Tag Archives: going home

Notes from the Mainland

For nearly a week, I’ve been on the Mainland.
It is, for me, a reckoning — of incomplete sorts, I guess.
While I’m comfortable here and have no problems getting around, know all the places and such, it just doesn’t feel like home anymore.
I’d expected that, of course, ‘cos it’d kind of stopped feeling that way before I even moved, but now this is sort of a New Normal. It’s now UnHome.
As I sip my Kicking Horse coffee, I’m thinking. If this feels less like home, then I’m hoping the opposite is true as I ride my ferry back to my island tonight. I hope I go “home” in my soul as much as I do with my luggage.
Maybe I would have enjoyed Vancouver more if it’d been less rainy this week, or if I’d not had a sinus infection for my whole visit, or my allergies weren’t being stupid. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But that’s not the case. I’ve been under the weather, and really not up for adventure.
Still, it was nice. Saw my friends, my family, and a whole lot of other folks. But that’s all it was for me. “Nice.”
It was also draining, exhausting, and frustrating at different times, because that’s how “the big city” feels to me these days.
Maybe after more “Rat Race Detox,” I’ll be excited to return to the bustle. Today, though, I’m excited to leave it.
Soon, later, I go home. A bus to the valley to see my folks once more, get a lift to my boat, ride the ferry home, and then I’m island-bound for another two months.
Naturally, I’ll be back. People who are so important to who I am — friends who were there for the last two decades, my brother, Dad, stepmom — are all here, and I’ll be quite happy to visit them, knowing my good hosts have comfy beds and accommodating homes.


Next time, I’m not going downtown. I’m packing less, and nothing fancy. I’ll bring my bike, play tourist in some of Vancouver’s outlying areas, and get a refresher on those parts of why Vancouver’s caught the whole world’s eyes.
But I don’t need the concrete jungle, the droning of traffic, or the grumbling masses that comprise “big-city” life.


So, there I was, finishing my over-easy eggs, when I was struck by the desire to record my moment of uncertainty. Enter, le bloggedy-blog.
What will it be like when I return to Victoria for my first time as a resident?
Because, if this isn’t home anymore, is it home THERE? And, if it isn’t, then what does that leave me — displaced?
As I type this, I’m just a few blocks from where I spent a lot of time over a couple years with one of my long-time exes. It’s strange. Much of my time spent here was at the end of another era of my life, before and after I moved to the Yukon. Now, it’s where one of my two best friends bought a home that his family will be growing into for years. I approve, for them. What a great place to be a kid.
For me, it’ll be a weird headtrip when I visit for a while. It’ll be nice to think of this as Their World one day, and not as I do now, which is Where I Used To Be A Lot.
I sit here, in this ‘hood, thinking about how different I was then, 15 years ago. How much has gone down. How much hasn’t happened that I’d dreamed of. How much still could. How much I’m trying to find that girl I thought was awesome then.
This is an area, I think, that held a lot of promise for me for a while. My brother lived here off an on for years as well. And, over that time, my life spiralled down, sort of just into a place I didn’t want to be.
Now, I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I’m so much closer to it than I’ve been in years.
Funny, my brother last lived around here when my mother’s death was still fresh. I haven’t hung out here in all that time. Coming back to this area sort of makes it clear to me now just how far afield I was, way back when, and how I’ve found the right path in this new era.
I’m packed and ready to go, but my head is miles away already.


At this point, I don’t feel like I’ve made any mistakes leaving Vancouver. Coming back cements that for me.
I know I’m at the cusp of a new time. My time. My “transition” to my new Coastal life is further along. Change is afoot.
Whatever Victoria is to me now, Vancouver just ain’t home anymore.
Sometimes, figuring out where you’re meant to be is better when you simply establish where you oughtn’t be. That’s all the start you need: Don’t be there.
And I’m not “there” anymore.


So, tomorrow, I’ll wake in my bed, in my apartment. I’ll be able to sleep naked, pad around, do all those things you want locks on your door before you do.
That’s home enough for now — life a few blocks from the wild ocean, miles and miles from the Mainland.
Soon, I’ll either know I’m home, or that my journey to find Home will be continuing indefinitely.
But maybe, just maybe, the ferry ride home, as the boat sails through BC’s incredible “Active Pass,”  a lightness will find me, a sense of calm will settle upon me, and I’ll just know.
Maybe. (I hope so.)

