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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Leaving Brock Vegas

This has been a week in which I have done a lot of soul-searching, and a lot of thinking about life in general.  Whenever I have the opportunity to take some time off work, and I end up having some extra time to kill, I do a lot of daydreaming and a lot of thinking about things that I normally wouldn't think about.  I'm sure that most of you do exactly the same thing.  Though, I assure you that at no time when I have entered a state of deep thought have I ever done stretches and twists decked out in a pair of Lulu Grapefruit yoga pants.

What?  They're actually called Lululemon yoga pants?  And they're actually made for women? bad.  No wonder my butt wouldn't fit inside of them.

DISCLAIMER:  I have never worn a pair of yoga pants in my life.  I doubt I ever will either.

So, what kind of thoughts have I thought about in this blog entry?  Heavy ones.  Deep ones.  Thoughts that have actually kind of make me break down a couple of times thinking about them.

(Hey, I admit it.  I show emotion every once in a while.)

By the end of it, I've come up with but one solution...and it's one that I am scared to death of...but at the same time, I know that it may be the only shot I have of a better life for myself.  

October 24, 2013

I don't know about anybody else, but I find that having an absolute moment of clarity is just as rare for me as getting time off of my day job.  

And yet, as I type this out, something that only seems to happen every few years has happened.  I have had some time off work, and I have had my epiphany moment of the year!  And, I'm not going to's been very overwhelming for me.  

But, I suppose that I should probably explain myself before I go ahead and talk about the very moment in which everything finally became clear.

I'm at the tail-end of my vacation (the last one I'll be taking before the holiday rush) right now, but my vacation technically began the night of October 16.  And, one of the first things that I did was leave town...

...for a day.

I found myself in the middle of Kingston, Ontario.  Love that city.  It's got a great crowd, something exciting happening on every corner, and the people there (at least the ones that I dealt with on that day) were friendly, polite, and courteous.  I always leave Kingston on such a high because I have had nothing but positive experiences every time I go there.

And later that night, I was on Facebook chat with one of my friends, telling them about my day trip to Kingston, and how much fun I had.  I told my pal all the things I saw, everyone I met, the things I bought (which happened to be a couple of seasons of "Three's Company" in case you've been wondering), and I was still on a high.  

But then reality started to set in, and I typed in the comment to my friend that "I wish that I could just move to Kingston".

And my friend responded with "Why don't you?"

I thought about that for a minute.  And then minutes turned into hours, and hours turned into days, and it wasn't until a couple of days ago that I asked myself the very question that my friend asked me.

"Why don't I just move to Kingston?"

I mean, looking at the short-term future, it makes perfect sense.  I've talked about how one of the biggest regrets that I have ever had in life is not finishing post-secondary education back when I was living in Ottawa.  It's a regret that I've carried with me for eleven years now.  With both a university and college campus in Kingston, it will provide me with a second chance to get that degree - which will hopefully allow me to land a better career.  And although the entire country is in a recession and jobs are scarce, Kingston probably has more opportunities for job growth than where I am right now.  At the very least, I could probably get a transfer to a different store through the company, so that could inch me closer to the goal.

And, if I actually owned a car, gas prices in Kingston are actually cheaper than they are in my own hometown!  But then again, I could get a bus pass, as Kingston's mass transit system makes my town's look embarrassing by comparison!

So, what's stopping me exactly?  Why don't I get that work transfer now, pack up all my stuff, and start apartment hunting in Kingston?

Excuses.  I keep on making excuses to stay here.  And, don't get me wrong...I do have more of an open mind about the place of my birth.  It's a great community for someone to raise a young family, and it's a great community for someone to live out the last grains of sand inside of their hourglasses.  

But for a single male who is looking to improve himself on a professional, personal, and romantic level?  This is most definitely NOT the place for that.  I guess for a long time, I've tried to deny that this was the case, and I suppose that I kept grasping onto the ribbon that is attached to the balloon of optimism, desperately trying to cling onto it during the blustery winds of change.  

But the more and more I think of it, that balloon started to leak a long time ago, and now that I look at that balloon of optimism, it's almost as flat as a bicycle tire in the middle of January.

My hometown is affectionately known as "Brock Vegas".  Nobody knows how the name came about (at least I certainly don't).  Maybe it has to do with the fact that lottery tickets are a big seller here.  Maybe it's because of the fact that there's a major casino in the next town over.  Maybe it's because my town has a lot of people indulging in sins, and the nickname came from Las Vegas' nickname of "Sin City".  Who can say, really?

But I keep looking ahead at life, and I keep replaying this question in my mind.  In ten years, I'll be forty-two years old.  Will I be content doing exactly what I am doing right now at age thirty-two?  At 42, do I see myself being happy working a low-paying retail job?  Do I see myself being happy constantly questioning whether or not I can trust people?  Do I see myself being content with having friendships that are solely based on how many Candy Crush freebies I can offer them?  Will I be satisfied with not following my true passions?  Could I stand living in an apartment building filled with people that I absolutely have zero respect for the next decade?

The answer is absolutely not.  I guess the writing has been on the wall for some time.  Maybe it's because I've outgrown this community.  Maybe it's because I want to start all over again with a new group of people.  Maybe it's because Kingston has an Old Navy, and "Brock Vegas" does not that is pushing me.  Or, maybe it's because I know that I've grown as far as I can grow in my professional and personal life and that I cannot grow any further the longer I remain "home".

The answer is obvious.  And right now, all signs point to Kingston.

I realize that this decision is one that is huge.  I've agonized and even shed a few tears thinking about it.  But in the end, it's the only thing that I know seems right.  I need new scenery.  I need to finish school.  I need more of an opportunity to get myself out there so I can meet new people and finally develop the social life that I spent years hiding from.  What better place than the community of Kingston?  It's not that far away from home, it's got more opportunities for me, and although it will likely be a challenge to live in a city that is much larger than where I am right now...I have to keep telling myself that I'm at the age now where I can handle it.

The decision has been made.  And sometime in 2014, I'm aiming to make it a reality.  It's going to be scary as hell, and I will likely have many "what the hell did I do moments" followed by a freakout, followed by me watching Three's Company marathons while eating Triple Chocolate ice cream right out of the carton.

But I owe it to myself to make it happen.  I've wasted enough time feeling sorry for myself and making excuses as to why I don't deserve to live my life.  I have to do this while there's still a chance to succeed, or else I risk being very unhappy.

And, I've had enough unhappiness for several lifetimes.  At some point in the near future, I'm going to be leaving Brock Vegas.  The next step is making it happen.  And while I will miss family members and friends terribly, I hope they can find a way to understand that this will ultimately be better in the long run.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself anyway.  

So, I'm going to have to check out the Whig-Standard for apartments, and I'm going to have to find a way to register for school, and I need to get information on transferring between stores.  I've got a lot of homework to do.  But again...I've got to do this for me.  Not for anyone else.

I hate putting myself last.  And yet, that's all I've ever done.  My hope is that with the decision that I have made to relocate in the next little while, it'll help me get my priorities straight again.

After all...I owe it to myself to make me happy.  Nobody else will be able to do it for me.

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

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