Living Every Day (Or, Consequences)

I’m just a couple of months shy of five years since I moved back to Victoria from Calgary. I’m occasionally asked if this was a ‘good’ move for me. I have to admit that the question confounds me. It seems to me that most decisions in life are impossible to assess in such black and white terms. Our choices are rarely ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, at least as my experience suggests. Rather, they are just choices, each with their own set of consequences, positive and negative. A consequence of looking at the world this way is that it means that maturity involves being able to understand and deal with these consequences as they come up and not expecting panaceas or perfection. Joni Mitchell said it best: “Something’s lost and something’s gained in living every day.”

The immediate consequences of my move were mixed. On the one hand, the move enabled me to reconnect with old communities and family in Victoria and to begin an exciting new phase of my life in a beautiful, different new yet still familiar, place. On the other hand, it meant leaving behind a good group of friends, my brother and sister and their families (including my three awesome nephews and two amazing nieces), and Calgary’s bustling job market. Longer term, the move has had pleasant surprises and incredible disappointments. Has it been all that I had hoped it would be? No. Does my life look now what I thought it would look like five years ago? No. Am I sorry I made the move? No. Am I sorry my life has turned out as it has? No.

I think much of life is like this. We make decisions and open doors and close doors in the process, and while it might be fun to play ‘what if?’, ultimately life is just life, for good and bad.

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