If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know by now that I am undergoing a bit of change in my life. And by a bit I mean a lot.
I recently quit my job at CBC Calgary, moved to Vancouver (without a job), and moved back in with my parents. Am I crazy? Maybe. Am I your typical always-looking-for-something-better millennial? Likely. But there’s more to it than that.
In November of 2016 I started doing some of my own personal writing, apart from the writing I do for work as a journalist. I started doing this because I felt like there was something missing in my life. Or maybe that I was missing out on life. I was working in a job I wasn’t completely happy in anymore, living in a city that didn’t ever quite feel like home, and I began to wonder why. At one time, my career as a journalist was my number one focus in life. I mean, I lived in Regina, Saskatchewan for two years (a city I knew no one in) to work as a reporter for CTV just so I could get started in this career.
I had the goal of becoming a news anchor, and by twenty-three I was anchoring the news at CTV Regina. That eventually led me anchoring the news at CBC Calgary. I was on a path to achieving what I thought was my ultimate dream of becoming a national news anchor.
But something wasn’t quite right.
Thinking that I may have worked for four years in places away from my family and friends, for a career that I may not even want, was upsetting. I started to feel like I’d wasted years of my life, that I may have to start over in something else, and that I have no idea what that may be. Now, I know my time was not actually wasted, especially since I do still have an interest in journalism, but this is still how I was feeling at the time and it was overwhelming. And unfortunately, when I feel overwhelmed, I have a tendency to avoid facing exactly what it is I need to do.
So, rather than going out and trying to determine what my next step would be to fix this problem, I wasted hours, days, and probably even months of my life drowning in unhappiness. I hid it from everyone I was close to, shuttered myself in my one bedroom apartment in Calgary, and just did the bare minimum to get by. It wasn’t until I admitted to myself that I was avoiding my problems, and then started talking about what was going on with those close to me, that I figured out that I needed to do something for myself. Something I enjoyed that would motivate me to get back on the right track.
This is when I started writing.
It gave me a purpose, and it gave me a reason to get out of my apartment. I started practising photography, a skill I’d learned through a course in university but never put to good use. I started focusing on saving money for travel rather than spending it on things that only brought me temporary happiness — like clothes and dinners out. I also began learning. Not for work, not for school, but for me. I started reading more books on topics I thought would help to better my life. I learned how to build a proper website, how SEO works, and how to use social media marketing.
In doing all of this, I came to the conclusion that Calgary was no longer where I needed to be.
That if I wanted to be happy, I needed to make a change. So that’s what I did, and that’s why I am where I am right now, sitting in my parent’s living room in the middle of a work day writing about how I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life.
So clearly, the change in my life is only just beginning.
Most of the writing I’ve been doing has been travel-based and somewhat detached from anything significantly personal in my life. As a journalist, I’m not really accustomed to writing personal stories about myself, and it’s truly quite terrifying, but it’s what is most real, raw, and at this point, it’s what I know. So, now that I’m in Vancouver, living (rent-free!) with my parents, I’m diving off the deep end, and putting myself out there. I’m working as a freelance writer and journalist (including at CBC Vancouver), but I’m going to take more time to write articles like this. Because in all honesty, while I may have taken the first steps towards a better life, I still have no idea what I’m doing. I still don’t know if I’m in the right career. Vancouver may be home, but I still don’t even know if it’s the right city for me at this point. And when my close friend asked me the simple question of what would make me happy in life right now, I did not have an answer.
I guess you could say I’m having a ‘quarter-life crisis’.
It sounds cliche, but I think it’s also something a lot of other twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings could relate to. And so I hope you’ll follow me on this journey as I figure out my life (or at least try to), because maybe it will help you to figure out yours as well, or at the very least, maybe it will provide you with a little entertainment value. I do plan on writing about what it’s like to be twenty-six, single, and back living with my parents, so stay tuned for that.