Is this your first visit? Here’s the story so far: Continue reading
Is this your first visit? Here’s the story so far: Continue reading
It is with great joy and gratitude that I can share Sweetie & I are buying a little home!
This move into home ownership means so much to both of us. We’ve been experiencing housing insecurity for nearly 10 years, culminating in our eviction from our home in Ucluelet, because our landlord sold the property. This event caused us to make the decision to move to Victoria, as there were better employment possibilities for both of us, and whereas the housing and rental markets had doubled in our ten years on the wild west coast, the potential numbers looked a lot better for us in Victoria.
Since the move, I have focused fiercely on getting us a permanent place. I’ve been taking all the overtime I could get at my new job, because I needed to show potential mortgage lenders that I can make mortgage payments. There is a conservative “stress test” you need to pass, and the higher your employment income, the better your chances of being approved.
Well, now we have a home. YAY!
We can paint the walls and hang our wedding pictures. We can invest in some furniture solutions, like a litter box cover, a desk, a dresser.
We can save for the future, and enjoy the stability of affordable, long term housing, in a lovely “up and coming” neighbourhood.
I am so full of joy and gratitude right now!
Typically, I would be running a promotion for my annual “New Year Report Cards” right now, but seeing as we will be MOVING in January, I am going to hold off on running a promotion that typically fills my schedule up for months.
I WILL run a special for New Year Report Cards after we have moved and actually settled into our new HOME!
New year, brand new future!
Lots of people have been asking me, “How are you settling into Victoria?”
Well, the truth is, I’m not quite settled, and likely will not be for some time. We are working hard to open up some more options for the future, and when these things start coming to fruition, I will absolutely update you all. Meanwhile though, I’m working a lot of overtime at my full-time job, which is a big change from my part-time job at Tofino Hospital these past 8 years.
So if you’re popping in here to see how I’m doing, that’s what we’re doing! Nose to the grindstone, knuckling down, focused on manifesting our future here in this beautiful city.
Today, Sweetie and I went on a walking “Ghost Tour” of Victoria, which was a lot of fun. A crazy coincidence was, we ended up in the SAME HAIR SALON that my friend Carly spoke about in her guest episodes of the Joyful Telepathy Podcast!
I can’t recall which episode she told the hair salon story; all her stories are fantastic so I think you should listen to both episodes.
When I heard that the room we were visiting used to be a hair salon, I briefly paraphrased Carly’s story of the terrifying, six-foot dark shadowed figure she saw in the hallway. It turns out, the story of that very site was of a large, dark figure who is believed to be the “enforcer” of the brothel that used to be in that building. If any of the women tried to run away, he would follow them, and either bring them back, or kill them.
No wonder his presence is so menacing to those who witnessed it!
That’s my quick update for now. Happy Halloween, and give Carly’s episodes of the Joyful Telepathy Podcast a listen!
EDIT / PS: I am happy to share how much better I’m doing physically, nearly *two years* after my surgery I’m back up to a full day of walking! Walking is one of the primary ways I enjoy life, and until recently, I was only able to walk an hour or two max, due to some muscle and alignment issues secondary to the chronic pelvic pain I experienced before surgery.. I hit a wall with physiotherapy a year after my surgery and was getting discouraged. It turns out, massage was what I needed. I’m very fortunate my benefits covered the care I needed, and my body is finally functioning in a way I can just join in with activities like walking ghost tours! I walked six hours today! Yay!
(The tour was only 1.5 hrs, but I walked pretty much the whole day!)
Oh my goodness. Change is still afoot, and I’m afraid it leaves me with little to no time to do the cool stuff I’ve enjoyed doing here on the blog with you since 2012.
This is a temporary situation.
Having gratefully landed in a new city I’m getting to know, both Sweetie and I are looking for further opportunities to improve our circumstances – and we are finding them. A lot of them. The only limitations are really the time and energy available to invest in the process of creating change.
To give you an idea, I started aggressively job hunting in February, and received my first job offer in mid-April. I probably invested 15-20 hours a week, so a minimum of 160 hours invested to get that change to happen.
And its a great change. But we are not done.
Thing is, we are now both employed full time, so investing a further 20 hours a week in the change isn’t easy or always possible. Which is okay. We are doing what we can when we can.
That brings me back to this blog, and the podcast.
In this time crunch, I can’t do everything I did before, not for the time being.
