Soon to Come: New Space, New Life

I’m sorry I’ve been away, Minions, but life has been full-tilt of late.

Since the last time I wrote and now, I’ve gotten a lot more of my belongings packed, and took a three-day trip to find my new home. Which is to say, soon I’ll be living in a new and awesome space.

It’s not a bigger space, like I’d wanted, it’s almost exactly the same size as my present home, but it’s got water within 5 blocks of me on three sides, downtown’s less than 10 minutes away by walking, and Victoria’s famous Beacon Hill Park is five blocks, too. Shopping? Everything I need is 2 or 3 short blocks away.

The beach I’ll find just five blocks from my home. Fantastic.

For convenience factor, my so-called “convenient” big-city life is a joke compared to what my situation will be once I’ve moved.

My soon-to-be new landlady makes me smile every time I think of her. So sweet, caring, and knows all her tenants by name, and details about their lives. Standing 5 feet tall, she’s short, squat, and full of love as her little arthritic terrier waddles behind her. She rushes to the door to help people in, talks to everyone. I love that.

In my new apartment, they’ve gutted and replaced literally EVERYTHING except the stove, but I’d be unsurprised if I turned up and she thought to throw in a new one of those too. The deck’s being replaced in the spring. The building is spotless, well-loved by tenants and owners, and I’m excited to be joining what looks like a pretty caring community-type apartment building.

I don’t know why people seem to think I’m so urban and hip. I’m really not. I love the water, I love people-watching, exploring, private time, quiet, and space to think. Just because I can chat with just about anyone doesn’t mean I want people around me all the time.

Somehow, some way, all my quiet space and nature-connecting evaporated on me in Vancouver. Without a car, it’s hard to access the awesome in this town, and the town doesn’t allow for the financial freedom of owning a car, so you know how that works. Where I live, which is about all I can afford and stay sane with in Vancouver, there’s the constant drone of traffic and planes landing at the international airport, there’re frequent sirens and horns honking. There are people and tons of traffic everywhere I go. Even my building has turned against me. There are my weird neighbours downstairs who slam everything because none of the kitchen cupboards close (mine don’t either) so they think SLAMMING will make it better.

I think, like me, Victoria is in a time of transition. I don’t want to be where it’s busy and crazy. I like the location I’ve chosen. It’s close enough to everything, and far from the homeless and the university students. It’s close to everything I need, both spiritually and in my day-to-day.

In my new life, there will be both inspiration and time a-plenty for writing, silence, photography, and just being.

And this, BC’s Parliament Building, is just about 6 blocks the other way… and with more ocean to see. Shot by me, my first night in town.

My friends were all ganging up on me, saying I should live in another area, but after two full days of walking everywhere, and realizing the so-called convenience of Cook Street Village meant “convenient geography but without much convenience in the form of food and other necessities.” I realized they’re all talking out of their ass. They don’t know what’s “right” for me, not any more than I know why X is right for them.

Deep down, I know I need my new space. I think some higher power knew, too. I had planned to cancel my first apartment viewing but never did. After that appointment, I walked out and the place across the way shone for me. An unadvertised place, I walked up to and buzzed the manager. Sure, I could see it, she said.

I still saw everything I had booked, and more, and returned to my new home for a second viewing, and the “this place is right for me” vibe got stronger and stronger.

It seems spooky and awesome that it worked out so serendipitously for me. The gods are on my side in this move, it seems.

There are things about city life I’ll miss, and I know that before I even leave, but my soul needs it. I can’t be doing this rat-race of stupidity any more. It’s not who I am now. I get home angry more often than I’m relaxed. I don’t feel like walking around the neighbourhood or exploring. I just don’t give a shit now. That’s no way to feel about life.

When I walked down to the end of the street after viewing my spaces, and I came out at Dallas Road Beach, my heart swelled. Really. I could imagine myself wanting to walk there daily. When your heart reacts like that, if you don’t listen then you’re an idiot. I’m listening.

