I had a bad day last week. The worst in a while, with a bunch of different not-fun things coming together all in that one day. And I discovered something amazing.

Despite my best efforts and my repeated mentions of not wanting to get tied down to Calgary, in my so-called “darkest hour”, I found that I had an awesome support system of people who were there for me. And in the same time zone as me.

Calgary has become what I once dreaded. An inescapable black hole, I called it. It’s not that there’s nowhere I’d rather be—there is, there are many places I’d rather be. But it’s the only place for me right now, the only place with anything to offer. My dreams of moving out have changed so I don’t move too far. There are people and opportunities that have tied me down.

Of course, I know from experience that I can make new ties wherever I go. I can make a home from what I have, where I am. But sometimes making new ties requires cutting old ones, and I’m just starting to realize there may be cases, many cases, where that just isn’t worth it.

I have a busy day tomorrow. It starts with a filming thing followed by a family thing and ends with a friend thing. It’s a slice of what my life is now. Better.

Some of what I most dreaded about Calgary ended or changed while I was away. The Calgary I came back to is by no means great, but it’s better. Only slightly at first, and it took work to improve from there, but it’s better.

Something else that’s changed? Me. I’m not the awkward, shy kid who grew up here anymore. I’m confident, I approach people, I make friends and (sometimes) keep them. I know when to step up and when to step back. The people who knew me as I was still sometimes struggle to accept that and put me back in the box they always saw me in, but some, those who matter, have been able to keep up. After all, they’ve changed, too. They’ve made possible a life I love living, in a city I have a poor history with. I am absolutely, incredibly grateful to them for that.

Do I still want to leave Calgary again one day? Fuck yes. But I’ll survive—nay, live—until then.


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