Tag Archives: moving

My First 10 Days in Canada

I’m not even sure what, or how, to tell you about it. It had it’s highs and lows. Mostly lows and lowers, thanks to my pisspoor attitude when it comes to this stuff. Nothing is easy or quick on the moving-in front: furniture (OMG IKEA I CAN’T EVEN), paying bills, applying for a cell phone, opening bank accounts–and more importantly getting the money–have taken far more effort/require more things than I anticipate, every. single. time. But isn’t the how it goes anyway? Then toss in a new country and you really got some learning to do.

The weather is amazing. Perfect all day, e’ry day. I mean the wet winter will suck, but this place is g-damn glorious right now.

My house is nice, but it’s loaded with spiders and surrounded by mosquitoes (I’m not polkadot, not white). The homeowners are eco-friendly fiends so I feel a lot of pressure when it comes to water consumption, using electricity, recycling, killing insects, eating meat/gluten/dairy… really just existing. My washing machine is broken but if I shove a small tool in at the right angle it will run, so we’re just going with that. I’m sure that won’t be annoying for the next year.

On the flip side, the homeowners are a delightful family of four. The two young sons are sweet and it’s nice to have them prancing around to put an unexpected smile on your face. An older Irish couple who live in the homeowner’s basement completes our hippie commune. They all hosted a welcome BBQ last night and I’m really glad they’re such welcoming, fun, and interesting people. And they love coffee and red wine. It’s brilliant. I will definitely be comfortable here, once I get used to it.

School is defeating me. Hard. And it hasn’t even started yet.
-They expect you to have a background in information systems already. I don’t, and I can’t learn it on my own, and I can’t even actually download the appropriate software, and it’s the most frustrating experience. I feel dumb, and helpless, and I hate it.
-They tell you it’s OK to have a Mac, but when you get into course work you find out that Apple products actually aren’t supported (so much for the $2k you just spent on a new computer/software/hardware).
-There are no books to buy. It’s just all these downloads or something, I don’t even know, and I’m trying to find the website where they supposedly live, but there’s nothing there so I can’t find them to prepare before school starts.
-I’ve applied for five or six on-campus jobs, but not a single job wants to interview me. And it sucks because there are some amazing jobs and I’d love, love, love to have them. But also, I’m so broke it’s terrifying, and I can’t imagine living another month, god forbid another five years, without a paycheck. And I didn’t get any great scholarships, and I didn’t get the sorority scholarship, and I’m just hemorrhaging money for something I’m not even sure I’m qualified for, but something I’m definitely sure is currently making me feel pretty shitty.

I’m also in the midst of a personal crisis of faith in myself, what with the not knowing anything about what I’m getting into at school, the having a car I don’t want and can’t take care of because I literally will never be able to park it back in it’s tiny spot if I ever move it, and the finally acknowledging that I’ve put on a lot of weight and feeling very ugly. And being this down on yourself is not great time to meet new people and start new things, and I know that, so that just keeps the stress cycle rolling. #cantstopwontstop?

I’ve fit in plenty of ME time, though. I watched the latest three (available on Netflix) seasons of Archer. I watched both seasons of The Hour. (Delightful! Wish it hadn’t been cancelled.) I picked like a billion other shows and movies to watch.

Oh! And I’m not sleeping well: Partly due to the super expensive/uncomfortable bed I bought, and partly because I have a lot of stress. Also I had a dream that John Stamos wanted to sleep with me, and I said no. That was actually really stressful, too. 😛

And these, folks, are my new first world problems. Orientation starts next week, cross your fingers I don’t embarrass myself too much!

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I Can’t Come to the Web Right Now

I’m busy solving crimes and binge watching Murder She Wrote before the move into the JB Fletcher-free Canada.enhanced-buzz-20547-1359362818-3

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This is why I’m embarassed to move out of the country

Thanks, BBC, for making it clear that I have an uphill battle as an international student. (But, in related news, I cannot wait to leave behind all the political goodness of an Iowa life.)

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Day Two

Of no longer living in the Target parking lot.


The struggle is already real. I don’t think I’ll survive Canada.

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Pacific Northwest

In truth, many of the things I’ve been not exactly ready for were actually things I wasn’t at all ready for. But this, the picking of a second promising grad school (that I really hope I don’t dropout of this time), was something I was truly not exactly ready to do. I’d visited as much as I could, I’d spent countless hours on the websites, making pro-con lists, and researching professors and class schedules.

And when it came down to the wire, I was as ready as I could be, just not exactly ready because I didn’t know what to pick. Boston was out a few days into the week. London resurfaced hot and heavy, leading the pack–because how badly do I want to say I lived in London for a year? Real, real badly.

But not enough to pick it. It’s been raining and foggy for the last two days. I’m taking that as God’s way of saying, “Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. You have chosen wisely.” I’m headed to the University of British Columbia.


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The Phases of Moving

When I first moved to college, life was easy. I was bitchy and stressed out (when 19-year-old isn’t after spending a morning in the car with her parents?) but I threw shit in bags and boxes and hauled ass.

Those days are long gone.

Now, I can’t get through a move without exuding some serious(ly debilitating, sometimes) OCD and anxiety. I’m glad no one but my parents are ever really around–but even they constantly ask themselves, “How did we do this to her?” I don’t have answer for that, but since it has developed after I started living on my own, I can’t blame them. I think it’s the lack of control I feel in my life. Actually, not really, that just sounds intelligent. I don’t really have any fucking clue.

