The past few days have been both great and sad at the same time. We went to the Blue Jays game and shockingly saw them win again. I was on TV protecting my beer and scuttling out of the way of a home run and we drunkenly bought baseball caps after the game and wore them home. Then went for a steak, but took the hats off beforehand.
However, the past few days have also been really tough. It’s only when the big things happen back home that you realise how far away you actually are and there is a tiny, fleeting niggle in the back of your mind which questions briefly the very reasons you made the move in the first place. Over the last week or so I have missed the birth of my best friends’ first child, my dad’s birthday and obligatory family meal, my sister reaching some significant pregnancy milestones and another best friend hearing her baby’s heartbeat for the first time. WhatsApp has become my lifeline, my link to everything English. It’s my daily news provider, including some huge life events that shouldn’t really be announced via an app that costs 69p. But when you are about 3,500 miles away (I googled it, it might not be accurate) how else can you do it? And at the end of the day, any way to stay in touch must be embraced.
As for that “niggle” I mentioned, I have a pretty good idea why we made the move. Yes, ultimately it was for Matt’s job, but also so much more. We moved to try something new, to experience new things and see the world, to meet new people, to have a better quality of life although I still can’t explain exactly what that means, to have fun and to live whilst we are young. There are so many things about Canada which already seem better than the UK, yet there are a couple of (albeit trivial) things which aren’t! Mainly, I just can’t get to grip with the coins. Yes, I did just say that. It confuses me, so much so that I have to take the 5 cent coins out of my purse and leave them in a pot at home. It’s just that the quarters and 5s are the same colour and are almost the same size, which happens to also be the size of a 10p piece at home. The 10 cents are small like British 5ps and this just gets me mega confused, so much so that I end up paying with notes whenever possible. So then I end up with a tonne more change. And the cycle continues. It is a problem I am certain I can live with though. I’m positive we made the right decision, but I promise to blog about this further as time goes by, to try and get to the bottom of why so many people choose Canada and to weigh up the pros with the coin-related cons. I think the “pros” will win.
From these musings it got me thinking; am I experiencing new things, meeting new people etc etc (see paragraph above)? I feel like I owe it to myself and my friends and family back home to make sure that I do, given that I am missing out on some of the biggest moments of their lives. I have always been one of those people who thinks tomorrow will do, that I am waiting until I am slimmer, until it’s warmer, until I’m married, any reason really to not do something. But didn’t someone famous somewhere say something about life being what happens when you’re busy making plans? Or something like that. So, I’ve jumped straight in with both feet. I’ve joined a book club, for which I am frantically trying to read the book they’ve all been reading for three weeks already so that I have finished it in time for next week’s monthly meeting. I’ve enrolled on an online course to learn how to write children’s stories and also joined a writers group which meets every fortnight to discuss each other’s work and give help and advice. I haven’t agreed to meet up with them yet, I am currently hovering on the edge of that one. We’ll see how the online course goes first, where I can decide from the comfort of my own apartment whether this writing thing has any legs or not. I have also volunteered for a women’s charity, for which I have my orientation meeting tomorrow to see the offices and determine which of the volunteering vacancies they have may be best suited to me. My underlying hope for all three of these ventures is that I will meet some like minded people with whom I can forge some sort of friendship. Hopefully friendships which will stretch away from reading and writing and maybe cross into the realm of going out to drink wine, watch movies, gossip, shop, eat etc, basically all my long established favourite pastimes. But hey, if it’s just to undertake some new pastimes then that’s OK too. I still have my WhatsApp world for the other stuff, I might just have to wait a while until we are all on the same continent to partake.
Answers on a postcard time: If anyone has any ideas of how else to make friends when you move to a new city, I would be keen to hear about them. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be as easy as going up to someone you like the look of and asking if they want to be mates. Also, my idea of smiling and saying hi to everyone I pass in the lobby, elevator or gym of our building seems to only be making me out to be some sort of maniac. Couple that with the spiel I gave to the female concierge when I tried to introduce myself to her and ended up telling her in detail what I was doing for the rest of the day (no, she didn’t ask) means she is probably handing out warning flyers with my face on to people as they come home from work. So, any less alarming methods of ways to make contact with people would be welcomed. Please comment below … WhatsApp world, I’m counting on you guys. After all, you know I’m not actually a maniac.
Today’s overheard conversation;
As a regular feature of the blog, I would hate to disappoint. The conversation I overheard went like this; (guy on the phone walking towards me on the street) “yeah, I know it’s going to be AWESOME! I’m on my way to buy some cheese puffs to put out for everyone when they get there.”
(Damn it! I’ve just realised, that’s the kind of guy I should be trying to be friends with. A wasted opportunity right there. )