Like most teenagers, I was ready to fly from the nest at 20 and go out into the world. I thought I was ready to conquer it; cape and all. But between my math, French and sociology classes, they forgot to teach me how to deal when I miss home or when my bills come in the mail and I’ve
only got 10 dollars in my bank account. It also comes to no surprise that when I gather with my “out of the nest” friends, they all tell me the same thing: “Been there done that”.
I distinctively remember the moment I chose to do the craziest thing I’ve ever done. It was in February of 2012, my feet were in the sand and I was sipping on a sky blue Piña Colada. Yes, it was on a beach of Cayo Coco, Cuba that I decided to make the biggest change of my life so far and move to Toronto. I mean, in my head it all made sense; I was in an Event Management program, finishing up my third and final year of college and I was looking to pursue my career in that field. What better way to get it started than moving to the City of Opportunities?
When I came back from vacation, the idea of moving was stuck in my head for good and I was doing this one way or the other. Within four months, I had applied to one hundred and sixty positions in various fields. Yes, you read that right. That’s 160 resumes sent, 160 follow ups and out of all that, only 2 interviews. (This in fact, didn’t work out.) But I am persistent. I then oh so cleverly (please note the sarcasm) decided that I was going to move on July 9th, live with my college friend/future roommate in a rented room, find myself a job within three weeks or I’d come back.
Room that we rented and shared. Yes – one bed only
I did find a job; part-time and in retail. This was not what I came to Toronto for.
But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. By August 1st my roommate and I were out of our little room, got our set of keys and I had my first apartment. It was far from being luxurious, but it had its charm and well hey, it was mine!
I treated the first couple of months like it was a party every day. Instead of paying my part of rent on time, buying groceries and making good healthy meals at home, I spent the little money I had on useless items like new clothing or shoes, movie nights and take out. Let me tell you, that that escalated quickly. I had to get a second part time job to cover rent and actually get some food in my fridge.
Party Girl ready to go!
It was around October that I realized that I hadn’t handled my situation well at all. I should have waited until I could secure a job with which I could make ends meet, that would be beneficial to my career. Likewise, moving on a whim with almost no money saved wasn’t so smart. This realization was followed by an emergency “I can’t do this” trip back home.
With the help and support of my friends and family, I came back to Toronto well rested with a fresh perspective on life. (I also had a lease I couldn’t break and had to make things work). I found myself a full-time job as a Customer Sales Agent at Air Canada and developed new habits, like putting money aside for rent, transit pass and food, paying back my almost maxed out credit cards and my more than generous roommate who had been paying my half of rent for a while.
You will make mistakes in life, that’s inevitable. And I do believe that the way I handled my situation was one of them. But here’s the thing: I’m almost glad I did it this way, because looking back, I’m not sure how I would have learned what I did. With all of this mentioned, I will note that I had some great times with my roommate and have loved the freedom of making my own decisions. But most of all, I’ve loved discovering who I am and who I want to be in this crazy world
On a side note, I no longer work at Air Canada, am living in a cozy bachelor apartment and will be moving back home soon, all for various reasons that will be posted later on.
What are your moving-out stories? Please don’t be shy to email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them below in the comments section.