I have more boxes than I have living room.

Here’s a move, in a nutshell. I left the really bad stuff out.

1. Packing. Everything has to be in boxes or bags. Alike things need to must be together. Kitchen is separate from bedroom is separate from books is separate from bath. Boxes must be labeled (ie: Fragile, Perishable) as well as include fairly detailed info about what’s in them.

2. Anticipation. This is somewhat pleasant. I do generally like home design. I have worked in it for two years, ya know.

3. Panic. It’s not what I thought. This time around, the apartment was smaller than advertised–the floorplan was a deceptive little shit. Who needs two patios? Fuck. I should just get a dog. But really, this realization induced a panic attack that lead to…

4. Indecision. If you know me at all, I’m incapable of making even the most mundane decision. What to watch? What to eat? What time? With this stuff it’s even worse. I’m deciding what to keep and what to toss. THIS IS NOT EASY. I love my desk. I went through a lot to get that desk (but, it meant I went to Minnesota twice–I love IKEA) so should I really just throw it out because I now have a cubicle? Perhaps. But perhaps not.

5. Anxiety. Well. Now I’m stressed. I’m doing that thing where I wiggle my hands and take lots of shallow breaths. Something. Needs. To. Go.

6. Surrender. I make a decision. I hate it. But I make it.

7. OCD. Now that I’ve tackled the biggest problem, I move on to the little things. Kitchen cupboards. Closets. Let’s just say, things like hanger color and quantity of dinnerware and glassware matter. A lot. This takes forever but in the end it’s so gratifying. You should see how nice my towels look, bitch.

8. Release. The two things I don’t do in the midst of unpacking/moving on the first day are sit down or eat. I’m too high strung to do either, but at some point I have give in and lay in the middle of my unmade bed, and then get out and eat some food, anywhere that isn’t the apartment. About that time I’m overwhelmed with physical/mental exhaustion.

Which is why I went to bed at 8 pm on my first Saturday in Des Moines. Fail.

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If my recent Netflix viewings–two seasons of This American Life, The Life of David Gale, The Closet (a French film about a straight guy who comes out of the closet), and one episode of Ahh! Real Monsters–aren’t clear enough, let me spell it out for you: I am r-e-s-t-l-e-s-s.

I’m not packed. I’m not done reading my library book that is due tomorrow. I’m not ready for work. I’m not tired, hungry, focused, or interested. Nothing right now is normal. Not my sleep schedule, food intake, work hours, friendships, daily routine, or especially my living quarters. I’m tense, uncomfortable, uneasy, bored, stressed, overwhelmed, annoyed. I’m over-thinking and judging myself.

Gah. I’m so ready for Wednesday to be over.

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Oh six

06-01-10. June. A new month with new things. New things like fresh contacts and a bigger rent check. My first DG wedding and first national DG alum event. But it’s my last month in Des Moines. And while I have a lot to do before I leave, I have a lot of future to consider, too.

So I’m torn. Do I throw caution to the wind and spend money like my Texas rent isn’t my solution to a two-year diet? Do I eat the food, buy the clothes, tab the drinks and do the dew? Bake more, sleep less, work less?

Or do I get focused on what’s to come. Do I sleep more, read more, work more, and save more? Drink less, eat less, and spend less? Do I form healthier, better, and more productive habits?

I just don’t know. But one thing’s for certain: I’ve got a list of personal changes and updates to make before August 6th–whether I start this month or next.

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You want ‘not exactly ready’? I’ll give it to you. Real apartment hunting. Last year wasn’t real. Jenny and I looked at three apartments, picked one, and went back to sign the lease on the same day. In retrospect, we got lucky that we could afford it and it had everything we wanted (two bedrooms3, two full baths, washer and dryer, appliances).

This year, I’ve got a list of almost 20 places that I must reduce to a manageable number in order to call and find out if they have availability, then book a tour accordingly. I just… UGH! It’s not easy. Few have washer/dryer connections in a one bedroom unit, and even fewer received good ratings from tenants. A lot have bad layouts, and many seem ridden with hideous appliances.

My whole life, I’ve had it easy. I still do. But it’s left me pretty sheltered about things and I’m nervous, not only about apartment hunting, but also what life will really be like on my own. A bad apartment would be a terrible way to start.

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Getting Settled

It feels undeniably strange to me, this whole settling in thing. People are moving home, moving across the country, starting jobs, and whatever else. Me, I woke up this morning, for the first time in my 12-month apartment, and it felt all sorts of strange. I feel behind, not grown up. Yesterday I bought a GRE study book. Didn’t everyone else already take this? Didn’t everyone else already have an idea about their life? I just have to keep reminding myself that the answer is no.

On a parallel plane, I’m effing decorating an apartment. Not a dorm room or a sorority room. An apartment. This is entirely new to me. But I love it (or will, at least, while that ‘Oh my gosh, new bedroom!’ excitement lasts). I’ve even taken a tip from all the stuff I’ve learned at work, and  have upgraded my KMart special to a cute little bookshelf that I’m not ashamed to say I did. Just wait until the whole wall is complete. You’ll be blown away.



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