Saturday, October 31, 2009

the littlest hobo

When I was out running errands this morning, I had to stop and get gas.  As I was standing there holding the nozzle, I realized I was staring at the CN Tower - kind of numb, in a moment of solitude. Sometimes it's in moments like these when you stop and think about where you're at in life. And I started to think about how I ended up here, in Toronto.  

I came for love, but I stayed for a different kind of love.  This city has been incredibly good to me.  Over the last eight years, I've met some of my life long friends, I've gained a deeper understanding of myself and I've expanded my career here.  But underlying the love factor, at the base of it all, the key driver for being here has always been my career choice: advertising.  It's what drove me to leave Nova Scotia the first time 'round in 1997 when I moved to Calgary. It's what caused me to give Halifax another try in 2006 and it's what brought me back again to Toronto in 2007.  

So, back to the gas station.  My epiphany moment probably hit me right around the time the handle on the nozzle released and my thought process ended.  Recently, my job has shifted solely into the digital space.   I feel like this is a good thing given the fact that we'll all have no choice (advertising or not) but to embrace this mobile marketplace.  And in a mobile marketplace I realized that I can be anywhere, anytime with my job. Don't get me wrong, I love Toronto and I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, but with the world wide web we can be free! Free to travel and live wherever we want. This was a big moment for me this morning at Esso, especially as a small town kid that's traveled the country for work, making tiny sacrifices along the way. 

Now I know that people believe the digital space and social media causes us to be less connected, but it's simply not true.  You can now be where you love to be with your family and your friends by your side. I wrote about this similar topic once before, about staying true to who you are and not letting technology replace your genuine, real self.  But today my happiness came in knowing we can use technology to be closer, physically.  I'm not sure what took me so long to think of this...apparently I've been busy.

When I came back home this morning, I pulled out the journal that I kept when I first moved to Calgary (from Halifax) in 1997.  It was my adventure to finding a "real job" at an advertising agency after graduating from university. This journal entry was particularly relevant as I think about the possibilities of digital world twelve years later (and the fact that I'm transcribing a 12 year old journal entry to my online blog in 2009).

April 19, 1997

Well here I sit one month after finding a job feeling not so strong or satisfied anymore. I feel like I'm losing sight of what I've come to Calgary for.  Everyone has been telling me that it was such a big move on my part to come alone, across the country, to accomplish a career that I've always dreamt of. And if tomorrow I decided to go back home I still wouldn't feel like I accomplished what I wanted. 

Before coming out here I thought the most important thing was to find a job in advertising. Now I'm here and I have it, but it seems like I don't have much else.  I don't have love surrounding me like I used to back home.  I remember someone once said that the true definition of hell was having everything you've ever wanted (material things) and having no one left on the planet to share it with you.  Right now, today feels like that kind of hell. 

I've been so lucky to have been given the life I have and to have such incredible friends and parents.  I feel like no one else has the kind of friends like I do. I feel as though I really have the best ones and I miss them so much.  But I also know the importance of staying positive, feeling grateful, living in the now, knowing that this too shall pass and it will make me stronger.

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