In case I didn't mention it, last week I packed up the fam and took them on holiday to Vancouver. I used to live there, and I love it. I love the mountains, I love the ocean, and I love the vibe of a city full of community-minded hippies. I love that independent retailers thrive, that there are always a ton of amazing (and free) community events, that you can get a decent job with a tattoo on your face. That I don't have to argue with people over whether feeding my kid organic milk is going to lower the chances that he'll be hitting puberty at the age of nine.
(And that organic milk is actually readily available, and not by appointment-only in some sketchy alley in the bowels of the city.)
But I also hate Vancouver. I hate the expense, the ridiculous commutes, the obscene crowds. Sometimes I even hate the hippies, or at least their lack of deoderant. And I hate the rain.
The rain, the rain, omigodthefuckingRAIN. It rains there, incessantly, oppressively, from October to March. I spent two winters there, and if I hadn't been a drunken 20-year-old theatre student in love with the world, I probably would have stabbed myself in the eye with a number 8 Phillips screwdriver. It rains, it keeps raining, and rains some more, and you're chilled to the bone and damp, constantly, because nobody who lives there actually uses an umbrella. It's like some great unspoken community effort to NOT use umbrellas. Possibly to lessen the loss of eyeballs, I don't know, but as a result you live your life as a drowned terrier for 6 months out of the year. Or be the social pariah with the umbrella. Your choice.
I have to remind myself of all this every time I visit Vancouver, because unsurprisingly, I always visit in the SUMMER. And it's pretty and sunny and all the hippies are feelin' the love, and I think, "Oh! I love Vancouver. I miss Vancouver. WE SHOULD MOVE TO VANCOUVER".
We're not, in fact, going to move to Vancouver, because I made myself promise (the LAST time I moved back) that I ever got that urge again, I'd spend a couple of weeks there during January to disabuse myself of the notion. So there's that.
But my workplace greeting on Monday really made me notice the stark contrast between the happy, positive, go-with-the-flow type of people that we were hanging with in Vancouver, and the fucking cesspool of negativity that I wade through every day. To keep myself sane there, I'm obligated to be relentlessly cheerful. One might even say obnoxiously cheerful.
I probably don't need to tell you that this is not, in fact, a state that comes naturally to me. I'm not a fucking cheerleader, I'm the bitter girl making sarcastic comments in the back of the classroom, thank you very much. I like it, I'm comfortable with it, and I'm good at it. But I'm a firm believer in "fake it til you make it", and in my current work environment, I need to do that to offset the whiners/complainers/bitchies/bullies.
Something needs to change, clearly. Location, job, number of children, my underwear more than twice a week, SOMETHING.
But then, there's lethargy.
I'd write more about that, but I can't be bothered.