Sunday, 4 January 2015


In the span of ten days, I replaced my seven-year-old flip phone with a new smartphone, bought a car, moved to a different city and started my career. For all that growing up has been a long and gradual process, it sure just happened with a bang. And, somehow it happened over the holidays, when pretty much everything was closed. Not sure how that worked out.

It all started one Saturday morning at about ten o'clock when my former classmate woke me up with a phone call.

"There's a teaching position opening up here where I work," Jaynette said excitedly. "This is how much it will pay, here's what to say in your cover letter and at the interview, you can live with us for so much rent, and if you need it, I can drive you to work because we'll be working in the same place!"

"Uh, ok," I said groggily.

"I'll put in a good word for you," she told me. "We might even share an office!"

So, for the next six months at least, I am an ESL teacher at a small satellite college campus about two hours away from Calgary. My dad was a hero in helping me locate and acquire a car during the interval between Christmas and the start of the semester.

The first car I seriously considered was a gold Honda, but that turned out to have been totaled twice, so I went for a slate-grey Honda instead, because it hasn't been totaled even once. It's a manual transmission, and I think my dad likes showing off that I can drive stick about as much as I like to show it off myself. After I first registered the car, we took it to get its fluids changed. Several nice women were on shift at the shop and one of them serviced my vehicle.

"I wonder if they're surprised to see a girl driving a manual transmission," Dad said a bit smugly. "Well, actually," he quickly amended, "I guess it would be more surprising to male mechanics."

Tonight, I moved in with my host family. I guess that means I'm not fully independent yet, but I'm getting close. Just before I packed up the car this morning, my dad told me, "This doesn't feel as permanent as when your sister moved out. I won't rip apart your room just yet."

"Thanks," I replied.

It's nice to leave the nest knowing that my childhood isn't being ripped apart behind me.

Dostoevsky, from Demons -- “Cher ami, I have moved from my place of twenty-five years and suddenly set out – where, I do not know, but I have set out.”