If insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results then I am clearly insane. For some reason, I thought I could finish at IBM, fly to Europe the following (early!) morning, have a great holiday and stick to my posting schedule.
I did not manage the great holiday, because life got in the way, but I nearly managed the posting schedule… until I returned to Canada. I was running around like a headless chicken once I got back (I flew in Monday, and drove to Kitchener on Thursday, and in the meantime had a full A4 list of tasks I needed to do). Finally, Friday night I dealt with something that had been weighing on me, got an email from the girl leaving the apartment I want saying not to worry, she was telling people it was rented, and slept for 12 hours.
And now – finally – I feel like I can write about what has been going on.
In Europe, 3 things were weighing on me. The first was a family thing, the second was/is a long story I can’t quite retell yet, and the third was that I did not get a TA (uOttawa TA’s are extremely unionized, and I hate it), my apartment building got bought, and on impulse I decided I may as well move to Kitchener sooner and gave notice. I can’t do anything about the family thing in any country, but the second two I needed to be in Canada to fix, and I wasn’t. As someone who likes to fix things, this was very stressful to me and I ended up reading a huge stack of novels and not really doing much of what I’d planned – maybe I needed the break.
I was also getting incessant emails from a private security firm who are doing my background check – everywhere I’ve spent more than a month for the last SEVEN years – you don’t need to know me that well to appreciate what a giant pain that has been! In the context of security and access to personal data, it is completely understandable and as a user I’m glad that employees are subject to these checks. However as someone who every time I put in a Visa application worries I’ll be deported, I’m angsting about that time I didn’t get paid and accidentally overdrew my bank account, and identity theft.
Now, the first, family thing, I can’t do anything about and is still the same. The second has an outcome (although mostly just a process) that I am not delighted with but is done, I’m not going to fight it. The third I have in hand. The background check, I’m trying to think of a way to get them to tell me when I have the all clear that doesn’t make it sound like I’m trying to hide anything or am insane, or alternatively just be less bonkers about it.
Now – as a good grad student – I can worry about my thesis. And about moving to a new city.
For my thesis, I need a plan. I’m going to meet with my co-supervisor, plough through my reading list, and aim to be back on weekly goals after GHC (Grace Hopper), so the first week of October.
For relocating, I also need a plan. And – importantly, as I’ll be working from home on my thesis mostly, to work on getting a social circle.
Priority 1: Somewhere to live. In hand. Found a great loft really close to the office – just waiting for lease.
Priority 2: Social circle. Trying to get introductions, and look for things to get involved in. Connecting with people on Twitter.
Priority 3: Infrastructure. Found a gym and connected with them about a trainer. Got recommendation for a chiropractor, a hairdresser/spa and hot yoga. Need to find kickboxing. And grocery store!
When I moved to Ottawa I did it at such short notice and just made it up as I went along. This time I have more notice and I’m not going as far, so I hope it will be easier. That said, it’s harder to meet people when you’re no longer a student so there’s that challenge.
I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile if you have any tips for relocating, or if you know anyone in the Kitchener/Waterloo area – let me know!