The first birthday I celebrated in Vancouver was my 28th, on October 1st of 2004. Up until then I had lived my entire life (in my memory) in various parts of Ontario. We had been living here for all of four days at that point, and besides my mother, her husband, my then fiance, and a couple of online friends I’d never met, I knew pretty much no one. It was a whole new adventure, and a frightening one.

There are a lot of things you leave behind when you move anywhere, especially across the country: friends, family, favourite restaurants, those magical fantastic places you find and only share with people who can appreciate it, jobs, a sense of familiarity and the feeling of home that you get from a certain space. You lose your place, really; you can’t help but feel lost when you have to start from scratch again.

The thing that I realized tonight at the Vancouver Metbloggers meetup was this: there is one thing I’ve lost that I never thought about before now – stories. All of my really good, interesting, entertaining stories happened back in Ontario. Stories about jobs I had, places I loved and hated, events I attended or took part in, groups of friends that I shared experiences with – all of these are things that I had to leave behind. It’s not that I can’t tell those stories here, but to some extent the familiarity of the subject matter is gone – I can mention a place that no one here has heard of, and their not knowing it takes away some of the impact of the story. I can talk about people who are well known in the online, spoken word, or art community from there, but no one hear knows any of them. The impact is lost when you have to make side-trips on a story to explain things that would have been common knowledge in another place.

Making new stories is challenging and more than a little bit daunting. It took a long time to collect the old ones, but I guess it’s time to focus on whatever stories are yet to come.

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