Vancouver sure is idyllic this time of year. Out here at Jericho beach the mountains still have enough snow on them to maintain majesty (not that that will ever change), the waters silent and still as the tankers drift. The sky finally matches the water, while the great glass assemblage that is Vancouver glitters across the bay. Kids are making a game of soccer from a beach ball and stick posts, or are carrying the punch buckets to the plastic sand chairs. My friends are making a bucket list of summer activities, and I can’t stop smiling.
Today is the ticker breaker. This time last year I was on a plane back to Winnipeg, going from lotus land to the frozen swamp, immediately recruited by Dad to shovel the back snow that was in danger of seeping into our basement. I’m wading into uncharted waters. I’m in a new house soon to be another house; I don’t have a job and there’s no indication I’m getting any closer; I miss my family as I’m getting to near record times of being away from them; mood swings keep my heart going. But it’s exhilarating. I’ve always planned by life in these four month stints where everything is supposed to work out in its predictable fashion: get the grades in the year, make the money in the summer. And then what– not being able to find a job for two months last year. While there was good things to come of a summer finishing my book and reading David Foster Wallace, the more time I spent in that house under that snow, the more I sank into a swamp of aimlessness. What was supposed to be a nice way of saving money and seeing the family became an excellent way of not getting experience and not feeling too great about yourself when your resume is passed by every employer who sees you’ll be gone by August.
It might be as hard to get a job in Vancouver as it was in Winnipeg: maybe the moment they see I have no relevant experience they’ll still pass me by. But then again, it’s warm enough to already have gained a bit of a tan; the waves force and form a rhythm to my typing. I’m in line for a journalism internship that could set me forward a good year or two in experience, and I should get into that history course I’ve wanted to take for at least a year. That’s not money– that’s not bread on the table– but it is experiences, a helluva lot more than sitting on a couch and crying over the Walking Dead video game.
Today I took the bus to the airport, accompanying my friend who was visiting her family for two weeks in Calgary. May 1st last year, we took the same bus– she still going home, but me going home with her. This time, I took the bus back alone, all of Vancouver changed: summer is here, and all the cars and all the people seemed changed, seemed more vibrant– the children sliding off playstructures, the yuppies with their dogs in the purses. This is real Vancouver; this is new Vancouver.
You never realize you’ve changed. Change drifts by you and just decides to shift everything around you. It’s not until after that you realize you’d never be this brave last year, never have it this together or this confident when everything’s turned liquid. Everything’s happening in a new city that’s still the city I came to three years ago. But then again, maybe it’s all just me.
Just keep swimming.