“I really admire the life you’re choosing to live. I know I could never do it. You really kinda fly by the seat of your pants. I need stability. But you? You just up and go.”
It wasn’t the first time I’d heard those words, but it was the first time they struck a chord. And really, it’s only now, weeks later, that those words run like a record, over and over in my head. Do I really live life so laisez-faire? I do what I need to to survive, and live the life I feel called to. Does that equal flying by the seat of my pants? And where did that term come from anyways?
I suppose these words seem fitting to mull over at this time. In the past month I’ve started two new jobs, and a third is on the way. Nothing like working three part time jobs to make ends meet. But that’s not really the reason for three part-time jobs. I’ve chosen each specifically to let me develop useful skills for the future, as well as a way to keep some variety in my life. I could be working full-time as a line cook in some kitchen in the city, but how much more fun it is to have a few things on the go. I’m going into cliche mode with this post, but isn’t it said that variety is the spice of life? Hello, spice.
Job one is more of a feel good job than anything else. I work as a dietary aide and prep cook at the local detox centre. The work isn’t glamorous or complicated, but I work under a fantastic chef, and I really like being able to feel like I’m making a positive impact on the community in which I live. It’s an act of service, a labour of love.
Job number two is a book keeping gig. I get to track finances and do data entry for a local microbrewery. While it’s not a dream job, I don’t mind the work, and boning up on my book keeping skills will be invaluable for when I launch my own small business, hopefully later this year. Beyond the skills though, I get to work with some lovely people who are passionate about what they do. The person I work with most is an eternal optimist, and while she’s a bit more of a hippie than I can really understand, she’s a completely lovely person.
Job three hasn’t started yet. Next week I am being flown out to Toronto for training for a couple of days. Job three is demoing kitchen equipment in high-end department stores. I took this job, which will including demoing things like Panini presses, home espresso machines, and high-power blenders, at high-end department stores. I took this job because it just sounds like fun. I enjoy cooking and interacting with the public. I did it for a year as a Pampered Chef consultant, but I’ve also done it as part of parties and presentations at food shows. It’s great fun. It’s a bit of charisma, a bit of sales, a bit of truth and a bit of acting, and a whole lot of fun. Plus, if they want to fly me places to train, well I guess I’m okay with that.
So on the job front, that is where I’m at. And then there is the living aspect. For the past six months I’ve lived in a tiny 250 square foot apartment. I love it except for the fact that the kitchen layout is appalling, and there is no storage or counter space. I hate cooking in my apartment. If I owned a condo with this footprint, I would be happy because I could switch bits around in a way you can’t easily do in a rental. For example, because of plumbing, my kitchen sink is separated from my stove and my fridge by the entryway into my bathroom. The kitchen sink has a counter beside it that is a whopping foot wide, and there is no room to add in additional counter space. The “kitchen” setup also makes it extremely difficult to have a cozy setup for having company over. While it is possible to have a decent space for company in an apartment this small, the layout has to be intentional. The layout in this apartment is haphazard at best. If it was cheapest to go Route A, then Route A it is. Floor plan and usability be damned.
And so now, I move again, the 7th time since I graduated university, 5 years ago. The 14th time since I left home at the age of 19, 9 years ago. I guess I had to make up for a childhood in which we never moved.
My new home with be shared with a flatmate. She owns the place, and over the past six months, I have come to consider her a dear friend. She is quiet, and unassuming, but has her opinions. She’s level-headed and responsible, without being a downer. She’s intelligent and kind. She has a lovely standard poodle, and he’s a very well behaved dog. Normally I would be wary of moving into a situation with a dog, as many are not well trained. Cooper, however, is exceptional. We’ll live in the upstairs flat of a two-story house. With decent square footage including a living room, kitchen, and dining area, I think it will all work out quite nicely. There’s also a rather large garden, a bit rustic and wild, but filled with herbs and produce, that we share with the downstairs flat. The yard has a lovely fire pit with a pergola surrounding it, covered in hops vines. I look forward to many a summers night by the blazing fire.
The couple who live downstairs have two young children. I’ve known them for years an count them as friends. So while I’m sure I will hear the occasional tantrum going down, the sound carrying up the stairs, it’s much easier to be patient with children you already know and love. And as for the couple, they are loving, salt-of-the-earth type people who would give you all they have and more if they thought you needed it. They are incredibly generous. There is much I hope to learn from them about loving others.
So, anyone wanna help me move? Flying by the seat of your pants would be much easier if there wasn’t luggage to drag along with. That being said, I can’t imagine life any other way.