Hello, world. I’ve been a shitty blogger lately.
I know you’re not supposed to start off a blog post with an apology, but here’s an apology. I’ve been a horrendous blogger. Who drops thousands of dollars on a website redesign and then completely screws off, amiright?
Life has been bit of a shitstorm lately, and honestly, I haven’t figured out how to sort it all out yet. But the other day I had the realization that I’ve been living back in Canada for almost a year, and it felt like a solid punch in the gut.
When I left for Berlin back in 2015, I had no intention whatsoever of returning to Newfoundland anytime in the coming years.
When I moved back to Newfoundland last July, I had no intention of sticking around for more than a few months before I could move back to Berlin.
So how did I come to be here, nearly 12 months later, even more settled into St. John’s than I ever was before I became an expat?
The most obvious answer is this: I fucked up so bad financially in Berlin, you guys. I spent money like it was water. I drained my bank account, maxed out my credit cards, and pretended like I was Ivanka Trump throwing out daddy’s money until the cows came home. I acknowledge all of these mistakes. I own them.
I do not, however, regret them.
Because dudes, did I ever live. Sunset Italian evenings with glasses of wines; hanging out in Berlin parks; walking 750-kilometres across the entirety of Spain; quick jaunts to visit old friends in Ireland; yacht sailing in the Mediterranean. It was all so, so, so, good.
And yeah I do miss it. A lot. I can’t think about travel without feeling pained. But I was never leading a sustainable lifestyle.
Sometimes I sit back and think about the weird domino-effect of decisions and how they lead you to strange places. When I applied for the communications position with the film festival back in September, it was a shot in the dark. I needed the income, and the position seemed great for me. I didn’t know much about film, but my boss took a chance on me and it worked out. I absolutely love my job. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m contributing something truly meaningful. I’m in no hurry to leave it. Being a part of the arts community in Newfoundland has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Money isn’t everything, obvs. But now that I have a respectable income and I’m working side gigs on the regular, I have a sweet savings built up, and some peace of mind that just wasn’t there before. I went hungry last year, you guys. Because I’m a dumb fucker.
And that’s the funny thing too–it’s like the minute I decided to stop freelancing full-time, all the good gigs came in. Take a look at my sexy media page. In less than seven months I’ve written for CBC Arts (regularly), CBC NL, BBC Travel, The Independent, Refinery 29. Where were these jobs when I was struggling to make ends meet last year?
I do not miss it.
So, going with the domino effect, I realize I do harp on Berlin a lot. But this time around in St. John’s, I feel oddly comfortable. Bizarrely comfortable. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I decided to stop taking the birth control pill about 16 months ago–I’m a whole different person. Can I attribute this newfound contentment to the removal of hormones, or am I just different?
I think I’m different. I look at Newfoundland with new eyes. I see the value in routine and steady income. I have a different set of friends here this time around. I still have the old ones, but there’s no shortage of people to call up on a Friday afternoon for a deck beer somewhere on Water Street.
My one real regret–and this is lame, considering–is that I haven’t been able to keep up with this website at all. And I hate most of the content I’ve been pushing lately. I truly do. Do you know how freaking hard it is to write and be relevant when you’re not travelling, ever, and you work 60 hours a week? I don’t do anything interesting like pottery or gardening, although that seems to be the general progression in one’s life these days.
But I’m sorry for that. I really hope I haven’t lost much of my true readership. I will do better. I promise.
Right now, I’m unable to travel for some time. I’ve done two trips this year, to Jamaica and Ireland. And while those were amazing experiences, they were entirely wedding-focused and so I can’t exactly say I travelled much. If you get my drift.
I’ve been really vague with my Berlin friends who keep asking when I’m coming back. Sometimes I think I’m almost avoiding them–the conversations around Berlin make me emotional. I think about that city all the time. I’m crying now just writing this. I often think what would happen if I did move back. Would it be the same? Would I enjoy living in a different apartment? (I so loved that apartment.) Would I be more involved in the community? (Not just beer gardens.)
I hope that those friends I made in Germany know that we’ve got a bond I’ll never ignore. They’re as good to me as the friends I grew up with. I didn’t intend to be back in Canada for so long, and some day sooner rather than later, I’ll be back in Berlin.
I’m turning 31 next month, beotches. I may be going blind and I’m pretty sure I’m developing carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist, but praise jesus, I’m still young!