“We are creatures of routine.”
True. I am a creature of routine up until a certain period of time (2-5 years. Yes, like the lifespan of rats.) For two years, I would eat a single fried egg, on top of homemade spelt bread (which was like eating cake, if cake tasted like bread). Then one day, “Fuck eggs. Done with eggs.” Next phase: yogurt and granola.
While I think about food a lot, my routines aren’t limited to what I stuff in my bread-flavoured-cake hole. One routine that far outlasted my egg phase was my previous job. I went to the same job five days a week for 6 years. (But sat at 4 different desks! Exciting!)
This job paid well (not by most people’s standards, but I was one-half of a debt-free DINK) and it wasn’t awful. It was… just okay. Prior to this job, the longest I had held a job was a year and a half. At the three-year mark of working my not completely unpleasant desk job, I was ready to leave but knew that it would be difficult to find anything that would pay me as well, and didn’t involve borderline or outright illegal activities. (Escort-slash-drug dealer. Simultaneously selling drugs AND my body by letting people snort coke off my butt.)
Not only that, but I was also tired of Vancouver. How was I supposed to break free of a routine that I had grown bored of? This was not a new experience for me as I had already quit two cities: Calgary and Victoria.
So, to break free of a routine, I tend to opt for the “rip-off-the-bandaid” method. As it happens, I had no real escape plan when I was ready to leave Calgary. I had booked a round-trip flight to Vancouver to visit family and friends but that was all it was supposed to be: a visit.
When I made the decision to leave Calgary, I wrote a letter to the boyfriend with whom I was cohabitating, and signed a cheque to cover my half of the following month’s rent. After laying this horrible letter/somewhat considerate payment on the bed, I took the bus to the airport a week before the date my “vacation” flight was booked.
At the airport check-in my 20-year-old self burst into tears. They were genuine tears: I was so stressed out. By my tears definitely reinforced my story about how my father had booked my flight on my behalf.
“My father told me it was today! I have nowhere to stay.” I lied to the woman behind the ticket counter who then managed to hook me up with a seat on the next flight to Vancouver at no additional charge (keep in mind, this was in 2003… I don’t see this happening now). Once I had a seat confirmed on the next flight, I used the airport TTY to call Dad at work.
“Dad, I’m on my way back to Vancouver. Could you please pick me up?”
Within 24 hours of deciding that I no longer wanted to live in Calgary/be in a relationship, I had broken free of a routine I had grown unhappy with.
Leaving Victoria was slightly more well-thought-out, aside from the fact that I decided to finally–after five years of living in the same building–paint my bedroom blood red. THEN decide “nah, I want to move out,” before the green painter’s tape was even pulled off the moulding.
I remember the night I quit my job: I showed up to work without the intention of quitting. I spent the night putting new clothing on hangers, just getting lost in my thoughts, “I’m not really feeling it anymore. How do I leave?” So, I walked up to my supervisor and gave him my two weeks notice. I couldn’t take that back.
Leaving Vancouver in 2015 was far more planned. I just cannot believe that MOVING thousands of kilometres across Canada is what it took for me to LEAVE MY JOB.
I do plan on eventually leaving Montreal but I am no longer making major decisions impulsively. What prompted this thought was how I need to figure a way to get back into blogging that doesn’t involve just destroying the TV. This is a way better use of my time than watching Garfunkel and Oates for the second time around.
One last note: I am currently on my apple and homemade almond/cashew butter on toast breakfast phase. It’s really good so I’ll give it another year before I embark on a new breakfast adventure.