In Praise of Pink Slips

What a difference a day makes. 24 hours ago, I was sitting there sullenly at my desk, kind of loathing my existence. Today, I’ve got a paid day off, and tomorrow I return to the only job I’ve ever known that made me feel like I was part of a family.
It has been 12-13 years since I had a job with an asshole employer. This was the first time since that I’d had an employer that I felt was, well, unfair. I’m not going into specifics. It is what it is, and I have too developed a readership to go slagging anyone.
But let’s face it, not everyone knows how to manage. There are people who have such great personalities that they get overlooked for how they sometimes treat others, and they can be hell to work for.
I’m a big believer in learning from life as it happens. You can just dismiss things and say “shit happens,” or you can ask “why does shit happen?” Everything I ever needed to know I learned from Philosophy 101. Why?
For me it makes life so much better when I assign value to all the things that go down in my life. For every failure, I try to learn something. And whether I want to accept it or not, I was fired. I failed in some capacity, and while I consider myself fortunate to have been uninvited from that particular party, there’s a part of me that knows what rejection feels like again.
Do you ever sit back in your comfy arm chair, watching some talk show, on which is some woman telling of all the abuse she endured through her many years of marriage, and sit there, thinking, “Jesus, honey! Why didn’t you leave?! At what point do you finally clue the fuck in and say, ‘Gee, I think this might be a bad situation?’ Fuck!”
Yet how many of us work every day in jobs we hate? Jobs where you know it’s just a paycheque, baby? How many of us tolerate rude, belligerent employers who don’t know how to sit the fuck down and trust us to do the jobs we’re supposed to be hired to do? It’s psychological abuse, really, when you work in a situation like that. But because they sign our paycheques and keep the roofs above our heads, we somehow feel like they’ve got permission to treat us like they do.
And I don’t give a fuck what kind of job it is, what kind of pressure it is, it’s not too goddamned much to ask that employees everywhere get treated in a reasonably professional manner. I’m not so sure that’s how I was treated of late. Two people there were good, though. Pity about the unbalance.
So, uninvited from the party, I have to tell you that today’s the first time since about… February of this year that I’ve woken up without this palpable fear of whether all the bills are going to be paid and whether I’m gonna have my integrity intact at the end of the day. In the spring I was just financially insecure. Of late, I was underpaid and treated somewhat questionably. Different scenarios, but similar results.
I feel like a fucking mammoth weight has come off my shoulders, is what I’m trying to say. And I’m also trying to suggest that, if you’re one of those people working a job you hate, you really need to start asking yourself if the cost benefit ratio of going through THAT every single day is worth it. I mean, shit. I feel like I’ve just broken the water’s surface and am finally breathing again. I had no idea those many months were taking the toll they’ve now so obviously been taking.
I always said I was lucky to never have really had to work in a bad situation. Now I have. I’m one of those freaks that likes having difficult experiences because then I always grow. It’s my choice to gain from the situation, ain’t it? So I’m having a good day. Friday’s coming and so’s that 33rd birthday. Older? Wiser? Fucking right I am.
I wouldn’t have had the guts to quit without another job to go to. Getting fired was the only way that situation was gonna get resolved, unless one of the headhunter positions worked out. So my perfect record gets smeared. Whatever. I’m glad I’m moving on to potentially better times.
It’s one of those times where you, the reader, gets to sit back and ponder your own life’s satisfaction. Is it really going the way you want? Is it worth it to keep compromising? Think about it. Then remember one of my favourite sayings: Life’s too fucking short.
Hallelujah. I got fired. Uninvited. Ha. And look, it’s sunny out. Go fuckin’ figger.

Good news! I got fired!

Heh. Yep, you read right. I’m happy I just got fired.
I hated the job, or more accurately, one of the bosses. Worse yet: It sucked the will to write right out of me.
Putting words on a screen’s pretty fucking easy most days and I can do it in my sleep, but the GOOD writing, well, that comes from places that machines can’t mine. When the mix is off, it’s really, really difficult to get things gelling again. And, honestly, something about that job just killed my creativity.
And, being such an affable and good chick as I am, the folks I worked the last six years for are taking me back without even thinking twice. Not permanently, but “for a while” at the very least, and “for a while” is what I need.
And the moral of this story, boys and girls, is that when adversity happens, don’t think about the fucking adversity. Think about overcoming it. Within 10 minutes I went from losing a job to getting another one, in essence, and that comes from acting, not fretting.
I’m a happy camper. I lost a job I hated. I’m going back to one that had me, for some weird reason, writing better than I’ve ever written before. Methinks I’ve come out ahead.
But the good news for you is, soon I’ll be back to writing well. Don’t think I don’t know this blog’s been off-kilter for some time. I know it all too well. I already have a couple fun things planned for postings.
I’d kill to hear “Ding, dong, the witch is dead” right now, ‘cos it sums up how I’m feeling pretty nicely.