[It's a new year and a new format for the blog. I'll be posting here once a week and getting folks who are East Coast By Choice to share this space, like this next lovely guest who tells a familiar tale of moving away for reasons beyond one's control. If you're interested in being a guest just drop me a line at kimberly.aliasgrace [at] gmail [dot] com and I’ll fill you in on the details.]
By Kimberley Mosher
When I was in high school, the only place anyone wanted to be was anywhere but here. Here being rural Nova Scotia, that is. Everyone talked about getting out—getting away. People had big dreams that didn’t always have a lot of thought behind them, but no matter; they were going to get the hell out.
I was one of the rare kids who didn’t share that dream. I was happy in NS. In fact, my high school dream was to get a degree, and someday grow and foster business on the East Coast.
Grade 12 came along and it was time to apply to schools and for many reasons, including seeking the best educational experience, I wound up applying to, and getting accepted to, Queen’s University.
Queen’s is not located in the Maritimes.
So I moved. My heart thudded in my chest the day we packed my dad’s vehicle and trekked to Ontario. I was leaving the only home I knew in the only town I knew for, “bigger and better opportunities”, I told myself.
And there were bigger and better opportunities. Not because I wasn’t in NS or because I was in ON, but because I found a place that let me become someone I had always wanted to be. For four years, you couldn’t pull me away from campus because I never wanted to leave. Homesick? Forget about it.
In 2008 I graduated University and my dream of being on the East Coast had long been forgotten. I was perplexed about the next step in my life, and I really didn’t know where to go or what to do, so I did was seemed to be the right choice. I listened to the majority and moved to the Big Smoke for a job.
It was the longest year of my life. I wasn’t in a close knit community like home or like university anymore. I didn’t move at the pace that Torontonians move at and I sure as hell didn’t want to adapt to a stressful lifestyle that was demanded by the job I had taken. Worst of all, family was at least a plane ride away.
After 10 months—a long time when you’re not happy with your situation, but short in retrospect—I knew I had to follow my heart and return to a place that is always welcoming, close to those that I care about and offered the balance in life that I knew I craved.
Some people might see my short stint in Toronto as a failure. I see it as a fast learning curve in finding out what truly matters to me. Five years away has taught me some valuable lessons, brought me a wealth of experience and knowledge and broadened my perspective. And, with only one year in Toronto, I’ve left lots of future years to be had down east.
I’m on the East Coast by choice and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Kimberley Mosher (@kmosher on Twitter) is a young millennial who is fascinated with current trends and all things gen-y. Since moving back to the East Coast, Kimberley has found employment in the advertising world. When she’s not at her day job, Kimberley spends as much time as possible exploring NS. She truly believes in following your heart, and thinks you should, too.Kimberly Walsh is a publishing label executive at Fierce Ink Press. You can follow her on Twitter @AliasGrace.