This song came on my iPod today as I was wandering around Victoria – I saw Shakey Graves play this at the Banff Centre a few weeks ago. I’m here for a week for a music festival and then onto Vancouver next week for a business vacation. This is my first venture in search of work and it’s long overdue. I’ve felt that Calgary isn’t the right place for me and I’m in the process of finding my next home. Everyone I’ve talked to has said that they got their job by being in the right place at the right time, and I figure this is putting myself in the right place.
For the time being, Victoria is little vacation and visiting and planning before the big stop of Vancouver. It’s quite weird being back here. Much like every time I return to a place I’ve lived a significant portion of my life, I have an existential crisis about my sense of place. I spent four years here and made a lot of memories with a lot of people. And finally coming back to that – every time I visit or pass these places, I revisit those memories. Some of them I look back on very fondly, some are painful to remember.
This song kinda stuck with me because of the title/chorus “Built to Roam.” As I spent a month and a half earlier this summer wandering through Europe, and now this trip – I wonder if I’m one of those people who is built to roam. And my immediate reaction was that I’m not. I enjoy stability and routine. I do enjoy the idea of travelling and visiting new places and exploring – so when I get to Vancouver where everything is new – maybe I’ll feel better about this all. But for now – I haven’t really enjoyed roaming Victoria.
Victoria is probably going to be the city that I remember most for giving my heart and growing up. I think I learnt a lot about myself and about others while I was here. I look back on my friendships and relationships and know that the people I met were crucial in forming who I am today.
For instance, there’s the CrackDonald’s here that I spent many a drunk night getting french fries. Or the square where I spent last years festival. The bus stop in front of the RBC where I probably spent a good 12 hours cumulatively waiting. Even going to the basement of the music building is weird when you don’t see your old friends sitting at their computers frantically trying to do a theory assignment or write some code. You could probably point to a different building on just about every street and I’d have a memory associated with it and a person.
As always, it’s weird coming back to where you were previously. At the university it feels like everything’s the same except for the cast – everyone else is younger and better looking, and I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser. But I can tell I’ve moved on from here too – coming back doesn’t feel like the home it used to be. So that just means time for bigger and better things!
(Preface – I started writing this in January while in Banff and never finished until now)
When telling a story about her step-father, one of the directors I’ve been working with recently quoted him saying; “People only know you as well as you let them.” For some reason, this stuck with me - clearly it did as I remembered it and am now writing a blog about it.
It wasn’t until a few days ago when someone was talking about their relationship problems, and mentioned that he’d like to be more like me and stay out of everyone’s drama. And I wondered why it was that I’m staying out of everyone’s drama.
Usually I love knowing about everyone’s shit and who’s banging who and what have you. But for some reason since being here I haven’t really cared that much. I don’t know if it’s because I’m too busy to care, or it’s just that I figure that I don’t need to let the people here get to know me that well.
And it’s probably a combination of the first which is a by-product of the second. I know for me that I’m pretty tough to crack and untrusting when it comes to friends. Part of it is the realist/pessimistic side of me that expects that people that I meet to not be worth the time and effort that it takes to get to know someone. And since I’m unable to control other people – I can’t always get what I want. This results in me having low expectations for others in order to not get emotionally hurt.
Sharing my life is an interesting thing for me. Here (on my blog) I am more than willing to express myself and write where anyone can see it – and apparently do. But as I’ve said previously, if someone asks me about my life – I’m more likely to say “Oh you know” than “Well, actually…” mostly because I feel that the people asking don’t really care and are just doing so to be polite.
I’ve learned in Poland when someone asks “How are you?”, they’re really asking, and willing to sit and hear what you have to say. As Canadians, we’re far more self-centred and are waiting for our turn to talk as opposed to listening, being too polite to ignore asking the obvious questions.
I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this. I don’t think I’m going to change who I am and change my expectations of people, I like having different people know different levels of my life – it keeps me sane and let’s me react to people’s actions accordingly. So for now, this will remain as a rant and nothing else.
Sadly, this is the only version of this song I could find. If you do enjoy Matthew Good, I suggest you check out his Vancouver album which contains the studio recording of this tune – “The Boy Who Could Explode.”
In other news, Hello to the four people who read my blog! It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything and I really have no good excuse as to why I stopped posting. I guess I got busy and I stopped caring about sharing things I found interesting with people on the internet? So, with this return – and to mark the 4th year of keeping this blog (holy shit it’s actually been four years) – I’ve changed up the layout! So if your new to the blog, welcome, this is what it’s always looked like – if you’ve been around for a while – HOLY COW CHANGE.
Last time we checked, I was still at the Banff Centre of the Arts doing work I loved, in a relationship with someone I loved, in a place with people I was starting to love. Pretty much all was hunky-dory and I was happy. I was still struggling with my identity, making steps towards personal growth, and what have you but in general I was happy. Banff was a great place for me and I am so glad I had the opportunity to go there and meet the people I did and do the things I did, but it’s the post-Banff hangover that’s leaving life seeming less spectacular than it was.
Now, I’m not sure where I am with myself. I know I said I was gonna “write more blogs, drink less, go to the gym more, etc”, and maybe it’s because I’ve done none of that that I feel weird about where I am.
I spent the month of May in Europe, finally going on the adventures I had dreamt about for years. It was nice to finally take a break from life. After going for 13 years of primary school, and then straight into 4 years of university, and then another year of what I call an internship, it was nice to have a break and not worry about anything. Europe was everything I think I could have wanted from it. I got to see so many things that I’ve been waiting pretty much my entire life to see, it was nice to cross those things off my lists (see #12 on my bucket list). I’ll probably post some photos sooner or later – if I ever get around to it.