I am still doing sessions on Sundays. That’s not going to change. As always, you can book a session here: https://www.tofinopsychic.com/book-a-session.html
In particular, I want to be sure I’m taking care of existing clients. I will no longer do sessions on Mondays or Thursdays, so my calendar is starting to fill up a bit further in advance again. I am no longer advertising for new clients, but I am taking referrals – my existing clients friends or family.
I do intend to come back to writing here, and producing the podcast, and I will do what I can, as I can, and as it feels good.
Meanwhile, go watch Yesterday. It’s a movie in theatres now. John popped in while Sweetie and I were watching it, and I’m positive he approves of it… and it’s just fun to watch! Take a friend.
Have a fabulous day everyone! Keep your eyes out for my quickie posts.
I am so behind on emails. I am so sorry if you have sent an email and I haven’t responded. I am doing my best juggling all the balls of our city life, and there may yet be new developments to write about soon-ish? Maybe? We have some irons in the fire.
Anyway, I do sincerely apologize if you are waiting on a response to me. I’m actually getting anxious because we, the office goddess and I, are so behind on our maintenance tasks.
Sometimes life keeps you busy, and you just can’t do all the things.
Thank you so much for your patience.
I thought I knew how to create and maintain a reasonably balanced life.
After all, Sweetie and I had moved across the country to completely change our lifestyle, from the fast-paced, competitive, vibrant, opportunistic city of Toronto, to the seasonally sleepy, remote, fantastically wild rural Ucluelet. I loved the change.
And I loved life in Ucluelet. There are elements of life on the coast which I constantly appreciated, which never ceased being spectacular or fill me with joy.
The sea lions in Ukee bark all the time. You can hear them pretty much all year, these mighty animals, bears of the sea, jostling for a piece of the dock, for dominance, for just pure magnificence. Occasionally their barking would inspire me to dream about them, to join them in their bodies as they flew and twisted underwater, where most of their life and the greatest dangers existed. I miss them.
Bald eagles are everywhere up there. I would see them nearly every day, and it never got old. Sometimes I could coax one to fly over me and check me out, with my poor imitation of their cascading, flute-y salutation whistle. I miss them.
The wilderness pressed in from all sides. Humanity’s mark was everywhere, yes, but the forest had reclaimed itself, and the massive provincial parks sheltered thousand-year old trees, endangered species, miles of beaches which would whisper secrets of wolves, cougars, changing tides. It felt *right*. I miss it.
It had really seemed as though I had achieved a beautiful and balanced life. Part time hospital job in a community where being part of the hospital became a part of my identity. Friends at work where there is a strong culture of hugging. A team of people I admire, the nurses and docs, the lab folks, the housekeeping staff, mental health, admitting, administration – all working together, sometimes at significant personal cost, bonded by the isolation, the challenge of acute traumas, the work ethic, and the dedication it takes to be a part of rural health care. I miss them so much.
And my psychic business, of course – thankfully, one of the few things I was able to take with me.
All of it together was a beautiful, balanced life – or so it would seem… See, it was never actually balanced. Not really. I am still struggling to reconcile that.
Our housing in ten years had never really stabilized. Even living in our rental house, I knew it could be pulled out from under us at any time. It was getting tiring, having that hang over us. The cost of living was inflating every year, and we were still living in an area with seasonal work. In planning for our long-term future it was pretty clear we were not able to save enough, or make more, and we had seen what happens to locals who lived the shifting Ukee life for decades and hit 65 with no retirement savings. Insecurity became greater, dark uncertainty yawned ahead, until one final inciting incident would painfully limit their options.
We knew we should make a change, and in fact we had been tentatively planning to leave the coast in September after our wedding… but we couldn’t agree on where to go, so we decided to stay. After all, it was hard, choosing to leave what we had behind.
I am grateful for every day we had on the coast. I never stopped appreciating it’s beauty, and our good fortune to live there for 10 years.
Y’all, leaving it behind is so hard.
Now, I’m working a full-time, year-round job, so is my Sweetie, and we are living in a pretty awesome city. There are a lot of things here that I enjoyed about Toronto, and missed, and there is still access to beaches, big city parks, and I can still walk from my place to go on a whale watch. As far as cities go, this is a spectacular choice.
Victoria is one of North America’s oldest cities, and it feels like a city. It will take me a while to adapt, to try to find a new sort of balance here, which is why I’ve been thinking of balance so much lately.
