A tonne can happen in just a year, as I have just discovered living in Canada!
Its been almost a year since I left the beautiful state of Western Australia on a one way ticket to Canada. In the last 365 days I have met some of the most incredible souls, and spent most of my time skiing, ice skating, fishing, and exploring the great province of Alberta, Canada.
It began when the person I spent a huge chunk of my adult life with, shared with me that they were no longer in love with me. No longer in love with my laugh, nor my touch or my spirit. Someone I saw a future unfolding with, saw their future without me. My world fell silent, I started to decay. I thought I could fix it, bring it back to what it was, become who I thought I ought to become. Trust me folks, it did not work. Within a week of accepting what I interpreted as ‘it’s not me, it’s you’, I felt my world cracking and rapidly eroding around me. I became a lifeless shell of a human but it was not allowed to last long. Mothers. Boy can Moms manage crisis like pure Queens. My sweet and harsh mother visited me between her work contracts, and started asking too many questions about why I was being so damn emotional. I burst, and told her everything I had endured the last 6 months leading to this point. I never tell her a thing, but heartbreak tends to bring the most rational of people down to their knees. She ordered me to pick myself up, wipe those stupid tears, and pack those goddamn bags. And that is exactly what I did. I had 6 days to pack. I quit my incredible marketing job at an international company, and boarded with a one way ticket to the other side of the world.
I had nothing but doubt… but heck, I’d already lost my world as I knew it, how could it get any worse, right?
I spent 3 months finding my feet. 1 month of tackling adult hood alone- things like, grocery shopping alone & what foods do I actually not like? 1 month of finding courage to try new things, like going to the bar with a group of drop dead gorgeous gal pals, talking to cute bois and dancing in ugly outdoor sandals. My final was a month of exploration- catching the train to the city, finding shady parks and walking the trails through woods as the seasons changed. Those three months were healing, but I needed to work. I landed a gig as a Night Audit in the mountain town of Banff, Alberta.
“You’re the least qualified but the most enthusiastic so I guess you got the job” – boss man, 2016.
It feels like when you come out of a relationship you have to figure ‘you’ out again. Its exhausting and scary. Who the fuck am I? I still don’t know. The winter went on and I started finding confidence in myself. I made some friends, a couple of kindred spirits, and was able to giggle for the first time in many years. I missed friends. Companions. People that were brutally honest and kept things adorably real. Never let these type of people slip from your life. They are the gemstones of your being, regardless of where you roam, these souls will have your best interests at heart, more so than any romantic partner could ever give you.
The winter came, I fell in love as the snow fell. In love with skiing. It became my universe. I would work 11pm til 7am, race home and throw on my gear, then waddle down the ice path to the bus that would whisk me into the mountains. I would ski all morning, mostly solo, people tend to be hungover every goddamn day in the mountains. At 1pm I would make my way to the bar to see my pal Alex and taste whatever juicy shot/s he decided I needed, before blindly finding my way back to town and into bed. Eat Work Ski Sleep Repeat. Skiing is freedom. Its the ability to carve your lines, move til your muscles shake, freeze your teeth from smiling as you whizz down hills and through trees and eat shit over and over again. Its a feeling hard to describe, but one of pure undiluted joy. If it were a juice, it would be called “Joy: 200% Concentrate !consume with caution!” and you would be warned not to feed it to children or those of unsound mind.
And so, the seasons changed, I moved to the next town called Canmore, purchased a shitty car, and worked 10-13 hours a day. I lived in temporary accommodation and rode my bike into stationary sign posts at night. (ok that was just that one time, and it hurt.) I wore myself out. 4 months of work, sleep, work. I just wanted to ski goddamnit.
That’s when I got the call. “You should come and make some real money.” It was the carrot dangled before my eyes. I guess you could say I spend a lot of time on indecision, so much so, that sometimes, just sometimes, I jump and yell, “yep thatll do lets do that sure thing why not what the heck lock it in Eddy” and I had 10 days before my flight back to the land down under.