Since Europe, I’ve moved back home, which has been interesting – to put it nicely. I’ve begun working in event production, which is essentially putting up stages and sound systems for concerts, and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I’m planning a trip to Victoria & Vancouver shortly, and hopefully Toronto and Montreal after that in November. Hoping that will lead to a more permanent job in the music industry. I’ve started to reconsider working in a studio, for more event and live sound based work. In September I’ll be back at the Rifflandia music festival assisting on stage and the like. I feel like I’d like to get more into the management side of things and work more on event planning and arrangement than the actual set up of stages and such. Regardless, it gives me a lot of good experience and cool stories about being backstage at certain shows.
Coming back to Calgary has always been somewhat a touchy subject for me. As I’ve said before, I feel like I don’t fit in here and I feel like every time I come back, the friends I left are less like they used to be. And maybe it’s me who’s changed more than they, but it might be time to let go of some of those old relationships that have gone by the wayside. I recently went to a wedding of one of my close friends and saw some people for the first time in years, which was pretty weird. I tend to be pretty distant with my friends until I feel comfortable knowing that they’re with me for the long haul, and once I’ve hit that comfortable level, I’m loyal forever. It takes a lot for me to want to cut ties with a relationship, but as I’ve learned previously, when it no longer becomes symbiotic, and the give and take is no longer there, that you’re better off without the person in your life.
So! This has been a nice uplifting return to my blog writing. My blog has kind of always been a place for me to come and rant irrationally to tens of readers who will likely talk to me about this the next time I see them. I’m not sure what else to talk about – which is weird since 6 months has gone by since the time I wrote anything. Hmm… well! What time is it that you’re waiting for?
Here are some of my favourite songs from 2012. While not necessarily released this year, this is when I discovered them. So if you’re looking for some samples of some new tunes. Enjoy.
Lemme know what you think and what you enjoyed! Add your own!
And if you’re too lazy to sit through these videos, you can go to:
You’ll get bite sized snippits of some of my favourite songs of 2012.
“Lady Adelaide” – Benjamin Gibbard – Former Lives
“I Am Europe” – Chilly Gonzales – Ivory Tower
The video of this one is pretty weird, but totally worth it.
“Home” – Gabrielle Alpin - Home EP
“Make the Money” – Macklemore - The Heist
“Don’t Move” – Phantogram - Nightlife
“Electric Pow Wow” – A Tribe Called Red - A Tribe Called Red
“Reaction” – Acres of Lions - Collections
“They Are Filled” – Bison - Quill
“Write It All Down For You” – Elliott Brood - Mountain Meadows
“First Breath After A Coma” – Explosions in the Sky - The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
“Call Me In the Afternoon” – Half Moon Run - Dark Eyes
“Take Me With You When You Go” – Jack White - Blunderbuss
“Seeing the Glass as Half Broken” – Mayor Mayor - If We Don’t Move They Can’t See Us
“Gettysburg” – Ratatat - Classics
For as long as I’ve taken an English class, I’ve hated it. I hate writing and I hate the ambiguity of opinions and thoughts in text. This is why I’ve always been drawn to math and science, there’s a concrete yes or no answer for something. It doesn’t matter what the 9 kg mass feels as it hurtles to the ground accelerating at 9.81 m/s^2, it just matters that by the time it reaches the ground, it has “x” Newtons of force.
English classes always went on and on about a sense of place. I thought this feeling they described of belonging and fitting in in an environment was a bunch of bullshit. It wasn’t until I moved away from the friends and things I called home for the second time that I begun to realize that I don’t have a sense of place anymore.
In the past 4 years, from September 2008 to September 2012, I have lived in 10 different places. It wasn’t until my last apartment that I felt like I had a sense of place. It had taken me four years to build up the relationships and enough “stuff” to feel like this place was my home and I belonged there. As luck may have it, as soon I found my place, I had to leave it.
For me, the weird part about this now, is the thought of going back. I have already done this once when I came back from University the first, second, and however many it times it was, to where I grew up. You can find in my back log my opinions and realizations of the people you thought were your friends. You come back to your old place with this sense of excitement of being back to where you belong with the people you missed greatly. And you quickly realize that they’ve moved on without you.
And why shouldn’t they? You were the one who left. You changed the equilibrium and that’s not going to magically change back when you appear for a week at a time. So for me going back to Victoria is going to be an experience.
I was recently called out for being a pessimist and having such a negative attitude about things. I countered this belief with that justification that I am a realist and that I consider the most likely response of the average human being based on past experiences and knowledge of character.
In this example, I am not expecting much from the people I have been close with over the past four years while I am visiting for a week, because I know the realities that people are busy and that some people just don’t care. I know that the people who do care will make the effort to see me. That’s what I’ve learned after doing this so much. No matter how hard you try to see everyone, the people who want to see you will come through.
So call me what you will, but until you can prove me wrong, I’ll keep going about thinking the way I do.
And thus we come back to place. Since moving, and now considering going back, I’ve realized I have no place anymore. My home in Victoria is gone, the good relationships have stayed, many have wavered, and lots of fallen away. Banff isn’t my place yet, I don’t think it will be, it’s far too temporary. Calgary’s not either. So we’ll see where I end up and how long it takes for it to be home again.