Hello, world. Iâ€™ve been a shitty blogger lately.
I know youâ€™re not supposed to start off a blog post with an apology, but hereâ€™s an apology. Iâ€™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 havenâ€™t figured out how to sort it all out yet. But the other day I had the realization that Iâ€™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. Johnâ€™s than I ever was before I became an expat?
The most obvious answerÂ 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 daddyâ€™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 canâ€™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 didnâ€™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 Iâ€™m contributing something truly meaningful. Iâ€™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 isnâ€™t everything, obvs. But now that I have a respectable income and Iâ€™m working side gigs on the regular, I have a sweet savings built up, and some peace of mind that just wasnâ€™t there before. I went hungry last year, you guys. Because Iâ€™m a dumb fucker.
And thatâ€™s the funny thing too–itâ€™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 Iâ€™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. Johnâ€™s, I feel oddly comfortable. Bizarrely comfortable. Sometimes I wonder if itâ€™s because I decided to stop taking the birth control pill about 16 months ago–Iâ€™m a whole different person. Can I attribute this newfound contentment to the removal of hormones, or am I just different?
I think Iâ€™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 thereâ€™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 havenâ€™t been able to keep up with this website at all. And I hate most of the content Iâ€™ve been pushing lately. I truly do. Do you know how freaking hard it is to write and be relevant when youâ€™re not travelling, ever, and you work 60 hours a week? I donâ€™t do anything interesting like pottery or gardening, although that seems to be the general progression in oneâ€™s life these days.
But Iâ€™m sorry for that. I really hope I havenâ€™t lost much of my true readership. I will do better. I promise.
Right now, Iâ€™m unable to travel for some time. Iâ€™ve done two trips this year, to Jamaica and Ireland. And while those were amazing experiences, they were entirely wedding-focused and so I canâ€™t exactly say I travelled much. If you get my drift.
Iâ€™ve been really vague with my Berlin friends who keep asking when Iâ€™m coming back. Sometimes I think Iâ€™m almost avoiding them–the conversations around Berlin make me emotional. I think about that city all the time. Iâ€™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 weâ€™ve got a bond Iâ€™ll never ignore. Theyâ€™re as good to me as the friends I grew up with. I didnâ€™t intend to be back in Canada for so long, and some day sooner rather than later, I’ll be back in Berlin.
Iâ€™m turning 31 next month, beotches. I may be going blind and Iâ€™m pretty sure Iâ€™m developing carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist, but praise jesus, Iâ€™m still young!