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.
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.
2012 was full of many splendid things. I will try and cover them as briefly and coherently as possible. Looking back at 2011, I wrote:
It’s that time of year where I write you about my semester and how everything went and apologize for not writing more because things got in the way and blah blah blah.
I plan on doing very little/none of that. Nothing really that interesting is happening. I go home for Christmas on Sunday, stay for a while and come back and start school again. Yay.
I feel like I can summarize my entire semester into one sentence: “Oh you know.”
The terrible thing is that the only thing that has really changed is location. This semester has been a little different and quite a bit more exciting as I’ve been at the Banff Centre doing a Work Study in Audio Engineering and is actually pretty exciting work to be doing. When we’re not doing pretty mindless work. It’s been an amazing experience so far, but we haven’t had much time to do any traditional learning. It’s been a lot of learning by doing, which can be good, but sometimes it’s very tiring and you don’t pick up nearly as much as you could have. I still reply with “Oh you know” and few people have yet to call me on it.
In 2010, I complained about Christmas music:
Tis’ the Season! To be jolly!
But unforunately for everyone else, I am not. I’m not a huge fan of Christmas, it’s sorta become a meh holiday. But what really pisses me off is Christmas Music.
And while I still don’t like Christmas Music. I’ll be writing again my top picks of 2012, much like my top picks of 2011 that I did in January of this year. This year I’ve worked with a lot of great musicians, at Banff and beyond and it’ll all be coming around for me to share with you. Eventually.
December 2009? Geez I’ve had this blog for a long time. As a matter of fact, this will be my 500th post. I think that’s why I’ve been saving it for a while. Don’t wanna waste a milestone like this on a Calvin and Hobbes background. Looks like 2009 is when I started using Twitter more. Who woulda thought almost 7000 tweets and 300 followers later I’d still be at it.
2009 was an interesting year. I was dating and happy and living with people I liked and not doing so well and school, but still enjoying life pretty well. Granted I felt like I didn’t wanna go back to Calgary and Victoria had become home. I’m not sure how I feel about that now, but I will address that later.
So here I am. I started this blog just over 3 years ago. And 500 posts later I’ve become someone completely different. I wrote once about how you change once every four years and how much I had changed from who I was in the 9th grade, and the 12th grade. And I wonder already how much I’ve changed since I wrote that post a year ago. 2012 was a big growth year for me. I ended my 3 year long term relationship. I finished my degree. I got into a program I had dreamed of forever and moved to Banff. I don’t think I’ve had that many life events in such a short time.
What else has happened….
I got a tattoo.
I moved. Again. I lived on my own for the first time. I loved it.
I stopped writing in my blog as much. Maybe I was dealing with the break up, and figuring myself out. Maybe I was too busy. But that’s what happened.
I met someone new.
We did a road trip. And then long distance. Ups and downs.
In short, 2012 was a stressful year, a productive year, and a year of growth.
I don’t know what else there is to remind you of. If you’re reading this, you probably know what all has gone on in my life anyways. 2012 is yet to be over. And I think I’ve got lots more to say. So stay tuned for some more posts shortly. I hope.
As always, I feel I have to leave you with a piece of music to listen to while you read my dreary bullshit. Today’s choice is:
Remember Me as a Time of Day – Explosions in the Sky