I’ve been living in Vancouver for about four months now, and I’ve been experiencing all of the usual Moving to a New Place things: excitement, loneliness, expansiveness, depression, and at weird times, normalcy. But the last couple weeks have been pretty good, and I thought I’d share a few things that made it so!
- I moved into my own apartment! I have my own place, and I LOVE IT. I moved into my coworkers’ old place, so I had three months to visit and mentally map out what I needed to buy and how I wanted to arrange things. That helped me space out some big purchases (the couch that Luciana and Giorgos own, the chair that all my Greek cat friends own, all of my possessions are sentimental, etc) before finding out that my awesome coworker/family gave me several of the pricey-but-not-personal things like a TV, refrigerator, kitchen supplies, bed, and dining room table.
GUYS. This is the first time in 30 years that I have furnished my own place with actual furniture that did not come from a second-hand store. When I was in Peoria in the summer of 2017, I started to feel a creeping Old Person desire for security and possessions and a HOME. And I have one now! I LOVE IT. It’s decorated with just the right balance of “I bought those pillow covers in Cappadocia” and “Why yes, there IS a color scheme.”
- I’m once more very into the World Cup! Now that I’ve got my own place with my own television, I’ve been watching every game since the quarter finals. This built to a very fun moment when I invited Abi, my English coworker, and her husband over to mine to watch the England/Croatia game. This was especially monumental because, as I am no longer living in a safe house, I could invite a man into my home! England lost, but I have FRIENDS, so it was a win for me.
- My one true goal for living in Vancouver was accomplished: I joined a Dungeons and Dragons group! I politely yelled my desire into a Meetup online, found some other women who were interested in a beginner’s group, and after waiting MONTHS with only one meeting over drinks to establish we aren’t creeps, we FINALLY PLAYED. I’m over the moon about this. It was everything I wanted. I played as a criminal halfling who is loyal to no one but her friends (“Sounds like you were playing by our street life” said one participant when I told her. “Oh my God, I WAS,” I said). The DM had a similar sense of humor as me, so she let me pick up snake eggs and put them in potions while my quest-mates were rolling their eyes because we had a poisoned victim to save. However, I won them over with Rory and wine, so everyone left four hours later very happy and willing to play again. I hope very much this becomes a regular occurrence!!
- I started doing Story Times at program. We’ve realized that our women, while very good at caring for their children, don’t really know how to play with them (since they mostly did not have a childhood that included play themselves). Somehow it took me weeks of conversations about finding a volunteer to teach them how to sing with their kids before I remembered, “I was a children’s librarian for two years.” So now on Friday afternoons I bring a bunch of books from the library, print out sheets with songs and rhymes, and we all sit in a circle and I read stories (that put one participant to sleep because “Your voice is just so peaceful”) and we sing songs, and one baby in particular leans forward and looks at me with wondering eyes. I REALLY enjoyed it, and I’m delighted to find one more way in which I can use my past experiences to strengthen my present.
Those are some of the highlights from my life right now! It’s still overwhelming, and I still get lonely for a bunch of people, but this week at least, I felt really happy.