My life in Ukee was superficially balanced, but there was strain at the seams. Sweetie and I didn’t have much time together due to our work schedules, and when one of us was working the other didn’t typically have the car, so we hadn’t been accessing the beaches and more remote areas as frequently. The balance had been wobbling for a while.
We have cleared many hurdles to make this change. My new job is *so different* from my TGH job, but there is a lot more potential for growth.
I don’t have a balance here yet, everything feels like it’s taking a lot more effort, and through this adjustment I’m carrying the background mantra of my grief. I miss the sea lions, the eagles, the trees, and all my friends. I can’t help it. It feels selfish or spoiled to be sad to move here to Victoria, a dream destination city which seems like a great balance between our new life and the old, and loss is a part of life. This isn’t a bad thing, this change, it’s just big, and it’s asking a lot of me. I try and often succeed in pep-talking myself back into my preferred positive mindset, but I don’t force it. So I might give voice to some of that here, because you my friends, have always been kind and compassionate readers of my not so secret diary.
Superficially, my life is very imbalanced right now. I went from a job of colleagues and friends, to an office setting physically removed entirely from patient care and care teams, from a place where people hugged me, asked how I was, and meant it, to an office with constantly rotating staff and a crisp, saran-wrap separation of professionalism between each of us.
I think I can see some opportunity to move into positions that may bring me back in closer proximity to patient care teams, or to have a bigger impact in supporting those teams.
While I don’t have balance right now, what I do feel is… a forward momentum.
My friends, I threw my back out last week. I was a bit behind on emails before this happened, and while the lovely office goddess is handling what she can, I do need to respond to a number of your emails.
If you have emailed me about a lost pet, an appointment rescheduling, or a class question in the past two weeks, I apologize for the delay in my response. I will get back to you, just as soon as I have dealt with these physical “technical difficulties”.
I think it’s the stress of the changes of the last six months finally showing in my body. The last time my back really went out was after I’d visited my mother after her chemo and radiation. It’s just a quirk of my particular physical model.
Please bear with me! Thanks!
Well, we’re here!
Boy, that happened fast!!!
It’s going to take me time to get used to living in a city again, but Victoria is a *nice* city, of 94k people or so. It feels smaller than the 60k+ city I grew up in, and FAR smaller than Toronto, city of 6 million at the time. The people are friendly, letting each other merge in traffic, smiling at each other generally.
The cultural transition from rural small town to city where no one knows us has been tough on me, and I dearly miss the friends I left behind, and my hospital job. It has been a complex emotional experience – but I am also deeply grateful for the opportunity to live here. Victoria is undeniably a beautiful, charming, welcoming, clean city which gives us so much opportunity for growth, and in all honesty we did need this re-potting!
The important details went well – the move itself, the parking situation, all the absolutely necessary things fell into place.
Sweetie even got four job offers the second she dropped her resume online.
We are absolutely better off in Victoria, and I have everything I need here, to be happy.
We moved from a 3-bedroom duplex with a huge yard – the largest place by far we’ve been lucky enough to occupy, to a 500 square foot 1 bedroom apartment. I have stayed in larger hotel rooms (upgrades, but still!). That’s not a bad thing though!
I’ve always heard people who downgraded from a house to a condo talk about how easy it is to keep a small place clean – and I find myself raving about the same thing!
We vacuum every day, but it takes 5 minutes. We have a tiny corner kitchen, but it’s well-designed and actually functions very well. I don’t really like cooking anyway. Literally everything you need to make food is within arms’ reach – which makes food prep and clean up fast and easy too.
Most importantly, our place is bright and quiet. We were very lucky to find it. It’s on the top floor, so no one is walking overhead. The living room is south-east facing, and the huge windows fill the place with light.
We have divided the living room into three spaces: a tv / relaxing area with the cat tree and a plant shelf, and our reclining couch, my office corner with my phone & recording setup, laptop, and my office Christmas cactus, and Sweetie’s studio corner with her easel.
We also got lucky being able to get three small storage lockers in the basement – two of which were filled up with Kat’s studio stuff (paintings, canvas roll, market supplies etc.) and one locker for things like suitcases, cat kennels, Christmas decorations etc.
It’s cozy, bright, clean, quiet, and functional.
And I’ve been nesting.
I chose to leave behind most of my plants, rehoming them within the neighbourhood, because in my experience, moving plants into a different climate can really set them back, and if they are well-established and adapted to the humidity and light on the West coast, moving them to the drier south coast, in a building with an HVAC system, into unknown lighting conditions, can really stress them and cause them to die back or become susceptible to pests.
