So I’ve been putting a lot of thought into some pretty big things lately. Long term stuff affecting my entire life.
I was never a very ambitious person. There was a time when I worked at Pita Pazzaz, was against all things materialistic, and felt that I could live the rest of my life on minimum wage. My take on it was the less you have, the less you think you need. But as time went on I realized that was a cop-out, a thought process that ultimately stemmed from fear.
From there I moved back home to take some schooling. I decided I wanted to move ahead in life, make something of myself. Just one problem. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Deciding I wanted to get ahead only now put me on par with every other directionless schmuck out there. And that’s how it stayed for years.
For a while I tried my hand at photography. It was something I loved doing as a hobby, something I felt I was good at, so I figured if I could make it a career I could make good money and also love my job.
“If you love what you do, you’ll never
work a day in your life.”
It didn’t quite pan out that way. I made business cards, made a website, sold prints and even started getting commissioned for family portraits and weddings. But the further I went down this path the more I realized I wasn’t finding it fulfilling at all. Photography had been a hobby for me, something I did to get away from it all, and a medium through which I could express my own vision. Now I had people telling me what they wanted my photography to be, it was a product now.
Eventually I decided photography wasn’t the route for me. This was a crushing blow, and left me aimless. And that’s how I stayed for a long time after. I went on a cross-country road-trip looking for some kind of direction and meaning in life. Well I did find a lot of things I didn’t know I needed, I didn’t find the things I had left for, and so I returned home still aimless and lost.
Debt forced me to turn up the heat on finding a job that had better pay. I still had no clear path I wanted to follow, but started to feel like maybe working in a career I loved was a pipe dream and I should just find something with good pay and job security. I began applying at every decent paying job I could see myself being decent at, paying no regard to whether or not I’d find it rewarding. The vast majority of people with jobs are just people with jobs, and they get by just fine. They have a family, a house, and a life they can be happy with.
Then, by pure chance, when asking my cousin if I could live with him in Edmonton since jobs out there paid more, he mentioned Bioware was hiring term testers. And through the biggest stroke of luck I’ve ever had, I got it.
So I said goodbye to my friends and family and set forth on a 15 hour drive to Edmonton, a new life, even if only temporary.
For the first month I was in a new city and didn’t know anyone. I was getting by alright, but nothing at all about the experience was rewarding. My job, while easy, was menial. I had no social life to speak of. I missed my friends and family, and all things familiar.
By the time Xmas break came around I was dealing with a heavy case of homesickness. I’d underestimated just how severe it can be, and was seriously considering quitting Bioware and just going home. My 2 weeks in Winnipeg was great, I had a lot of fun with my friends, reconnected with a few old ones, and remembered how proud I should be of the life I’d built for myself in Winnipeg. When it came time to leave it was almost as hard as the first time.
But a weird thing happened when I pulled into Edmonton on the way back. I caught myself thinking “ahhh, home!”
Over the next little while I began to make real friends at work, and even hang out with them outside of work. I began getting more responsibility at work which made it infinitely more rewarding and actually found myself LOVING my job. Sometimes weekends drag on because I’m looking forward to continuing working on what I was on Friday. I started to feel more like myself again, and the began to come back to me in all aspects of my Edmonton life.
While I was in Winnipeg I got a call about a government job I’d applied to before Edmonton had even been an option. I scheduled a phone interview since I’d be back in Edmonton by then. But now I was faced with a dilemma. Bioware in Edmonton or government in Winnipeg. Winnipeg offered a higher paying job, a lower cost of living, and my friends and family. But Bioware was a job I was beginning to truly love, a career I could see myself being ambitious about and excelling at.
The phone interview went well, and that just made the anxiety increase.
But after much though, and some research into what both jobs have to offer both immediately and long term, I’ve all but made up my mind.
This is something I’ve spent my entire adult life looking for, and it’s turning out to better than I ever imagined. I found out the pay is in fact quite competitive with Winnipeg, and have started to build a social life out here. I’ve also been getting my name out there and think I could make permanent full time.
So, and this is both bizarre and very hard to say, if I get my way… I won’t be coming back home. This is my home now.
I love everyone back in Winnipeg, and would visit often. It will always be my true home. But I have to chase my happiness, and I see a real shot at the real thing here.