looking to fly Easterners out when they could just use local workers. Ironic since it was a Newfoundland based company, but there you have it. Desperate times, desperate measures. And I honestly can’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to foot that bill with oil at less than 50$ a barrel. So when I came home to complete my final block in my apprenticeship and write my long awaited red seal exam, that was the end of my career with that company on that site.

I’m getting off track, too much to say and too many tangents my mind wanders off on. This is why I’m supposed to be consistent about writing this blog in the first place. Ha. Second post in 5 months. Oopsies. Anyway, back to the point I was slowly leading up to. My friends and family in Halifax have been used to minor blips in our normal flow. But since I went and fell in love with a BC boy, sold my soul to the oil sands, and just got bored and restless in my current situation, the next logical step was to pack my bags and hit the road for the west coast. It hasn’t disappointed so far. I was born in Victoria but didn’t remember anything other than the inside of my Granny’s house where I would sneak her DuMauriers and she would feed me freezies for breakfast. She was such a chaotic, charming, witty, drunken, beautiful collection of her British roots and her Canadian lifestyle. She was also a member of Mensa so she was quite literally a genius. She passed away in 2008 (still a  bitter story that I don’t feel like sharing) but I know that if she was still here, we would sit and smoke and laugh and share our views on the world at large, discus trivial things or deeply profound musings depending on which way the wind was blowing and what was filling our cups. We’re so similar now, even without being in close proximity for all those years, and even with 8 years of silence. Nature vs Nurture. She would be ecstatic to have me back home.

There’s that word again; home. Funny how quickly this has become such. “Home is where the heart is”, and I have never felt like I fit into a place as well as I do here. There’s no real reason for it, nothing major has happened since my arrival to make me stop and proclaim I’m Victorian. I was born here but wasn’t raised here. I have no family here. I don’t have my Mama or my brother, my Lilah baby or Belle, or Des or Bastian. None of my best friends aside from Geoff. But he’s so much more than that simple phrase. He is quite literally my soulmate. I have never, and I mean never, considered living with a guy I was dating before. I’ve never thought about marriage or envisioned what my kids with someone would actually look like… Mmmm that’s a tiny fib. Ryan Reynolds would be a pretty good donor to the cause, I’ve considered that option. And maybe Gerard Butler. Whatever. I’ll rephrase so I’m no one can say I’m being dishonest; I’ve never pictured any REALISTIC dude as my baby daddy, or husband, or anything that could be long term or permanent. Commitment is terrifying to my splintered black heart, being vulnerable with just about anyone has been out of the question, and I decided I wanted to be “married to the single life” several years ago after yet another douche who I doomed myself from the start with.

And this isn’t really off track again, there’s a reason for this long winded confession that every normal human being lives and breathes and doesn’t think twice about at some stage in their life. I went and fell in love with a man who was so far off from my “normal type” that it actually blindsided me and before I realized what was happening, BOOM! See ya later fragile, dusty, corpse-lookin heart. Good luck to you Geoff, keep that one safe if you dare cause it’ll rattle out of your hands before you know you’ve lost your grip. I tried to pull runners on a regular basis for the first 6 months. As soon as I knew that he was the real deal and held some glimmer of hope for the kind of future you watch Disney movie princesses end their happily ever afters with, I tried to boogie right back outta there. No thanks, I’m good at leaving and being left. I’m good at taking every failed relationship and twisting it into my never ending list of flaws: things to fix before someone could actually love me or want me or be faithful, things that could be seen as flaws and deter men, things that I quite frankly couldn’t even figure out to begin to fix, things that I don’t like about myself so clearly everyone else dislikes them too. Basically I was good at ignoring the good guys, falling for the bad guys, and then staring at the pieces after every inevitable end wondering what I did this time. Duh, you know how to handle rejection so you seek it dummy. “Why didn’t it work with this guy you didn’t really want it to work with?” I could write a big one on that line of thinking, and most likely will… Anyway, not until Geoff told me he would patiently suffer through my selfish, unwarranted “pushaway days” and still be there waiting when the crazy died down, did I realize that I was self destructive. And true to his word, he weathered every storm, reassured me every time that I was worth the headache for him. We took a trip down south to see if we would mesh well. That we did, I admitted I loved him which is why I was trying to scare him off (smart like a dump truck I am), and here we are. 9 months after I finally let our relationship evolve into a relationship, I’m living in his condo in gorgeous downtown Victoria, turning his house into our home, writing in the spare room he let me take full control of, counting down the days until he’s home on turnaround. Because he IS home.

That’s the baffling, simple truth of it. This move has been easy (mostly) because wherever he is, is home. I’m sure if he’d wanted to move to Edmonton or Kelowna or Winnipeg, it would be the same feeling. It just magnifies the love I have for this place because it is hands down the prettiest city in Canada in my humble opinion. So, long story short (LOL jokes that wasn’t short by any stretch of the imagination): I miss my family and friends and all the familiarities that are back east, I’m learning to navigate a new city with new places and new people and a new culture in the west, and I’ve had such awful moments of homesickness that I’ve sat in the shower and just cried until there was no moisture left for my soul to bleed out. I’m mourning the loss of all the things I worked hard for and on; the people and toys and clothes, places I loved to eat, places I loved to drive. Knowing the best routes anywhere through Halifax to avoid hellish rush hour. My puppy. My heart still hasn’t toughened up to the separation from my beautiful, loyal, fickle, alpha dog Lilah. I can’t wait to go to Halifax and visit her. And the other fur babies. Mama and Quinn. My handful of friends who remain constant in my day to day life from afar. My places and haunts. I’m mourning the sacrifices I’ve made to better my future and to invest in someone other than myself. But I will proudly be replanting my roots on Vancouver Island, because it is the most diverse place I have seen cross country and the only place I want, without a doubt, to spend the rest of my lifetime exploring and appreciating over and over. Flew the coop into a world full of uncertainties and breathtaking scenery and at times loneliness, but right into the arms of my greatest treasure and the keeper of my heart. I’m finally home.

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