Moving forward

Last night I finished scanning the last of my old photos.

And it’s occurred to me over the last few weeks that I’ve spent the last three months dwelling on the past. Not in a particularly bad way, but looking backwards can eventually get kind of monotonous.  I don’t feel like I’m really ‘living’ here in Vancouver yet, it’s like I’m in a sort of purgatory, on pause between one place and the next.

When I first arrived here, after the obligatory stuff getting set up (furniture, hooking up utilities, etc), I dove right into catching up on work I had fallen behind on after two months of travel.

From there, I spent a whole lot of time uploading photos from my trip to New Zealand. Which was wonderful, but even at that point the photos were over a month old.

Then I dedicated a lot of my spare time to writing my belated travel blogs covering the span of the last year… as well as editing, updating, and posting my Canadian-in-Australia posts.

Almost immediately after that, all my stuff arrived from my storage unit in Oakville, sending me right back into dealing with the past — in this case, stuff that was at least one year in the past, though in many instances many years in the past.  I kept a lot of old useless shit.

By the time I finished digging through the worst of that pile (and fighting an incredibly nasty flu), I was on a plane back to Ontario.  To visit people who are slowly becoming people of my past (though, through the magic of the Internet, they thankfully remain a prominent part of my present as well).  And while out there I spent a full day digging through boxes in my parents’ basement — boxes of stuff I have in most cases not looked at in about a decade.  Including school notes dating back to grade 3.  This cemented my realisation of having a hoarder problem – but thankfully I was comfortable enough to dispose of virtually all of it.

And then I got back to Vancouver and, after briefly catching up from being away, dug right back into scanning old photos.  I’ve spent the last few weeks on nightly efforts to scan a total of 19 albums full of photos.  I had long since realised I was preserving the images and didn’t need the paper to do so, so scanning them and disposing of them was appropriate (though i shudder to think of the incredible amount of waste involved — I’m certain I’ve filled multiple recycle bins of paper (I had other stuff besides photos in these albums, as well as envelopes containing other photos as well as negatives) and at least 7 or 8 kitchen bags full of photos, negatives, and now-useless albums have all ended up in the garbage.

It’s been a wonderful trip down memory lane.  But it’s been all too long.  While I still have a bit of lingering tidying to do, I now feel like I’m moved in.  I finally live here. And look forward to taking in more of the city.  Which given today’s wonderful weather, is an exciting thought.


One response to this post.

  1. Wonderful blog, Neal. Personally, I find getting in touch with my past, or keeping it relevant in positive and healthy ways actually helps me to move forward. It puts things in perspective for me…so rather than looking back and dwelling on any ‘crappy’ things that might have happened, I seem to remember more and more, as I get older, all the wonderful things and people that have made my life so incredibly interesting up to this point. It’s those memories and people that I carry forward with me, and I find that rather emboldening. (is that a word? lol) Glad to hear you’re feeling more at home. Looking forward to meeting up in Van this summer when I’m there if I’m able to grab a few hours of your time! Cheers!


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