So as many of you already know, my partner Kolter and I moved across the country together after graduation. Nearing the end of 2013 I had finally just found a job within my field… unfortunately it was as an intern, and bill collectors were getting tired of my excuses. Kolter was working as an account executive at a marketing company… don’t you hate it when your job title sounds so much more glamorous than it actually is!
We were both miserable. I loved my work but I didn’t love the money (or lack thereof).
Out of nowhere Kolter came home and announced that he was applying to be a morning radio host for a small town in British Columbia. Just like that.
The choice was frighteningly easy for me. I had a gorgeous downtown Toronto apartment that I was absolutely in love with, finally got offered full-time employment where I was making the most money I’d ever imagined I would right out of school – and I was getting the hell out of there!
Kolter left in December and I moved out to Dawson Creek in January 2014.
Let me give you some context here: The town has 11,000 people, compared to the 2 million that I’m used to in Toronto, and has 30 (documented black people) – it’s alright to laugh, I still ask myself what the hell I was thinking sometimes
So with just Kolter and I, no job, no family and absolutely no friends (weeeee) Here’s what I learned during my time in Dawson Creek, BC:
1. Always find your Tiffany & Co.
When Kolter and I first moved in together (2 years ago as of yesterday) we lived in a downtown Toronto neighbourhood called Yorkville. Yorkville is known as one of the more affluent Toronto neighbourhoods, and I loved living there (largely because we got a GREAT deal on our apartment) because I was inspired by everything around me and it made me want to work harder. Whenever I had a shitty day, or was in need of inspiration I took a walk over to Tiffany & Co. Even though I couldn’t afford a single item in the store, just looking through the window helped me to go back to basics and remember my goals, and why the hell it is that I do what I do. Tiffany’s is the perfect reflection of my core desired feelings – expansive (the store is giant and easily recognizable), affluent, fierce, and healing (flowers say sorry, a Tiffany’s diamond say’s I’ve learned my lesson).
It may sound superficial because it’s a Tiffany’s store, but I think that everyone needs a Tiffany’s; a place that they can go for restoration and inspiration. Dawson Creek doesn’t have a Tiffany & Co, so the local park became my new Tiffany’s.
2. Your True Friends are the Ones that Stand the Test of Time/Distance
The weekend before I left my sister and I threw a joint birthday party for her and going away party for me. The majority of my friends who showed up were the friends I made in elementary school! They also happened to be the very first people that I spent time with once I got back to the city. Despite the amount of time that passes, it always takes us 5 minutes to get caught up, and then it’s as though no time has ever passed. Those are my true friends.
I truly believe that people are placed in our lives for a reason, sometimes they’re a blessing, sometimes they’re just a lesson, but the people who are able to stand the test of time are put in your lives to ground you and remind you of who you truly are.
3. Learn how to be By Yourself
Like I said, Kolter is the morning radio host and therefore wakes up at 3am and goes to bed at 7pm. I spent quite a bit of time with myself. Even when I was the last person I wanted to be with. There were times when I was fed up with myself; why the hell did you quit your job to help someone else with theirs? Why the hell can’t you let go of your pride and just get a job that pays the bills, even if it doesn’t fulfil you? When are you going to get your finances together? What’s there to blog about, you’re a failure. despite how incredibly difficult these conversations were to have with myself, they were necessary. If I can’t be honest about my feeling with myself, and stand to be by myself out of fear of having to confront these feelings, how the hell was I going to defend myself against other people? I know for a fact that there are still people who believe that I made a stupid decision in leaving, and because of the conversations that I held with myself I have the strength to completely ignore them. I only owe myself these answers.
Being by myself taught me this.
4. Life is Always Better on Instagram
Many… MANY times around 6pm when Kolter would start getting ready for bed, and I was scrolling through my instagram feed, seeing my girlfriends grabbing drinking, hitting industry events, or even putting extra hours into their work – it was pretty damn hard not to feel jealous of them, and resentment towards myself and even Kolter (as though he put a gun to my head to get me to move). I started to see a pattern when I’d ask friends about different events – it always seems better on instagram. You know the people, those who post multiple videos a night of their time at the club, drunken hotel pre-drinking photos, #ILoveMyJob tweets, and long obnoxious Facebook statuses outlining every reason why they love their significant other. If we’re being honest with ourselves, can any of these things possibly be genuine?! If you’re truly having a great time, would your first priority really be to live tweet/instagram/facebook everything that going on? It really hit home when I started posting pictures of Kolter and I out in Dawson Creek and I’d get comments about how happy we were and perfect our relationship must be, when in reality I was very miserable and very often. I wasn’t miserable in our relationship, I was miserable with myself, and a simple smiling selfie on instagram managed to easily convince everyone of otherwise.
Sign off and deal with real life sometimes.
5. Relationships take compromise, but don’t compromise yourself
I do not and I will never regret moving out to Dawson Creek with Kolter. We both say it very often to each other, our relationship has never been as strong as it is today. We learned to lean on each other, financially, emotionally, sometimes when it get really rough even physically, and we both developed a great amount of respect for each other. I see the amount of passion and dedication that he puts into his work and it shows through his incredible radio show. He always has an incredible amount of respect for me and was able to understand when the time came for me to come back to Toronto. We both had to made sacrifices since our decision to move to Dawson Creek. If your’e unable to meet in the middle sometimes, your relationship will be extremely difficult. the important thing is understand what your non-negotiables are. Those are the things that you will absolutely never compromise on.
Kolter’s first time hearing himself on the radio, my 2nd day in Dawson Creek
Lessons Learned in Our Relationship Videos Part 1 & 2