Moving Part 2 & Making Due

As far back as I can remember, September has alway signified a new start more than New Year’s Day. Every single September, since I was four years old going to kindergarten, I’ve started a new year of school, with new classmates, new subjects to learn and, of course, new clothes.

This September, I’m not going back to school, and it’s freaking me out. A lot. I went to Walmart last week to buy some items for the house and upon nearly being tackled by the mother of a college student in the storage aisle, realized that I was no longer one of them. My life as a student is over. Or at least suspended.

This September, I still find myself in the midst of a few changes, the biggest one being that I moved again. On Wednesday the 31st of August, I waved goodbye to my College Street apartment and hello to my new place further west in Toronto.

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The old place.

 

With the help of a U-Haul van I named Byron, I moved all of my things over the course of the morning. By the end of it all, I was sweaty and my arms were sore. The next day I couldn’t lift anything higher than shoulder height, which was simultaneously hilarious and sad.

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The new place, in the midst of battle.

It’s been five days, and I haven’t unpacked everything. Not gonna lie, I’ve also just put off properly moving in because I don’t even have everything here. Most of my fall/winter wardrobe is still hanging out in Kingston, and since we’re heading into that time of year, somehow I need to get that down here ASAP.

But this is where I am: half-moved in, re-adjusting to a new neighbourhood, again, and trying to get one day off from work so I can bring the rest of my crap down.

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Slightly moved in.

Aside from my ~very glamorous~ magazine gig, I have an actual paying job at an ice cream shop. It’s pretty thankless work, as most positions in the service industry are, but it’s work, and that can be pretty hard to come by these days.

I’ve had a few jobs in the service industry, mostly in retail, and every time I served those who work the 9-5s, those with pensions and stable paycheques and long weekends off I would look at them in awe. Those who bask in everything the light touches. In my mind, that was always the best place to be, though I know those jobs aren’t without their own problems.

Before, I felt I had an excuse because I was still in school, but now having graduated, I immediately felt the pressure to land a proper, grown-up job. It’s not that easy, of course. I studied journalism in school. My nepotism game is weak, so it’s either get really lucky or make your own job.

After graduation, I immediately began comparing myself to the most successful graduates from my year. It was inevitable, because those are the only people you see anything from on Facebook, other than every freakin’ person who’s travelling to Iceland lately. I felt inadequate. I felt like a failure, like I didn’t prepare myself while I was in school for the time after it. I didn’t do enough internships. I didn’t network enough. These thoughts constantly swirled in my head and have made me apply to communications jobs with an alarming fervour.

This is the reality: life after graduation is hard. It’s hard to get a job (if you’re in arts anyway, I couldn’t tell you about the science or engineering fields). It’s even harder to get a job you really like. It’s hard to make friends when you live in a different city than where you went to school. It’s hard to find an apartment. And it’s hard to feel like you need to defend your current situation to anyone who asks, “What is it that you do?” (The truth is you don’t. You really don’t.)

Learning not to compare yourself to others is a lifelong task. The proverbial Jonses, in whatever form they plague you in, are always just visible in your peripheral. What needs to be realized is we’re all moving at different paces. We’re all a bunch of monkeys trying our best in this life.

This is only the fourth month I’ve been outside of school. As much as I would like to waltz into my dream job, it won’t happen. I haven’t been in the job-hunting game for long. You need to work hard and do your time working crappy jobs until you make it. The most reassuring thing to hear is that, at the end of it all, you will make it, but I can’t guarantee that for myself. I have no idea what’ll happen in the next year, even in the next few months, but until then I need to keep sending out desperate cover letters and working the service industry like a goddam pro.

 

Move On Up

The first place I can remember really wanting to move to was New York City. Chalk it up to a Sex and the City obsession. I still curse Carrie Bradshaw for giving me ill-advised career and apartment fantasies. (A writer can afford that apartment in Manhattan? I weep.)

Next, I became obsessed with British stuff. This coincides nicely with my introduction to One Direction, and my subsequent shameful yet passionate stint as a fangirl. Because of my parents, I grew up with a steady diet of British film and television. I worship at the altar of BBC Drama. When I was 19, I visited London, England with two friends of mine. I had a wonderfully rose-coloured experience where we stayed with my friend’s parents, in their disgustingly beautiful apartment in Sloane Square. Apparently J.K. Rowling lived down the road. So, I didn’t experience the reality of living, or even staying, in London, but I knew after that trip I wanted to live there. I’m not completely oblivious. I know it’s one of the most expensive cities in Europe to reside in. However, it is most disheartening to see articles saying things such as, it is now cheaper to live on a cruise ship than to live in London. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What we can gather from these anecdotes is I’ve always wanted to live in the biggest cities, which also happen to be the most expensive ones. It’s been a long-standing dream to have a sick downtown apartment in [insert big city name here] with my kick-ass job at a fashion magazine. (Boyfriend is negotiable, but hai Tom Hardy.)

I’m holding onto this dream, but I’m not holding my breath. I have a degree in journalism. We are taught disappointment.

Yesterday, though, I took a step towards that vague, probably unattainable dream. I moved to Toronto for an internship.

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Behold, the room.

I’m subletting an apartment above a tiny shop that sells interior accessories with two strangers. My room is small and doesn’t have a closet, but it is a room, with a bed, a shower down the hall and a moveable clothing rack. Honestly, there is little else you need, especially at this point.

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The move-in went fine because my dad is the king of moving, or rather, he has lots of experience helping his children move into various questionable yet charming apartments in busy areas of town.

Now, it all really begins. The rest of… whatever. The beginning of the rest of my hypothetical career. The potential close to my on-again-off-again relationship with Kingston.

The room is small, and my makeup is in dollar store bins on the floor, but I love it. The street I’m on is never quiet and there are at least six coffee shops within walking distance. It’s beginning to feel like home. I doubt Carrie Bradshaw would be into it, but it’s definitely good enough for me.