What am I Doing Here? (First Yellowknife Update)

Balcony 1

Here I am in my new home in Yellowknife. It’s been five days, though it feels longer. My thoughts and emotions change rapidly, so what I wrote two days ago is already becoming less relevant. So I decided to use a journal format so you can see the progression of my thoughts. I’ll discuss more Yellowknife specifics in future posts.

October 29: The day is finally here. I have been worried about getting to the airport and to my gate on time. Thoughts of what might possibly go wrong whirl around in my head. However, everything goes perfectly: the taxi is early, check-in is quick, I bypassed the long security line, the flights are easy. Soon I’m back in the now familiar Yellowknife airport. We collect my possessions and drive to the apartment. M gives me keys to my new home. 

I’m happy to be here, but I feel as if I don’t have a home anywhere. I made a train-of-thought list of what makes a place feel like a home:

  • A job
  • Volunteering
  • Buying things
  • Knowing people
  • Activities
  • Classes
  • Familiar surroundings
  • My stuff
  • A routine
  • Hobbies
  • Cards – eg. library card, bus pass, driver’s license

October 31: M and I go to a Halloween party at one of his friend’s houses. I’ve never been to a Halloween party before. (Not that that is a big deal, but it reminds me of how sheltered and boring my previous life was.) It’s fun and a bit overwhelming at the same time. I want to meet new people but I’m still introverted. Going somewhere with M was fun though; my ex wasn’t big on socializing like that, and didn’t have many friends we actually both liked. Sadly, I don’t wear a dress or skirt, as we walk there, and it’s too cold. I’m not a costume person, but I was hoping to wear some of my new fancier clothing purchases.

November 1: I start to feel sad. I’m feeling very adrift in Yellowknife. There’s no purpose to my life; no connections. I haven’t even gone out by myself yet. I contemplate if this what the stereotypical 60s housewife felt like. Everything in my life revolves around M. It’s not a bad thing as I like him, our relationship is good, but I’m feeling like less of a person. I’m still getting used to the cold and feel trapped inside. Part of the problem is that there are too many options. What direction should I take? I analyze my thoughts; do I want to be somewhere else? Or is this just part of the transition? I acknowledge that wherever I am living I’d be in a similar situation. I’ve taken seven weeks off of work or studying. I need to decide if I get a job, work on my businesses, take a course. My fitness routine needs to be improved. I need to eat healthy and spend less time on the internet. None of these things have anything to do with Yellowknife or M specifically. I talk most of this out with M and feel a bit better for it.

November 2: Today is M’s first day back at work, so I’m on my own. This helps my emotional state. I look up some downtown destinations, and head out walking. I visit a coffee shop, the library, the driver licensing place (forgetting to bring all the ID I needed), the grocery store. I start to discover Yellowknife on my own terms. Finding places on my own feels good. Walking outside improves my mood. I’m starting to feel the cold less. The highlight is the library trip. I get a library card as my first sign of residency. Borrowing several books and magazines (they had my favourite – Psychology Today) grounds me in a familiar routine.

November 3: I have a cold now, which has dampened both my need to feel productive and my emotional responses. I’m warm enough, have ample food and entertainment, M gets home in a few hours, so I’m content enough. Angst (of whatever level) and serious work (of whatever type) can wait until I feel better.

The emotions and thoughts resulting from these major life changes have given me several ideas for future posts. As always keep checking back, as I’ll write about those, plus some more actual information about Yellowknife.

6 thoughts on “What am I Doing Here? (First Yellowknife Update)

  1. Glad to see, reading down, that you went to the library as a first thing. The library can be a base from which you operate. I hope it’s big enough to have programs. Even if they aren’t your cup of tea, they still are some place to go that is free.

    • I love libraries. It was absolutely one of the first destinations on my list. I was impressed with the size of the library – lots of options for working or reading there. I haven’t looked into the specific programs yet, but I definitely will.

  2. Congratulations on your move! I came over from MMM to read your blog…looking forward to hearing about your adventures. Thought there was someone from MMM in Yellowknife. If so, you already kind of have a friend there and I’m sure s/he would be happy to meet you.

    • Thanks for coming over. Yes, there are two of us now from MMM. I’m not sure if we’ll actually meet, but the internet does make finding kindred spirits within a certain geographic location much easier.

  3. Hi there,

    We live in The Netherlands, and my Canadian wife had a similar hard time when she moved in with me. Luckily, she found a job within a amazingly short 2 months, and was able to meet other people on expat meetings and social outings like book clubs. (language barrier was there as well)

    Another difficult part was the feeling that it was still ‘my’ apartment instead of ‘our’ apartment: it was all decorated and styled by me, while she came over by plane with minimal possessions. We ‘solved’ this by moving one year later, so that our new home is much more the product of our styles together.

    (had to admit that my man-cave kitchen was absolutely minimal and did not support any cooking hobby at all, other than warming hotdogs, grilling burgers and everything from the microwave oven)

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Paul. It’s very similar to mine. And it’s interesting that both you and another commented noted that the apartment can feel like it belongs to the first resident, not the new arrival. I’m definitely going to think upon that. I’ve made a few changes already to make the place more mine; mostly with my possessions and purchasing a few extra items I deemed necessary. I am happy that my man had a well-equipped, but not cluttered kitchen, and we both enjoy cooking.

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