When I did my internships, I had a very simple plan: Anywhere But Calgary. I took the same approach with my first job, and while I didn’t end up nearly as far away as I could have (I was aiming for the Maritimes, but it seems they’re kind of protective about giving their jobs to people from the West, considering the economy), six hours of driving still basically equates to one full day of travel. I can and have done it, but unlike living in Edmonton, it’s not so easy to hop on the highway after work and still get home to Calgary that night.
I know that I eventually want to go back to Edmonton. Part of it I realize, has very much to do with the area in Edmonton that I lived (university area, Garneau), because D. lived on the west end at the same time and every time I’d phone her to say “Hey, come with me to this tonight,” or send her a text to tell her about a cool event I’d heard about, usually her invariable response was “How do you know about that?” Even now, she says that Edmonton is a boring city.
I love it. The best that I can do right now is follow most of the events on Twitter, but there is always stuff that I’m finding out about that I want to make a point of doing next time I’m in town. That doesn’t happen with Calgary. Have I just not given Calgary a fair chance? On Twitter, I follow a lot more Edmonton- and northern-based people rather than Calgary-based, so it’s entirely possible that it’s just not on my radar.
I have come to terms with the fact that I don’t think I’m ever going to be up-to-date with the Unknown Studio podcasts, but I am determined to listen to all the back episodes before I start listening to the current ones. One that I was listening to last night had this quote from Cary Williams (episode 12): “That’s typical Edmonton — you meet a few people and that spirals into other people and other organizations…” It’s true and that’s part of the reason I love it. According to the Social Media Breakfast held on Friday (that I followed through Twitter) Edmonton is one of the most active Canadian cities on Twitter. I’ve really noticed this in that everyone in my social media circles in Edmonton seems to overlap, one way or another, but also branches out into separate things, and I think that is so, so cool.
My parents want me to eventually (and by eventually, I mean soon) come back to Calgary. I have the feeling that they think, they let me go for a year, now that I’ve had a chance to figure out what I do and don’t like, I should be able to apply that to Calgary and just be happy. Based on certain things that have happened in my life over the past year, I know there is a lot to be said for being somewhat close to home, and I am extremely glad I’m not in the Maritimes, because going home on a moment’s notice wouldn’t have been possible. I also know that it is extremely likely the same thing will happen in the next few years, which is why it is a lot harder for me to even consider working out of somewhere such as Regina or Vancouver anymore.
I joke that while Edmonton is closer, it’s still too far for my mom to drop by unannounced for dinner. The last time they proposed that I come back to Calgary, they even addressed that, noting that they’ll become snowbirds shortly and won’t even be in the city. Here’s the thing though: when I’m living six hours away, they still manage to drive me up the wall, because they want to know why I’m not answering my phone (I’m in the middle of something, or I’ve walked away from it), or, if I do answer the phone, half the time she has nothing to say to me anyways. So we sit on the phone and listen to each other breathe. Granted, this could be because I live six hours away — if I were across the city, the novelty might wear off faster. However, right now, I’m still going to stick to my ABCs.