I’m up and I’m thinking.
Maybe because my mom’s moving, moving’s just on my mind. Or maybe not because moving is almost always on my mind.
Blake’s job in Barrie isn’t the most secure job in the company. Layoffs are happening left, right and center and we worry constantly that he’s going to get the axe. For those who don’t know, he works for a national telecom in the Barrie office as the on-site IT guy. His primary job, and this is my interpretation of it because I don’t totally understand all the things he does, is to fix computers and site. If someone needs a mouse, they come see him. If someone needs 50 computers moved from one end of the call center to the other end, he gets out his trolley and does it. If someone needs Powerpoint on their computer, he takes ahold of their computer remotely and installs it for them. (I’m only using Powerpoint as as example because it’s the only software he installs where I actually know what it does, heh. Also there are “at-home agents” out of the Barrie office and he services and troubleshoots their machines, as well as installs software for them.) But this is probably only about 5% of his job, from what I understand. The other 95% is helping teams across Canada do what they do which is stuff on a nerd level I can’t even explain. Database and Oracle crap. Fixing problems that some teams themselves haven’t been able to solve, problems that he doesn’t even technically have clearance for but he knows the answers so they come to him anyway.
Technically, his team is in Scarborough, which is an awful, filthy place just north-east of Toronto, so their stuff comes first, but honestly, just from talking to him after work, it seems like he does much more stuff for the teams out west…and gets paid the least for doing so. It’s possible that the powers that be would decide that they don’t need an on-site IT person in Barrie and just send someone up from Scarborough once a week to change tapes (I don’t know what that means but it has to be done once a week, something to do with the servers) and while they’re there, do the on-site grunt-work. The at-home agents can be serviced remotely. This is what I mean by his job not exactly being the most secure.
The other thing is that in his position, I kinda think he’s making all he’s probably ever going to make. And with every minor raise they give him in his current position, that actually makes his job less secure. Or at least this is how I understand things to be by what he’s told me.
As a result of all of this, he’s been keeping his options open and networking with people within the company to hopefully get a better position…somewhere. The thing is, as I said he works with teams all across Canada and the teams that he’d like to be a part of are mostly out west. Working for a large Canadian telecom means that where things stand right now, we can literally choose where we want to live – anywhere in the country – and then he can apply to be on the team located there. Our other option is for him to physically join the Scarborough team and we move to one of the surrounding suburbs, which just so happen to be the towns I grew up in (and all but fled from when we moved here).
I’m grateful that we have a house. I’m proud that we worked hard together to sacrificed and save up money for this house and were homeowners before most of our friends. (Actually, now that I think about it, all of them and in my case, I was a homeowner before the age of 30.) But the thing is, I don’t like our house. It’s a functional house, it’s a roof over our heads, it is not the house I want to spend the rest of my life in. All of our bedrooms are so small that they fit a bed and a dresser and that’s pretty much it. We have to keep our towels in Wes’ closet because there’s nowhere else to put them. There’s vinyl siding on the biggest wall of my office because it used to be an exterior wall. Our kitchen disgusts me on a daily basis. All of our baseboards are made out of compressed cardboard and we had to remove the ones in the bathroom because they BLEW UP with moisture because the fan doesn’t do shit for ventilation. There is mold on the bathroom ceiling because they didn’t use mold-resistant paint in there. Our bathroom needs gutting in the worst way. Literally the only two places to put the cat litter in this house is in the bathroom, where it makes a mess (and is currently) or between the furnace and the dryer (where she won’t use it because of noise). The washing machine is in a hallway that serves as the “laundry room”, while the dryer is by the back door in my office. The fenced-in backyard is nice & all, but the chain-link fences – ours and both of our neighbours’ – are literally collapsing under the weight of annual snowdrifts. Our driveway needs repaving and re-tarring (???) because it has dips and grooves that makes it a real whore to get out of in the winter no matter how well you shovel.
I could go on for like, 3 more paragraphs. The fact is, this house was a fixer-upper when we bought it, we’ve fixed things up here & there but since we don’t intend on being here very long and don’t really have the money, we haven’t done a whole lot with it. As I said, it’s a functional house, it’s not a pretty house with any nice architectural features. It’s a white box with a bunch of boxes inside it and badly outdated everything. This is not the house we’re spending the rest of our lives in.
