Ottawa, I am home!
Although I wasn't born in Ottawa nor have I lived here for very long periods of time, it is my home. It feels like home and has always felt that way. It's safe and comfortable. However, after finishing my university degree from the University of Ottawa, the first thing I wanted to do was to get out of Ottawa...mainly to escape those two words – safe and comfortable – that quite frankly frightened the shit out of me. I needed to escape.
It was only a few months after graduating that I got a job in Vancouver, BC and shipped my life and myself off to the other end of Canada. A place I had never been to. I was going with a great job waiting for me. Found a cute apartment and lived on my own for the first time. Made some great friends quickly (Shoutout to Lara and Mason for picking me up lost in the streets of Vancouver. It was a great first meeting!). Got my first car which I named Penelope. Lived in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Travelled along the West Coast for the first time in my life.
I stayed there for a year and a half. It was the hardest year and a half of my life.
On paper, I had it all. But for some reason, I was unhappy. I felt isolated and lonely yet I had everything I needed...or, thinking back on it, I had everything I thought I needed. After 6 months of living there, I started having this ongoing internal battle with myself: I needed to stay at this stable job that I didn't particularly like just to prove to myself that I wasn't a quitter. I wanted to escape again. I was miserable and my relationships were crumbling because of the way I felt about myself. I was anxious, depressed and was living to find something better all the time. So I moved on. I quickly got a job in Toronto. I was thrilled to be back in Ontario, close to family and close friends. But I just as quickly lost that job.
Reality strike. This sudden change wasn't of my own choosing. I couldn't escape anymore. It was financially, logistically and physically impossible. When escaping is all you know and have always done, that shit hits hard. But it's crazy how a person can quickly recover. I put my pride to the side and after a day, I let out a sigh of relief. Why? Maybe because for the first time in my life I couldn't think that far in the future. I had to think in the present.
I was lucky though, the next day, I got another job. The only eek was that this new job was in Ottawa. I had to move again, for the third time in two years. But this time, I moved back in with my parents after 6 years of living on my own or with roommates. It was an adjustment for the first month. Mainly because I sold Penelope before moving to Toronto and I had no car. To make it even more difficult, I was living in the heart of the safe and comfortable: suburbia. Thankfully I quickly bought Nico, my second car (I don't love him as much as Penelope but he knows).
So, I came home...at 25, and I don't remember the last time I was this content.
I have my family by my side – literally, a lot of the time. I have my best friends and soul sisters cheering me along every day. I have a job. I am this great city – Ottawa's gone up in the world with the food and beer scene – and I am safe and comfortable. But that doesn't mean that the adventure stops here...safe and comfortable have now become two words that are appealing to me, surprisingly enough.
My mom always told me to live one day at a time. I always knew what that meant but I never knew how that felt. I was living in the future...living for my next escape. It's only by coming home – unexpectedly – that I realized what it felt to live one day at a time. I never planned to be back in Ottawa because I wanted to do bigger and better things and get away from the dreaded safe and comfortable life but I realize now – to my mom's great joy – that coming back to the safe and comfortable doesn't have to be coming back to boring. In that mindset, I finally got the motivation to start this blog, to write, to take photos, to take risks in fashion, in work and in travel. Safe and comfortable are giving me a cushion to push myself more...who knew!