I’m down in Halifax (technically Dartmouth, but I digress) visiting friends and looking for work, the goal being that I move to the region sometime in the near future. I’ve always loved visiting the city from the time I was a young kid living in Pictou, NS, and spending a week here last summer only confirmed that I want to live here.
I like cities in general. Maybe I was spoiled by living in Winnipeg for four years when I was a teenager, but the cities in New Brunswick always felt too small for me. The city where I’ve been living for the past year, Miramichi, technically isn’t so much a city as a string of towns and villages along a river that were amalgamated against their will. Their economy has been hit hard by mill closures and other main employers going bust (not without some scandal: Google Atcon), and it seems most of the jobs along the river are call centres, retail and restaurants. Most of the young people are leaving for school and better opportunities. A lot of people go to Alberta, places like Fort McMurray. It doesn’t sound like the place for me.
When I was in Halifax last July, I remembered how vibrant it was. I came in the middle of a week long jazz festival, but it always seemed like something was going on. Many activities to get involved with. Many restaurants to try. Pockets of different cultures. Visibly identifiable queer people. When you’re in a place like Miramichi, with limited activity and opportunity, and where deviations from the norm are cause for gossip or suspicion, these things stand out.
What I’m a little concerned about is the whole process of starting from scratch, but I at least know people in the city, and there’s something a little exciting about not being on a set path. The process of meeting people is a little daunting, but when comfort doesn’t necessarily mean happiness, I’d rather force myself to be uncomfortable to live the kind of life I want.