The original plan, before learning that Blake’s position could magically go “poof” at any moment, was to stay in Elmvale. We were hoping that in his current position, he’d be able to make enough money for us to sell this house and move into either one of the nice brick Victorians downtown or one of the nice old farmhouses outside of town. But now we’re thinking that looking elsewhere is the better idea.
If he got a position in Scarborough, we have a lot of choices as far as where we could move. There’s always Stouffville, where I grew up, which would be about a half hour to 40 minute commute, but the property taxes are really high there as the town grows into a city so living in town would be an impossibility. That leaves the smaller towns surrounding it which adds more time onto his commute. There’s Uxbridge, where Madison and I lived for the first 2 years of her life, but my fear with that one is that Madison’s father has family there and none of them are mentally stable and that could cause problems for us. Same with Port Perry. That’s my triumvirate. I would like to live in any 3 of those places but they all come with their own problems.
There’s a tiny town (village?) outside of Newmarket and Aurora called Snowball that we’ve been keeping an eye on because his commute would only be about half an hour and it’s in the middle of nowhere with plenty of pre-1930’s farmhouses. Not to mention the fact that it lays within roads that I know and would potentially drive on and is close enough to Stouffville that I could go into town and do stuff rather than sitting at home. But the thing is, we’d have to decide where we’re moving to before he applied for a position in Scarborough.
The other teams he could potentially get on are in Alberta and British Columbia. I really don’t want to move to Alberta. Alberta is full of redneck Conservatives and by all accounts, I would not enjoy my life there should that be our final destination. Alberta would always make me miss home (I’ve lived within 2 hours of Toronto my entire life) and I see absolutely no benefit whatsoever to living there. They have worse winters than here, less sunshine, less everything.
Now BC, I would move there. I would love to be near the ocean (as much as I think salt water is gross), I would love the fact that it barely snow there, I would love the fact that they get more sunshine than here and there are certain communities that I wouldn’t mind living in. But the thing with BC is that the cost of living is much higher there than here and I’m not sure how that would work out even if Blake got a raise. We were looking at houses there last night on Realtor.ca and as things stand now, we can’t afford any of them. And the main community I would like to live in, called Salt Spring, which is an island, is too far of a commute for where Blake would be working, so that’s out.
And again, I don’t want to move until we find what I’m referring to as our “forever home”. I don’t want to bounce around and never set down roots. I want a fucking house that I care about enough to actually paint and fix up because we’re going to be there for the rest of our goddamn lives. I only want to move one more time – ever.
And then there’s our little issue of not agreeing on where to live. I want to live in the middle of nowhere, Blake wants to live in a neighbourhood. His argument is that a neighbourhood is better for the kids because they’ll be able to walk to their friends’ houses and if we live in the middle of nowhere, we’ll constantly have to drive them to their friends houses. Well, the thing is, we live in a neighbourhood now and while there are 3 girls on the street that Madison plays with on the weekends, none of them are her friends at school. And Wes has no friends on our street. So even though we live in a neighbourhood RIGHT NOW, we still have to drive both kids to see their actual friends from school. This is what happens in Ontario, no matter where you live because kids get bused in from all of the rural communities and your kids make friends with who they make friends with. They don’t usually become best friends with a kid on their street just because they’re there.
The other thing is that I want LAND. You don’t get LAND in a neighbourhood, you get a postage stamp sized backyard and that’s it.
So I’ve pretty much won that battle and we’re looking at houses in more rural areas in every province we’re looking at.
I’m just sick of feeling like I’m waiting for life to begin. It’s hard to be a homemaker when you hate your fucking home, when you hate your fucking town and when you know that none of what you have right now is permanent. The kids function, Blake functions, but I so obviously do not thrive here and I think it’s time to set the wheels in motion for change to happen before Blake loses his job and we’re fucked and before I lose my goddamn mind again.
The fact is, I’ll never have friends here. Yes I hang out with Wayne & Judy and I like them and everything, but they’re much older than us and while yes, they are friends, we wouldn’t invite them over to have any political conversations ever. We wouldn’t invite them over, period, because they like their house better because they can smoke in it. Blake has friends at his work but I have this weird thing where I’m not comfortable mixing work people with our life outside of work. I don’t think that’s right. So they’re his friends and he goes to their parties.
I…have no one. I have Wayne & Judy and the internet. That is my social life. And that’s all I’m ever going to have because we don’t fit in here. Yeah we have Ronny & Alex too, but I see them so rarely, they might as well be internet friends.
So it’s time for change, but I don’t even know where to begin.