In one week the movers will be here. (Mental note: call movers to confirm.) Reality is setting in: in one week, we won’t live in Ottawa any more. I am sadder than I ever thought I would be about this change of events. After two years of feeling trapped here, after hating the suburbs and this car-dependent life, after bemoaning the unfriendly nature of this city, I am shocked to realize that we built a happy, connected life here. Not that it was easy, mind you. Our neighbours are our friends, and I hope we stay in touch. We have a little group to hang out with at the park after dinner. And even though I still hate getting in my car every single day, I appreciate what the suburbs have to offer. It’s quiet here, and I don’t mind it anymore. We have the best babysitter ever, and we will miss her. I have friends – not terribly close – but there’s a connection that goes beyond just having young children. It’s a good life, and it’s a life I think I could lead quite happily if we had to stay here.
So why are we leaving?
Because HS’s job does not require us to be here (and that’s the reason we moved in the first place). We can have all the things we have here (except a roomy, 4-bedroom house with double garage and 2.5 bathrooms, of course) in Toronto. We can rebuild the happy, connected life we had before and have our families close by. We can live in a city that supports a career for me too. We can have more of a balance in our lives, because for all that we have here, we are alone in a lot of ways. I don’t look at moving back as failure or running away from an unhappy situation. We are choosing this. And as hard as it is right now, it will be better for us in the long run. And while I have some reservations about raising Charlie in a big city and the move back to a busier life, I know going home is the right thing for us. I can hardly wait to go biking along the boardwalk. I want to walk Charlie to school on his first day of JK. I want to call my sister to see if she wants to go the gym, or a movie, or even coffee fer cryin’ out loud, just on the spur of the moment. I want to go back to school. I want to go to book club. I want to work part-time in an office and wear my nice shoes. I want to have another baby.
So it comes down to this: Ottawa, I do love you after all. We will visit. I will think of you fondly and remember that this is the place where I learned a hell of a lot about myself, where I overcame depression, and where I became a Mom. I will miss you, and that’s ok. I can miss you and still know I’m making the right decision.