Wow, how time flies. I can’t believe that about a year ago (Sept. 16, 2011 to be exact) I drove into this province and into Brandon with my dad and my U-haul, parked it up at my friends place on “Bannock Bay” and stayed there until I could move into my new place, way on the other side of town. I was off on a new adventure and I was questioning it the whole time.
I remember in August 2011, when I wrote my closest friends an ESSAY about how I was moving, and how I loved them, and how I couldn’t believe I was leaving them…but that we are all going to go in our separate directions at some point in life, and that I may be back in Ontario at some point – as we sometimes wanted to live the dream of living beside each other, and raising our children together, and making them marry each other.
I wondered what I was doing. I was a little impulsive. Manitoba held my heart since I was 18 years old, ever since coming up to Boissevain to work at a camp that summer. But sometimes, summers are so different than the rest of the year, right? Either way, I moved here. And I knew I had to. One of my best friends said, “Sheri, you need to go, or else you will regret it and always say ‘What if?'” And she was right.
I thought finding a good job wouldn’t be too hard. It was hard. I succeeded eventually, then things fell apart. And here I am, still looking for that opportunity. I know it will come, I just hope it comes sooner than later. If anyone sees a girl living in a ditch anytime soon, you’ll know it’s me!
So sometimes, I look back on this year and I ask, “What in the world? Has this turned into the biggest failure of my life? Did I do the right thing?” And then sometimes, I miss the city. Like, a real city. I miss sirens. I miss people. I miss crazy people. I miss people going the speed limit, or a little more. I miss independent coffee shops, and a snobby arts and culture scene.
Through thinking all of this though, I realized that moving to Brandon just opened up more doors and opportunities for me in the long run. I realized that if I had stayed in Hamilton after school for a few years, I would have easily settled down there. Get a dog. Another cat. Buy a house. Stick with my stable job. By moving here, I realized that those things probably won’t happen, because Brandon isn’t my total comfort zone, unlike Hamilton. Hamilton was my “Under the Bridge” city, thank you very much Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was there when I had nothing else. Brandon certainly isn’t that, and that’s not to say anything bad about this small town city. I know that by being here, I’m going to eventually go somewhere else, while looking back on my time here fondly, even though it’s been a struggle.
Throughout this past year, I have gained new friends. I have had the greatest and sometimes life altering experiences with them. I have been able to reconnect with friends from the past. I have been able to take care of people I love the most. I have learned patience and humility. I have learned to rely on others. I have learned a little more about what I want in life. I learned about my love for bunnies (I am The Mother of Rabbits, as my friend says). I have learned that Ontario is not the center of the universe. I have learned that I really love trees and rocks, and that I actually miss them dearly. I have learned that I really like warmer weather and don’t know if I can handle the winter that’s coming up – but know that I will survive, because I’m from Manitoba now. I have learned that I am content here, for the most part.
Most of all, I have learned that life doesn’t always go as planned, but wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you will learn and grow and eventually conquer. So I can say that I’m thankful that I moved here, despite it not being perfect. I can’t wait to see more of Manitoba, and see where life takes me from this one year mark. Thanks, Manitoba!