I moved to Calgary four years ago. At the time, it was exactly what I needed. I was 19 years old and running away from home with my best friend. We quit our jobs and cleared out our apartment, then hopped on a Greyhound bus with 19 boxes and our first month’s rent. Our first apartment here was owned by a sketchy looking guy named Steve, was home to at least two drug dealers, and had a broken lock on the front door. What may have given our parents a heart attack gave us the freedom and excitement of our first home away from home.
For the first four months, we had no beds – we slept on pillows on the floor. Rather than buy air mattresses or sleeping bags, we spent our money on booze at the local bars, getting tipsy enough to pass out without noticing how hard the floor was. We thrived on our low-income, low-luxury lifestyle because that’s what best friends do – take crummy situations and make them awesome. Over the past four years, we have had more fun than ever. I have met some incredible people and landed an amazing job at a company that I love, and just generally had fun growing up and becoming myself.
However. I never once stopped missing Vancouver. In my first year as an Alberta resident, I think I went home eight times. My computer wallpapers have always been sunset views of English Bay, or the skyline at night, or at one particularly homesick time, my mom’s backyard. As much fun as I was having in Calgary, I knew I would not be here forever. I was born a west coast girl and that’s where I’ll be.
So when I knew my lease would be ending this July, I made a plan. After four years of debating it, I decided to move home. The main reason I’d put it off for so long was because my best friend, who came to Calgary with me, wanted to stay. I have begged her and bribed her and possibly even threatened her into coming with me, but she wouldn’t budge. As much as I struggle to understand it, she doesn’t possess the same draw to the coast as I do. She wants to see everything, do everything, take the world by storm while I sit at home and soak up the rain.
Eventually it was time to make the scary decision to go by myself. It’s not even really going alone, as my mom and my friends are in Vancouver, but separating myself from my best friend is scary. We have lived together for almost six years. She cooks and cleans for me, and when we go out to parties, she socializes for me while I smile and nod. She stays up late watching movies with me and wakes up early to make me go running. She is the most important person in the world.
But all good things have to come to an end, and so this summer we are splitting ways. I am moving back to Vancouver to live with two friends and a plethora of animals. I will be going to school full time and (job market willing) working part time, and happily jumping in puddles and eating sushi and doing all of the things I can’t do here…while missing her dearly. I’m excited and scared about this new chapter in my life (what if my roommates make me do my OWN dishes?), but I am happy to be going home.