That thought ran through my head no less than nine thousand times on my first few days in northern New Brunswick. I thought it first when I stumbled off the bus at an Irving station, and frantically tried to find a taxi number that worked so I could get to my apartment. I thought it again when I ordered pizza and got called "the 902 number" at Pizza Delight (New Brunswick is so delightfully quaint that ten digit dialling still isn't in effect - in Nova Scotia, we switched to ten digit dialling last year and I got used to rattling off my area code with no one thinking it odd - and there's only one area code for the whole province). I thought it again when I realized there was no dairy-free ice cream at my new Superstore and I was dying for some. And again, when I went to the liquor store and realized all of my favourite beers are Nova Scotian and therefore are not sold in a small-town NB Liquor.
I am a New Brunswicker, and it's not like Nova Scotia is that different. And yet, I am experiencing a mix of homesickness and culture shock. I have only been an adult in Nova Scotia. Which, let me repeat, is really not that different. But it has been longer than I thought, and I have fallen out of habit of living in a bilingual area. Of seeing NB license plates on a regular basis. Of reading news from the Irving media monopoly.
Of course, I am also in my home province, and not too far from my hometown, but I'm also a world away, in a city I've never been to before I came here to go apartment hunting, knowing almost no one. I'd be lying if I said I was enjoying myself so far. But I'd also be lying if I said I was unhappy. Yes, I miss Halifax and my partner and the waterfront and the market and the public library and my grocery store and post office and the route to walk to class and family and my whole life there. But I'm not unhappy to be here. Mostly mystified.
There is only one bookstore in this whole city. One. ONE.
With all of these changes in mind, I've been trying to maintain a healthy frame of mind, keep away from things that will cause me to needlessly stress, and keep too much junk food form taking up residence in my cupboards (Okay, there's some. But I am making a better effort to eat healthier these days).
During my hiatus from blogging, which I missed dreadfully and last week, before my internet was hooked up, even tried to start some drafts on my phone (bad idea), I've been doing some thinking about the kinds of things I'd like to write about, goals I have for myself (personally and blog-wise) and loads of other introspective stuff. I'm going to be running with this major change and developing some neglected areas of my life. I've struggled a lot this year with setting myself some goals/resolutions/challenges in the face of all the uncertainty that has dominated my life. Most of my blogging since January, and especially since May has been done under a cloud of anxiety. But now I have some (temporary) stability, certainty, and can point myself where I want to go.
So, hello. It's nice to be back.
Making my way home from work in the new city.