Back in my car-owning days, I would be at the ocean for no reason so often. But in Vancouver, being on the ocean means seeing evidence all around me of the fact that there’s 2.3 million people scattered out there. All those lives twinkling in the lights of the city night. I don’t want to be thinking about 2.3 million lives. I just want to think about mine.

To get to ocean where you see no one, you need a car, a hike down lots of stairs on a cliff, and a liking for naked people sunbathing. Oh, right, that’s not “no one” either.

My soul needs slow and simple. My soul needs exactly what I’ve found.

In 24 sleeps, 18 more office days, I’ll be moved, big-city-free, and thrilled about it.

[No pictures for you of my space until I’ve moved in, at the least.]

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12 Comments

  1. Posted February 5, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I am a big believer in things happening for a reason — and I believe this move will bring you much joy. Happy for you, Steff.

    Can’t wait to see your pics as you settle in. And it’ll be fun to visit:-)

    Hugs.

    Cathy

    • Posted February 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Cathy. :)

      New pics won’t be until art’s on the wall and all that awesomeness. Stay tuned.

  2. Ceci
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    odd hey.. we have never meet.. all I know of you, is from reading your blog and reading you on my twitter timeline.. but I have heard the angst in your words.. packing angst, giving notice without having a place to go angst.. and I wanted to say.. “dude, it’s gonna be ok.. I can feel it” but I was afraid you would yell at me.. LOL!!! :)
    I love the way you describe this… it feels right for you , as I read it..
    Congratulations! really happy for you.
    Ceci

    • Posted February 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      The angst comes from the endless fatigue and the feeling that city life shouldn’t be this hard. I’ve been fed up for so long but I thought it was for different reasons.

      As for getting it all sorted and the panic, well, moving in such a big way when one’s been nursing a back injury for 3 years with a bad relapse for the last 11 months and without the funds to make it simpler, there’s a lot of stress on the plate.

      I highly doubt I’ll suddenly be happy/cheery now, but I suspect I’ll be moving toward that over time once I’m there. It’ll take a while to destress and settle.

  3. Sam
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Yay! I’m glad that you found the right home for yourself. BC is a special place for me because that’s where I got married :)

  4. Kathy
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    For what you’ve said you’re looking for, I think you’ve picked the perfect place. Walking distance to everything anyone could need in regular day-to-day life, stumbling distance from good pubs, proximity to both beach and city. Good choice, I think.

    Read the other day that you were researching haunts in your new area. Made me think of the Ross Bay Cemetery (not what you meant by “haunts”, but still…) which is an awesome place to wander.

    • Posted February 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      I already have my first Moss Bay Cemetery walk planned with where I’ll be getting a lunch in that area, and knowing it’s an 8km return walk. Excited. :)

      I love cemetery photography on the right day, too. Fantastic fun.

  5. Posted February 5, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t know you either other than our brief online connection, but like Ceci said, I’m excited for you too! Especially having just visited Victoria this past week. Smaller, sunnier, warmer for starters, it really does have a nice feel to it. I’m looking forward to reading the updates once you’re over there!

    • Posted February 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes, 50% less rain, more wind though. Warmer, but more ocean chill in the misleading temperatures.

      Considering my family has lived on the ocean for many generations, that’s all fine by me.

      I definitely need less rain, more walkable terrain, and easily accessible nature. Pretty stoked. Thanks a lot, Kathy!

  6. Posted February 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been following this “series” about how you’ve been feeling and your upcoming move with much interest. Bravo for finding the place (home & location) that is just right. I am so excited for you — I can “hear” how happy you are, and that’s a good thing. That’s a big change over what you have been writing the past year.

    I can’t wait to see what the new place looks like and to read all about the new things you discover.

    Here’s to the peace you discover within you. Cheers!

  7. Posted February 6, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    So happy you found a great place in James Bay. I’m kind of jealous actually, I’d love to live closer to the water.

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