Updated: Dec 16, 2019
I wish I had a great introduction for the second 'launch' of this blog. Well, I shouldn’t call it a launch, more like a comeback after a very long break.
Winter in Canada was tough and how so long. While I was writing the previous blog post in mid-February, I thought Winter was coming to a close. Big mistake as it clung on for another two months. My birthday came around in late April and I had gotten so pale I was half-worried I might turn White.
Before then, I was writing a blog post a month. My work schedule was eating away my free time and any bout of creativity that may pass. I just couldn’t muster the will power to do much else than survive through Winter by sticking to a predictable routine.
March however threw everything out of the window. My partner was spending the weekend with friends in Toronto when he called me. He got a job in the big city.
I mentioned before on this blog that our original plan was to move to Toronto when we arrived in Canada. We changed our plans last minute when we realized how expensive it would be to try and settle down there, and so we moved to Ottawa instead. However, we’d still known that Toronto was probably a better fit for us and we had plans to move there at some point. We didn’t know it was going to be so soon.
At that point, we had been in Ottawa for only seven months. The move had already been incredibly costly. When we arrived in Canada, we had nothing but suitcases filled with clothes. We had to buy new furniture and although we did use Kijiji for second-hand pieces, putting together a two-bedroom apartment had emptied the bank. I was scared. I didn’t know if I could handle another move so soon when I was craving stability so much.
In the end, we took the plunge. It was a good opportunity and I was half-confident we could pull it off financially. I also knew we’d be happier in Toronto. In addition, due to a less than ideal work environment, I was about to start looking for another job anyway, so there wasn’t anything holding me back in Ottawa.
Moving took its toll on my overall anxiety levels, but we pulled it off. We got lucky, but I dare say I was also very well organized. We got lucky because we managed to find a great apartment in downtown Toronto and I found a job - in my field! - by mid-April. My partner was already working in Toronto by that time, so I took on myself to organize the entire move. I packed and disassembled the whole apartment, booked a truck and a mover, and organized a three-day move. Everything could have gone wrong: my partner was running an ultra marathon on Saturday; he was coming back to Ottawa for the actual move on Sunday; we had to store our furniture for two days until we could move into our new apartment on Tuesday; and the first day at my new job was right in between, so on Monday.
I cannot tell you how happy and relieved I was when I handed out the keys to the rental truck on Tuesday evening. Everything had gone well. All our possessions fitted into the rental truck, which we were able to keep parked behind the AirBnb we were renting. Driving the truck through Toronto wasn’t as bad as I thought either - thank you tiny European streets for making me comfortable driving in cities. Compared to loading it up, the unloading of the truck was also surprisingly easy. We were exhausted, but we did it!
I didn’t come back to this blog right away. To be honest, I actually hesitated renewing my web subscription, and the website was therefore down for a few weeks. I focused on building a new life in Toronto and put it in the back of my mind, to be dealt with later. I just wasn’t satisfied with it. I was incredibly inconsistent with writing and publishing. I struggled to find a place for this blog, to pinpoint what it was about. I would write non-stop for a couple of days, then stop for weeks at a time. Sometimes I’d thought it all made sense, other times I couldn’t help but feel ridiculous writing to no one.
In the end, I decided to come back here. I have more time on my hands now that I live so close to my work and I’m itching to do something. Even if only for me, writing makes me feel good, so why not?
I thought a little retrospection would be useful, if only to set myself some new goals. I started this blog in May 2018. A year later, I had written 25 articles, although 21 of those were written in the first six months. I had great ambitions, but a very loose plan. I also didn’t take into account how big of a change moving to Canada would be. Clearly, I need to change my publication schedule to make room for my other commitments and to ensure more regular updates.
I also originally clustered my posts into three vague categories, hoping they would become more defined over time:
Behind the Scene for anything personal;
Afro Culture for books, music and other cultural recommendations;
People & Society for anything touching on race, discrimination and social issues.
Looking at it again, I think the overall structure still makes sense. I don’t have one topic or idea I want to advocate for, and I still like the idea of having broad categories to help readers navigate the blog.
I’m starting small again, but every step in the right direction is a little success. Based on last year’s benchmarks, I can set new goals: I want to write more, even if it’s by one article, and I want to be more consistent. So there it is. At least 26 articles more or less evenly spread out over a year. My intentions are set, now it’s up to me to deliver.