I apologize. This is starting to sound like I'm complaining. And I promise, I'm not.
Being downtown, albeit in a small space, means within a minute out the door, Sully and I can walk along the river. Or meet Jim for lunch. Or get a cup of coffee at any street corner. I rarely have to drive anywhere, unless I'm getting groceries, or just want to drive somewhere because I can. Urban living is pretty cool, but I do miss suburbia.
It's always a bit of a culture shock when you move somewhere new, even if it's only a few hours away. While I consider myself a pretty outgoing person, I always struggle initially at forcing myself to get out and explore. I hate the feeling of not knowing exactly where I'm going or standing out as someone who doesn't know where she is going. And when the sidewalks are full of people in a hurry to get places downtown, I feel at most out of my comfort zone and in people's way. They all know I'm not from around here. But I push on, truly knowing that no one is actually considering the girl with the stroller, because everyone is just trying to get where they are going. And that moment of desperation to be back in suburbia passes.
When we were day-dreaming about where we would live in Calgary, we talked about forgoing the comforts of a detached home and imagined us living a "New York lifestyle in downtown Calgary". Wouldn't it be fun to live in a high-rise, downsize our possessions, live more simply? When our house didn't sell before we moved, we decided to opt for temporary accommodations. It made the most sense: we didn't have to move our stuff, we would be within walking distance of Jim's place of work and it would fulfill our desire to live downtown.
We tried to bring as little as we could with us: clothes, highchair, stroller, some toys, and our vitamix. While I don't feel strongly that I'm missing any one particular thing from home, I do miss the comforts of our home. Of knowing that something is in the cupboard if I need it, like my favourite bowl to eat salad out of, my favourite coffee mug, my favourite paring knife. I don't need those things to survive, (we have bowls, mugs and knives here), but it feels a little less like home without them.
Three weeks into our living downtown has taught us a lot about what we want for our future home in Calgary. While I love the idea of downtown living, it's not as dreamy with a baby. Could I make it work if we had no choice? Sure, I'm pretty adaptable that way. Would it feel more like home if we had all our belongings? Probably. But if we don't have to make it work long term, then we know we would prefer to eventually be in a house. So thank you, life, for the learning lesson.
Unfortunately, it's a terrible time to try and sell your home in Edmonton. We never imagined it would take so long to sell ours, and because of this, we find ourselves in this state of limbo: we can't fully move forward with our relocation to Calgary because we still have a house to pay for in Edmonton. One foot in, one foot out. It's not an ideal situation, but it is what it is. Next month, we will move to another temporary accommodation, out of downtown, but still in a busy part of the city. Jim will take the train to work and Sully and I will get to know a new part of the city. We will do what we have to do to stick together as a family while we pray that our house sells soon.
Home, sweet, temporary home.