My giant peace lily had to go, as I knew I simply would not have room for it in the new place, and I doubted I’d be able to find a spot where it would receive adequate light to maintain its foliage – so I’d have to witness it yellow and die back as it adapted.
Watching my plants struggle to adapt after moves can be a bummer, as their caretaker I DID THIS TO THEM. I had a beautiful ficus tree I’d grown from a diseased little twig I bought on sale to a thriving five foot tree that felt like it was lovingly embracing our living room – drop nearly all its leaves and sicken over months when we moved from the boathouse cottage in Ukee to a dark ground floor suite in Tofino. I eventually gave it away to another ficus fan who assured me she could bring it back.
Now, I only bring plants with me when I am positive they will thrive in the new place, and as the only plants who survived the last two moves, we arrived just with my Christmas cacti, Sweetie’s 20+ year old philodendron pothos, the only plant we brought from Ontario.
Just like I need animals in my home, I need plants too. Plants are a big contributor to the spiritual health home for me. They are aware, in their omnipresent sensitive way, that they are being cared for, and while I don’t believe they experience emotion in the way we mammals do, I think we can all agree that plants do have happy and sad states. We will name them without realizing it, saying it’s happy in this location, or with the repotting, and a struggling, wilted or overwatered plant we frequently describe as “sad”.
I’m glad I rehomed my previous plants, and it’s been really fun investigating what plants are available in this city.
Raising plants is also a great opportunity to practice intuitive perception. One of my new plants is a gorgeous escargot rex begonia – which I was thrilled to find, but was troubled from the start. I noticed spots on it’s leaved and intuited it had resulted from spots of water sitting on the leaves – then made the logical leap that it must have resulted from Sweetie misting her pothos. I moved the begonia to where it wouldn’t be near the misting area, but unfortunately the plant has not thrived, and the spots have gotten larger and more numerous.
After some more research it appears the spots are actually a bacterial disease, spread by… splashing water from other diseased plants. This plant could have picked up the disease from the nursery, or it may just have been propagated from a diseased mother plant, which I hope not!
Even so, the intuitive sense that this plant hates water on it’s leaves is true, and that the water caused the problem is also likely true.
I’ve moved the poor escargot begonia again so it’s away from my other plants, and I’ve had to remove all the leaves showing signs of spotting – which was most of them! Poor thing only has a few baby leaves on it now, but it’s the best chance I can give it.
The cats are doing well, but Rupert is convinced the entire building is “our new house” and he has no idea why 1) we confine him to these few rooms and 2) why so many other people just walk in and out of “our house” like they live here! There is a gorgeous Cornish Rex cat who lives directly across the hall from us, who meows loudly when she hears us come home from work in the afternoon – which sets Rupert off, so we have two cats meowing at each other through closed doors!
Mikey has adapted pretty well, but it was a stressful adjustment for them too. We live in a pet-friendly building, so pretty much very unit in the building has a dog, cat, or combination of animals, and neither cat was used to hearing so many animals so close by. I picked up some Feliway from the pet shop – it’s a calming pheromone released in a glade plug in apparatus, and it helped ease their transition a bit.
Sorry I don’t have photos this time, I’ve been working on this post in bits and pieces as I have time, and I thought it was better this get this up now.
So that’s the quick update – we’re here, we’re settled, and we are figuring out our new life!
Well friends, we have successfully installed ourselves in Victoria.
It has been an incredibly eventful week.
On Wednesday May 8, I worked my last shift at Tofino Hospital. Many of you know just how much I *loved* my job there. The workplace culture is exceptional, the team spirit is strong, and as a hospital employee you know you are an important part of the whole West Coast community. I am dearly going to miss working there.
I have also had to say some heartbreaking goodbyes to amazing, and now lifelong friends. I am a tenacious friend, once we have bonded. It’s brutal to say so long for now, but I have a small handful of lifelong friends, and once added to the ranks of lifers, I find that we can always pick up where we left off with Skype / FaceTime / old fashioned phone calls, and in-person visits.
So Wednesday was hard… but something amazing happened that day.
It is hospital tradition to have a pot luck when a staff member leaves. It so happened that my last day was also the last day of another long-term employee, who felt gutted as well to be leaving but also had to go for reasons beyond his control. We were could understand each other’s feelings – accepting necessary change – optimistic for the future – but deeply grieving the losses.
