It has been strange being in one place for almost a month now, just living and working like a settled local. I have managed to get two full-time jobs since returning to Vancouver, but still feel a little distanced from truly ‘localizing’ myself; the latest and longest memories of Vancouver have always been of my life at UBC, being on Campus all school year and enjoying the city as a starving student. Now, when I go to Campus, I feel strangely foreign, and even though noone else knows I am no longer a UBC student, there is this pang of ‘outsiderness’ that I feel walking around campus without a class to go to or a study group to attend. Even more bizarre is not living on or near campus, so when Im there, I feel like I have nowhere to belong, since my home refuge is gone, as well as a full time class schedule. I have also been coping with the reality that this is the first semester in 18 years that I am not going to school this spring; I have no classes to register, text books to buy, or homework to do. Very, very strange, but comforting. My master’s thesis is almost done too, so I’ve really got very little to do in terms of academic life as of now.
Being downtown is a bit more familiar, same scene, same people, same activities. I would still say I fit the starving student profile since Im tecnically still in grad school until I defend my thesis and officially graduate, but now I’ve joined the ranks of the working class to having that secure, 9 – 5, Monday to Friday Job, in addition to serving at a bar 4 or 5 nights a week. Working two full time jobs is exhausting, and all I have time to do is work and sleep. It’s great since I have no time to spend the money I am finally making, but paying off my upcoming trip and the debt I’ve incurred from both studying in the states and my obsessive cumpolsive traveling habit is a slow process. I have yet to see if I’m actually back to square 1, which would just be an account balance of $0, since my hourly paychecks lag a few days and are paid bi-weekly, but now I’m about to go off on a 3 week trip where Im sure I’ll quickly jump into the negative account balance again. However, not to worry, for after I return back to BC the Olympics are coming to Vancouver, and so are alot of people, all their money, and alot of work – all reasons why I (and my travel habit) may personally benefit from the games.