Two posts for the price of one today! So inspired by my last post, I figured I might as well keep it going.
Prior to my post earlier today, I hadn't been around here since September. Bad form, yes I know. But it's not like I've been wasting away! I've been actually quite productive for the past few months. My wife and I moved to Kitchener, Ontario from Hamilton for my new job as Digital Media & Marketing Coordinator. I spearheaded a new website, kicked ass on the organization's twitter and facebook accounts, relaunched 3 new e-newsletters, started the organization's first-ever content creation committee and am generally having a lot of fun creating an engaging online experience for a brand that likes to do cool shit (as we say internally). All in all, it's been a good transition.
We're still trying to figure out Kitchener/Waterloo. Many think of Hamilton as a blight on the map of Canada, but it truly is an incredible place with a surprising mix of grassroots culture, industry, natural beauty, architecture, and a supportive community. When I tell people in KW that I moved from Hamilton, they look at me as if I'm one of the lucky refugees who made it out of a war-torn country. And when I try to explain that they just don't get Hamilton or express how great it is, they then look at me like I have Stockholm Syndrome or something. I'm then told how much better it is here: more jobs & money, lots of stuff to do, lots of young ambitious types, great optimism about the future of the community, good culture, etc. All seemingly true, but I can't shake this feeling of everything being extremely manufactured here. Nothing seems quite real or organic - everything very plastic.
Before you jump all over me on this, at this point, this is just an overall impression. I'm really not qualified at all to turn this into an opinion as I haven't gone out enough, explored enough, or lived here enough to make a proper judgement. Hell, it took me 6 years of living in Hamilton (to be fair - 4 of them as a student of McMaster) before I felt like I "got" Steeltown and understood what a unique gem it was. I'm not writing off KW in the least - I'm excited to be here and attempt to integrate myself within the cultural framework. (In case you didn't notice, that was my anti-flame paragraph)
Without a car, "going out" funds, and situating ourselves in the suburban wasteland of the Stanley Park Mall area, my wife and I haven't exactly set ourselves up for success. I like to think that being an employee of a significant cultural institution will help to counteract this situation. But living near every possible convenience doesn't help to quell my impression of this being the land of big-box stores and chains and franchises, squeezing the life out of independent retail and authentic ethnic food, all of this effectively crushing this community's cultural soul. Where are the starving artists transforming formerly derelict areas into bohemian havens? Where is the music scene? Why is the closest bar to me at least a 30 minute walk away? Why are people excited about another franchise, a Firkin Pub, opening up? Why are Kitchener and Waterloo two different cities and why do people think they're so different from each other? And the one question that really puzzles me, WHY DO PEOPLE THINK KITCHENER IS SKETCHY? Have you ever been to another city before? Seriously, this deserves a whole post unto itself. As my wife said, if you know the names of all the crack addicts, it's not a sketchy downtown. /rant.
Seriously though, I actually like it here so far. I'm just still in the adjustment phase of moving. But after first living in Windsor and then Hamilton, there is something unnerving about living in a city with no poverty. It's like I'm trying to find other things wrong with the place because it doesn't make any sense. I'm looking forward to getting out of winter though, a time that makes every city seem boring. I look to the summer with excitement and anticipation for a chance to truly explore and get to know our new home.
So this post really went from an update to a weird pseudo-rant. Maybe as I begin to write more often again I'll have a bit more focus.
So in case you didn't notice, I've been a bit absent from the blogosphere. My apologies. I hope you didn't miss me too much. Actually scratch that - I hope you really missed me...that would mean that my online writing services are actually worthwhile and that there's a reason for me to come on here and write every now and then. I just hope you're not too angry with me for abandoning all of you faithful readers for so long.
I've been putting this off for way too long, but it feels good to be writing again. Maybe you're asking "what's your excuse for disappearing for so long?". I really don't have a good answer to that. Laziness? There was a period of time where I was super busy setting up my new life in Kitchener, but things definitely calmed down enough for months now where that excuse does not pass any muster (am I using that phrase right?). So I'm going with laziness.
It's definitely one of those situations where once you start to put something off, it begins to gnaw at your subconscious and you keep putting it off due to embarrassment, guilt - you know, that bad feeling in the pit of your stomach each time you realize that there's something you should be doing but you're not quite ready to do it yet.
So here I am. I really don't have anything important to say - but that's been one of my excuses for not writing for quite some time now. Oftentimes we put off doing something because it isn't quite right yet. I've found that in my life it's often important to just go ahead and do something rather than wait for the ideal moment, idea, situation...even if that means producing something you're not quite proud of. The simple act of doing often is worthwhile in its own right.
Anyway, this is a rambling post without any point. But it does feel good to be writing again. I'm really going to make a concerted effort to make this more regular. Hopefully the people who follow along here will hold my feet to the fire :)