Today marks the four year anniversary of the day I got on a plane and moved from the city I had lived in my entire life. I moved almost 2900km to the east from Calgary, where I had never lived more than about 20 minutes from a family member, to Ottawa- where I knew one person (and he had just moved here in August). I think it was the scariest thing I had ever done, and yet with the naive optimism of a 25 year old, I just kind of figured everything would work out just fine.
So there I was, leaving everyone I knew to go somewhere strange (I hadn't even visited), and I didn't even have a job...I remember dropping off my sister at school that day and being kind of relieved that our "see you at Christmas" was happening there instead of in a crowded airport. I had coffee with my dad, a very pregnant sister in law, a hyper 2 year old (who was the only Lobbster kid born at that time) and my brother in law at the airport. It felt really surreal sitting there at the airport Starbucks knowing that this wouldn't be "home" anymore. I said my goodbyes, headed through security with my latte (oh the days before the liquid ban) and thought something along the lines of "here goes nothing". Jordan met me at the airport in Ottawa and there started our new Ottawa adventure.
My first day in Ottawa was hot and sticky. It was unseasonably warm and I couldn't believe how humid it was- but I got to check out the canal and did a little walking downtown. My first post in Ottawa was short and sweet about some things I had noticed so far: 1st post as an Ottawan.
I was surprised to see that milk still came in bags here, grossed out that I might see a rat, shocked that j-walking was the norm (oh, I learned how to do it with the best of them), and was entertained by random daytime parades. And we never did repaint...
The last four years have been eventful:
Jordan's first trip to Quebec (clearly a sign of things to come)
My first Sens game, getting used to life without a car, job interviews, the debut and many returns of the ghetto tree:
my first experience with freezing rain, my first day at my job, getting married:
crazy ass downtown people, the discovery of the rib cook off (oooh man have we enjoyed that one), the never ending battle with humidity, my "start to run" project, first races:
(kind of crazy that I left Calgary kind of "doughy" and out of shape...now I can run half marathons and Jordan qualified for Boston!)
Jack Layton close calls, finally a Jack Layton meeting:
Trips to Vermont, to Paris, to San Francisco:
Lots has happened both in our lives and in everyone's life. We've moved, Jordan started and has all but completed his PhD (he just has to defend), he got a job as a professor, two nephews have been born, my sister finished university, got a "real job", met a boyfriend, got in engaged and bought a condo...both of my parents have retired. My grandmother died, my cousin had a baby, friends have gotten married, friends have bought houses...life has just marched along. I have friends who have moved away and then back to Calgary after seeing the world. As much as 4 years seems like so little time, it is also an eternity in your 20s.
As I said before, I left Calgary 4 years ago today (and actually, as I write this, practically 4 years to the minute) with the naive certainty that things would just work out- and they have. I guess it wasn't such a naive thought after all.