The staff made poems for us to show their appreciation – I’ll post that in a later entry. There was cake and so much delicious food. Retired staffers came to bid us good luck! It’s such a special place!
And then, unbelievably, someone looked out to the ocean – pointed – and shouted “WHALES!”
Tofino Hospital faces an ocean inlet visible from the helipad, next to the picnic area. I have eaten lunch there for YEARS. I have heard of whales being spotted in that part of the inlet but never seen them… and guess what species?
The third time in my life that I see orcas, it’s my last day at TGH.
The first time was on a trip out of Tofino shortly after my grandmother died. The second time was on my honeymoon – and was the same pod, T109s, hundreds of miles away from my first sighting outside of Victoria.
This third time was on my last day at Tofino Hospital, my last week living in this place I have lived for 10 years.
Orcas. My magic whales, there when I’m joyful and sad, there to say hello from heaven, and everything will be fine.
Orcas, making a kill – every time I have seen them, they were eating, animated, thriving.
I couldn’t confirm exactly which pod was there, but checking in with local whale watchers groups, it seems likely the pod to bid me farewell was the T023s, who had recently returned to Tofino after several years’ absence.
Here is an older photo of a couple members of the T023 pod aka “Motley Crew” by Tofino Photography
Maybe one day, I’ll return to Tofino too. Maybe. I’m not going to shut any doors.
Thursday was a day of packing and gentle, occasional weeping.
Friday the movers showed up early! We were ready for them! They worked so quickly it was thrilling – but we still had a six-hour car journey ahead of us.
The movers wouldn’t be delivering our stuff until Saturday, (working hour regulations) so our plan was to drive down Friday with the cats, air mattresses, and a bare-minimum of stuff to get us through the evening and following morning. Our little car was STUFFED. Cats, cat food, litter box, litter, air mattresses, bedding, pillows, overnight bag – it filled up our compact Chevy Sonic very quickly! Sweetie even had a food bag stashed between her feet.
It was also record-hot on Friday. 30 degrees Celsius which is significantly hotter than it usually gets, and much too hot for a stuffed car with two cats and no air conditioning.
We ended up stopping by Sproat Lake in Port Alberni to wait out the hottest part of the day. Mikey was panting from heat and stress, and we were worried about him. We got both cats to drink water, and put two cold bottles of water in Mikey’s kennel which would sweat condensation for him to lick and helped cook the air around him, along with the cool breeze coming off the lake. Fortunately that worked – our backup plan was to take him into the concrete-build public washroom and change room which was several degrees cooler than outside, but the break proved to be enough to get him calm and cooler.
We arrived in Victoria at 845pm, and made our way to a friend’s house. She had saved the day by picking up our apartment keys for us, because the building manager wasn’t available after 5 pm (reasonable). If our friend hadn’t picked up our keys, and been willing to meet us at potentially late evening, we would have been obliged to stay in a hotel! Stressful for the cats, expensive for us, and we would need an early check out to beat the movers to our apartment! She saved us from a very stressful Saturday!
And she lent us a can opener to open the cat’s food, because of course I forgot to take the can opener with us.
We unlocked our apartment door by 9:15 pm and had our car unloaded shortly afterwards. We inflated the air mattresses, ordered food, and konked off to sleep by 11:00pm, interrupted every couple of hours by an anxious cat mashing his face against ours.
I explained to the cats that we were moving territories, because the territory we were living in was no longer meeting our needs, and I had found better territory.
Rupert had decided we were moving because our rental house, our old territory, was being “invaded” – which is how he interpreted the busy times of viewings where complete strangers let themselves into the house when we weren’t home, and did stuff like talk loudly, walk all over, and leave the front door open. Yes, they freaking left our front door WIDE OPEN. With our indoor cats inside the house.
It did feel invasive, so I didn’t correct Rupert’s interpretation of our situation at all.
Both cats understood why we were moving, but of course they were still stressed.
Sleeping in the empty apartment was eerie, and it took the cats most of the first night to settle down.
Saturday, with glorious efficiency, the movers arrived. They had our stuff moved in swiftly and were gone – worth EVERY PENNY. I’m so grateful we were able to hire movers this time.
We all feel MUCH more at home with all our familiar stuff around us, and since we didn’t have to bust our butts moving boxes, we had energy to unpack.
We successfully downsized from a 3 bedroom duplex with a large yard to fit into a 500 sq foot one bedroom apartment quite nicely!
