July 20, 2016

One Year Later

We've been in our house in Calgary for a year now. Well, 13 months to be exact. And while there was some back and forth going on between Edmonton and Calgary in the few months leading up to us moving into our house, I feel like the date we moved in marks our official day in Calgary. Or at least mine and Sully's.

{Our old house}

Anyway, in some ways I can't believe it's already been a year! I feel like so much has happened in the past year that it can't possibly have only been a year. It feels like we've been here for much longer, but  these past 13 months have also flown by. Whenever Jim and I make a big move, we always say, we'll give it a year. It takes a long time to settle in, get your bearings and figure out if this new place can feel like home. (The only exception to this "rule" is our move to Montreal. We knew within a few months that it was not the place for us!).

Before we made the big move to Calgary, we talked about it incessantly. Was it the right move for us? Was the timing wrong? Would I regret giving up my friends, my job, and the proximity to my family? Since Edmonton is my hometown, I was giving up the most by moving. But when this opportunity to move came up, I knew it was meant to be. Something about it just felt right and I knew it was going to work out. And since I was the one staying home to raise our son, who was I to tell my husband he couldn't follow his career ambitions? We also knew a move was most likely inevitable in our future, and I wanted to do it before our kid(s) were older.
Throughout this past year, Jim frequently "checks in" with me, asking me to tell him how I honestly feel about the move. Am I happy? (Yes), do I like our neighbourhood? (I do), do I miss Edmonton (not really), what do I miss about it? (see below), and would I ever want to move back? (probably not).

The truth is, I don't miss Edmonton. At least, not the city. Of course I miss my friends and family. And sometimes I miss the ease of a city where everything is in place for you (your hairdresser, your doctor, your gym, your chiropractor, your dentist, etc.). Having to re-find those things in a new city is always the most challenging and stressful for me. But you do what you gotta do! I do know that despite these inconveniences of moving to a new city, moving BACK to a city you once lived in (or grew up in in my case) is never the same as the first time you lived there. And we've already moved back to Edmonton once before. I really can't see us doing it again.

I think the best thing that happened to me with this move though, is the community I have found. I'm not sure what the difference is, but when I moved to Calgary, I discovered a huge online presence from Calgary bloggers and if there's one thing that I love about blogging, it's the friendships I've made because of it. When I knew we were moving for sure, I started to reach out to Calgary bloggers more in hopes of developing some sort of friendship. It all started with running in the Calgary Marathon and just kind of snowballed from there. What I didn't expect though was the actual real-life friendships I have made. Some of my closest friends right now, I met through blogging (which can be really weird to explain to non-bloggers, but it's true). I have made friends here with women whom I get together with to do all sorts of things, like have playdates with our young children, run in races, and go to movies, take fitness classes together, celebrate birthdays, and watch The Bachelorette on Monday nights. Our blogs may have brought us together initially, and I'm thankful for that everyday, but these are women I would genuinely want to hang out with even if we didn't blog anymore.

{Calgary Marathon 10K 2015}

Other than that, I truly believe that life is what you make of it. At the end of the day, I really only need Jim and Sully to be happy. But how I choose to spend my days, and how we choose to make the most of our new life here, that's up to us. Sure, I could sit at home and feel sad that we moved and that I miss "x y z" about Edmonton, but what would that accomplish? A cranky wife, a bored toddler, and a husband full of guilt for moving his family, that's what.

Instead, I choose to be happy.

I choose to enjoy what this move has brought us. A bigger home, the ability to stay home with my son, new friends, new places to explore (places we would never visit being 3 hours further away in Edmonton), the mountains, a better commute for Jim, and getting to spend more time with my Aunt and her husband.

I choose to be thankful. That my husband has a job, for our home, for the health of our family, and for the friends I have made.

I choose, most importantly, to make the best of a situation. Life isn't always easy no matter where you live. There are going to be hard days, tiring days, long days, days I wish I lived next door to a family member, days I feel lonely and days I wish I could crawl back into bed and hide. That's just life. So I push through those harder days and embrace the good days.

Life is what you make of it. Calgary has been really good to us, there's no denying that, and while I never, ever thought this was a city I would one day live in, I'm happy that we are here.

{hiking in Bragg Creek}

Do you think you can be happy anywhere?

What defines happiness for you?

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