I have been working as a prep cook in Montreal for almost three months. I am consistently exhausted. When I arrived here in October, I knew I had to step my game up. I could no longer afford (financially, mentally) to keep on living the bohemian drifter lifestyle I was leading. Of course my time in the Smoky mountains was glorious, but in my head, I told myself, “time to join society.” I did what I thought was necessary in order to gain some much needed stability in my life.
It wasn’t like I was planning on starting a new life here in Canada. Actually, it was a bit of an accident. I did not realize how perfect Montreal is in comparison to cities like NY or SF until I returned back here to visit friends and decided to stay, maybe forever. My rent is so unbelievably affordable, my friends back home think I must live in some shack under the freeway, but no ! I live in a beautiful neighborhood with lots of beautiful French speaking people around me.
There are several times when I question my choices, and consider what my life would be like if I never left San Francisco. I worked so hard to build up a reputation as a young artist in that city and made a significant effort to make a good impression within the art scene. Maybe if I had stayed, that story could have developed, and maybe I would have had more art shows and opportunities to work on cool collaborations. But I would have also had to work my ass off at some shit job in order to pay for some shit apartment in some shit neighborhood and ultimately maintain a shit life.
I used to suffer from severe anxiety, and living in SF/LA was only making it worse. Every time I was stuck in traffic or rode one of them damn muni buses I thought I was going to completely lose my mind. All I know is, since I left SF, I’ve not had one single panic attack. Maybe there is a connection or maybe there is not, but I certainly enjoy this new life of mine without constantly worrying about traffic or screaming babies while I get to and from work.
I don’t know how long I can last, living this ‘normal’ life where I have a decent job and pay rent and buy furniture. For all anyone knows, I could quit everything all over again and be backpacking through Morocco later this year. But for now, it feels good. It feels great to have settled down in a beautiful city where I can manage my cute little life.
Peace and love