The cat enclosure we had build for the old place we gave to Ukee Scat (Stray Cats About Town) a local cat rescue group who had recently fundraiser enough to build a shelter! Our cat enclosure will enable rescued cats to safely access the outdoors. We donated one of our indoor cat trees to them as well.
We had sold many things, gave away things that weren’t selling to people we liked, put a LOT of stuff for free on the curb, and shockingly, we filled an entire dumpster with stuff we couldn’t give away or donate anywhere.
I call that “the crapification of things” – when your chosen belongings can’t be sold, donated, and there are no takers – they literally become trash.
Here it is, Sunday, and we fit quite comfortably into our new place. I can’t clearly remember everything we didn’t bring, aside from a few distinct objects. It’s very clear we have what we actually need.
Tomorrow, I start my new job. I still work for the health authority, but in a completely different capacity, and I think I will consciously exclude those details from my blog. I’ll just say it’s going to be complicated, challenging, and I think I’ll be *very* good at it!
Wish me good luck, my friends!
I feel sooooo much better now that I have successfully found us an apartment in Victoria, BC.
My friends, this was a big change these last few months. When we received an email from our landlady about their intention to list the house we are renting for sale, I immediately knew where this was heading. Eviction.
We’re also in a different position than we were when we moved out here from Toronto in 2009. We’re in our fourties now. We are less comfortable flying by the seat of our pants, because we’ve lived through some tight and tough times, and we want to be able to save for a rainy day, and one day – retirement. We just can’t make that step here in Tofino / Ucluelet, so we have to let it go.
And you know what? I’m completely on board now! In February – March, I could tear up quickly when I thought too much about the up coming move, part of it stress, part of it sadness. I decided to make a list of all of the worries in my brain, so I could get a handle on them.
Here’s what the list looked like:
Things on my mind
I need a new job.
We need someplace to live.
DEAL WITH THIS LATER.
This list kept branching out and needed re-writing as I applied for (so many) jobs and didn’t hear back, re-worked my resume, kept calling colleagues and friends I’d make in other departments, and the weeks, then months ticked by.
The MOST uncomfortable space for me is when I don’t know how things are going to turn out!
Then, at the end of April, after 9 weeks of active job hunting, it happened – I got a job offer! Thank goodness! Cross that off my to-do list, and suddenly, finding an apartment became URGENT because my new job started in THREE WEEKS.
Frankly, it was getting urgent anyway. In the middle of April, when we became aware that there was an accepted offer in on the house, we knew we had less than 90 days to get out. I was starting to think we might have to rent an apartment before either of us had a job, which is what I’ve had to do in previous relocations. It’s not ideal, and the sort of landlords that accept unemployed tenants aren’t always the best people to rent from.
So job offer accepted, I went to Victoria this past Easter Weekend with one mission: find us a *pet friendly* place to live!
Of the 20 + inquiries I’d sent out, I got only TWO viewings in pet-friendly buildings. One in a corporate-owned building, and one is what I called “the haunted building”. Behold, the text-message thread between Sweetie and I:
To put it frankly, I wasn’t a fan of the haunted place, and I was going to see it only because I didn’t want to put all of my hopes on this one corporate-owned building.
Well, when I went to see the haunted building, I was pleasantly surprised! It wasn’t *bad haunted* it was simply 100 + years old and had a lot of character. The super turned out to be the owner who had inherited the building and had been running it her whole life. It was a purpose-built boarding house, and actually quite beautiful, in a slightly faded, Grande Dame sort of a way. I was surprised to like the building as much as I did.
It turns out that the couple who had lived in that unit before, were disliked by the other tenants because they had loud, screaming fights, regularly. Everyone was happy to have them out. That explained the “bad haunted” vibe I had been getting from the photos. They had been out less than two weeks, and the unit itself, along with the building, felt open and kind.
The trouble turned out not to be the potential haunting. It was that Sweetie and I are just in a phase of life where we need *amenities*. There was only one washer and dryer for the *whole building* and it was down an extremely sketchy flight of wooden steps. There was no parking. At all. And the nearest paid parking lot was $300 / month. YIKES. Really, this place would only work if we sold our car, which we had considered, but as my new job’s hours are 4pm – midnight, I really need my car to get back and forth from work.
