A tearful goodbye to my favourite neighbourhood in Vancouver
This last week has been chaos. Over the weekend Jeff and I got possession of our new house, a cute 3-bedroom townhouse nestled in the heart of Walnut Grove out in Langley. It’s been an exciting time preparing the new space for our official move in, which is this weekend. At the same time, I’ve really been struggling with the reality that I will be leaving my beloved Kitsilano neighbourhood.
Beautiful beach and mountain views aside, Kits has been my home pretty much since I fled the nest. I had a couple of brief stints in Marpole, and even one super short experience in Burnaby, but Kits had always felt like home.
I’ve wanted to sit down and write earlier this week, but simply couldn’t find the words. Last night, thanks to a lovely combination of absolute exhaustion after my first really terrible sleep since getting pregnant, along with the emotional weight being lifted off my shoulders getting the much anticipated SIPS results, and, to top it off, living in a space of absolute disaster amongst all of the cardboard boxes that litter my current home, I finally broke down. And it wasn’t pretty. I had been fighting tears all day long, and as I was rinsing the dishes, the great flood of 2017 came.
This move to the suburbs is so much more than a simple relocation for me. This move symbolizes an end of a chapter, and the beginning of a new one.
My twenties are officially over. I have spent the better part of them living in Kitsilano with a lot of my friends just a stone’s throw away. Living in Kitsilano in your twenties means last minute power walks to the beach with your sister; Really early morning coffees with your roommates, even long after you’ve all parted ways; Summer dates taking a stroll to the beach to watch the sunset (with a Whole Foods burrito in hand). Living here means you’re only a couple of phone calls away from organizing a picnic and bocce game with friends on the (usually green, sometimes straw-yellow) Kits Lawn.
Gone are the days of pure selfish pleasure. My body is almost halfway through creating a human. In 5 short months I will be in love with a baby. My priorities will shift. I know this because already they have. I’ve stopped wonder, “will this bring me joy?” and started questioning, “is this the right decision for my family?” With this move, I have decided to take on the responsibility of a mortgage, I’ve researched the distance of the nearest elementary school for my future children, and considered if this will be a wise investment in the long run. It’s no longer about the convenience of the nearest bar to chill out at on a Saturday night, nor where the funkiest restaurants are in relation to me. I’m saying goodbye to last minute wine nights that leave me groggy and dehydrated as fuck in the morning. My morning fogginess will soon be due to feeding my baby at night.
My twenties were amazing. I had so much fun. I met so many wonderful people. I dated a lot of different kinds of guys. I travelled a fair amount. I wouldn’t change a thing about them. I’m so grateful to have had the experiences that I had while living in such a beautiful part of Vancouver. I will always associate Kitsilano with my younger days.
Now my thirties are officially starting. I am married, with a child on the way, moving to the suburbs. While thinking about all of these changes at once scares me to the point of tears, there’s a little flame in my heart that’s burning bright. The eternal optimist that I am, sees these changes as an amazing challenge to conquer. Yes, I’m leaving Kitsilano, but I’m moving to a beautiful neighbourhood in north Langley. I may not have the best restaurants near by, but I am a 20 minute drive away from Golden Ears Provincial Park! I have over 80 kms of new trails to explore. Fort Langley is a quick bike ride away, and offers cute cafes, coffee shops, and a perfect setting for a romantic stroll with my husband. My home will become a place of entertaining. With a guest room for my friends to stay at, I’m sure it won’t be hard to convince people to come over for a drink or two!
Kitsilano, I wish I could give you a massive, sobbing thank you hug for all of the amazing memories that you had provided the setting for. I’m leaving you for Langley, but I promise we will still be best friends, and I’ll visit almost every weekend.
Langley, show me what you’ve got. Be nice to me, and let’s learn about each other!
Thank you for reading this post. It was extremely hard for me to write. Honestly, no words can fully describe the feelings I am experiencing. This is only a glimpse of it.