Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Not a Country Girl anymore, apparently

Last week my downtown baby and I spent a week with my parents in the place where I grew up, in rural New Brunswick. Since our moving day was quickly approaching, it seemed like a good time to get out of town and give my partner some space to get ready for the move. Also, my mother is basically addicted to my son and hadn't seen him since November.

I lived in that house for 18 years, and although I always looked forward to the day when I would move out, it was my "normal" for a long time. Eventually I moved to Halifax for school, then to Fredericton for more school, then to Moncton for a job, then to Calgary, and finally to Ottawa, where I still live. With all the moving around, I came to realize that I like living in more urban settings, and I liked the freedom of not having a car. And every time I visit my childhood home it seems to fit me a little less.

On the first full day of our visit, my parents had to be away from the house, with their vehicle, so the baby and I were home alone without a car. I had never noticed the isolation before, but I felt it then and it made me anxious. Nothing around but houses and farms. I realized then, that at some point I had converted. I was not a country girl anymore. Maybe I never was. 

It was a great time for a epiphany, considering what's going on in my life this week. For, by my quick count the 13th time in 15 years, I am moving. (And before you feel desperately sorry for my parents, they were only enlisted to help with 5 of those moves.) This is my first real house with a front door and a back door and a driveway. It is my first home that doesn't just fit the life I have now, but fits the life I could I have for the next 15 years. 

It was a big leap buying this place and not everyone has supported our decision to buy a smaller home in urban neighbourhood. We're a family now, and to a lot of people, families belong in the suburbs. Buying in our new neighbourhood meant we couldn't really afford much of a back yard and a car won't be in the budget for at least a few more years. But it fits us and the life we want for our family. Ultimately that's what growing up is about; discovering what is right for you, even if it is different from the way you grew up or different from what other people think.  

For the first time in my life, I really feel like I have room to grow. Unfortunately there is no real space for a garden, though. Maybe in the next place.

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