There were quirks about the unit too. The bedroom was just the size of a queen bed – meaning a queen bed would press against all four walls. So it wasn’t really a bedroom. We need a bedroom, because of my aforementioned work schedule. We expect that Sweetie will get a 9-5 type job, so she’ll need to be able to sleep through my late homecomings, and I’ll need to be undisturbed in the mornings. There was a communal porch just outside the unit windows, meaning any of the other tenants could sit right outside our window and smoke, and talk on the phone or whatever. It was much more of a commune feeling than a typical city apartment building.
Honestly, I really wanted the straight-forward, 60-page lease of a corporate owned building. I wanted parking, storage, and a decent-sized laundry room. I wanted privacy and a degree of removal from my neighbours. We need convenience, not additional challenges. I didn’t need to commit every Saturday for the foreseeable future to a laundry mat, and circle the neighbourhood every weeknight looking for street parking, competing with every other person with a resident sticker. Oh, the resident sticker was an issue too, as the building was allotted only 4 permits for the whole building, and there was a line just for street parking. I really couldn’t see a solution to that problem. Without a parking permit, you are only allowed to park for an hour at a time.
So the “haunted” building, as charming as it was, with it’s wainscoting, ceiling molding, brass hardware, stained glass, and busy colony of rufous-throated hummingbirds, just wasn’t going to work for us… so we took a leap of faith and let the unit go before we received confirmation that we were accepted by the corporate building. Fortunately, the corporate unit came through for us. 500 square feet of James Bay, Victoria.
We will be moving in early May, so the next update will be from our new digs!
And the neighbourhood is full of houses like this:
It reminds me so much of Cabbagetown, in Toronto, where I lived for 8 years. I am really going to enjoy living in a neighbourhood where the gardens are constantly changing, where there is just so much to observe.
I stayed an additional day in Victoria after I viewed the haunted place, so review the 60 page corporate building lease and get that sent in, to be available in case any of the 18 other buildings called me with a viewing opportunity, and to walk our potential new neighbourhood. I really needed that time to get my brain aligned with this change. As much as I’ve worked to go with the flow, and focus on the practical thing I need to do next, I was not completely on board with the change until last weekend. Cities have a lot to offer, but I had wanted to leave Toronto for years. I didn’t like the crowds, the noise, the pollution, and the sense of competition for limited space. I knew Victoria was our best option, but it was a brain decision, not a heart decision. Moving out to Ucluelet / Tofino was a heart decision, and getting evicted felt like a breakup. It felt like getting dumped.
When the sunshine came out on my third day in Victoria, and I spent several hours walking around, I felt my heart finally come into alignment with this change. I needed the time to see what I was going to love about Victoria. There’s theatre and comedy, grocery stores that stay open all night, and food delivery! We haven’t ordered food to our home in 10 years.
The miles of charming Victorian buildings, beautifully landscaped parks, and public waterfront just a few steps from our building, I started to internalize what my new life would be like… it will be good.
We received our eviction notice yesterday – believe it or not, that’s good news.
Earlier this week, I was offered a new job, with my same employer, which is fantastic news – and means we’ll be moving as soon as possible. I’ll be going to Victoria in a few days to find us a place to live. What the timing of the eviction notice means is that we’ll be getting the month of June in our old place, rent free, which gives us until the end of June to move out entirely. If the sale of the house *hadn’t* closed when it did, I would have had to give 30 days notice the next time I paid our rent, meaning we’d have only until the end of May to organize our relocation.
This way, we can relocate in stages, over the next 10 weeks if need be. I doubt it will take us that long.
What *will* take me some time is *re-branding* my business. Back when I hung out a public shingle, and went from sporadic word-of-mouth referrals to a business with a website, I decided on the moniker “Tofino Psychic”, with some reservation. After all, my colleague in psychic arts, Karen Hagar, dubbed herself the “Fog City Psychic” for San Francisco, and had to relocate to Michigan over ten years ago. Michigan is far from a foggy city! I knew all along that I might not always be the “Tofino Psychic”.
I choose “Tofino Psychic” because I thought most of my business would come from people literally searching for a psychic on their vacation – and every year I do get session requests from people doing just that. It’s why I’m so busy in the summer. But now, I’ll be in Victoria. I guess I’ll transition my branding as I have time.
I will continue to do Sunday sessions, and my booking schedule won’t change. I will not be nearly as available for “last-minute” sessions, though I will continue to do my best to accommodate animal health emergencies.
There are still quite a lot of balls in the air, so for all of you praying and holding positive visualizations for us, please continue to do so! I still need to find us a place to live, and I hope to accomplish that in the next few days. Wish me luck!