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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Heartfelt Goodbye to Vancouver

In my final moments before leaving Vancouver, as I was packing the last of my things in my collective house, a weird feeling came over me. It was a sort of gloomy anticipation, and I couldn't shake it. I knew then, that I would be sad to leave.

About an hour later, when my car was packed with all my worldly possessions and ready to go, the housemates all gathered around the front door of the house. My lips quivered, and I couldn't muster any words. A few tears escaped, and I choked, trying to hold more back, as I gave Fraser a big hug. Next came Taylor, Yasmim, Pete, Annik, Louis and, finally, Tyler.
Shiny crotch, Fraser!
Despite all that the house has been through, by the end of my time there, we felt like a family, and it was difficult to leave them behind. Over the 5 months since it started (I was there on day 1), one person left, and two others were forced out, due to poor fit and unnecessary drama. The bad apples were replaced by fresh energetic faces and, slowly, the house found new harmony.
Dumpster diving is twice the fun with more people!
By the final month, while some tension still hung in the air, the house became a safe and happy place. People were sharing food and laughs, watching movies and hanging out together. And in the final weeks, it was a magical time. I proved myself as a glue guy in our collective house. What I gave to the house, I received in kind. I brewed beer, ginger ale and kombucha, made sauerkraut and tidied with obsessive and compulsive fury. The house inspired me to creative pursuits such as learning guitar and slacklining. 
Photo credit: mushrooms
Despite the good times, the drama eventually wore on me and, due to the transient nature of the house, I felt ready to move on. Forces outside our four walls played a part in my decision. I love Vancouver, and it appealed boldly to my conscience to stay. It's a fun and interesting place, and I made some good friends outside the house. The mountains along the north shore constantly took my breath away. Vancouver is certainly one of a kind.

But the travails of the big city wore me down. The endless job opportunities seemed like a mirage, as few employers ever replied to my applications. Soaring house and rent prices were unrealistic and oppressive. The rain was relentless and, otherwise, grey skies depressing. As a saving grace, my friend's friend, my boss, and I developed a good working relationship. But we both knew it was unsustainable as a primary income and, thus, a temporary situation.

Despite staying only 5 months, it was a very meaningful time, and just another part of my journey and growth towards becoming a complete human being.
My Vancouver family.

Yet, as the door closes on Vancouver, a multitude of doors are opening before me as Spring solstice (and my birthday) peaks around the corner, and I, along with the pristine Canadian forests and mountains, awake from our slumber. Adventure awaits!

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