If you had told me almost a year ago that one year later I would still be in Vancouver, I would have called you a bad friend for not believing in me.
Call it a crisis or something, but I hated the person I was one year ago.
What followed after was what you could pretty much call a breakdown of all aspects. A time of complete desolation and despair, depression and detraction from the world.
What I needed during that time was to get out of the comfort zone that was my home and go somewhere where I could reinvent myself and be a different person entirely.
My prayers were answered when I came across a job opening in Ottawa, even though I technically wasn’t seeking a co-op position in the Fall of 2016.
Having never been to Ottawa, I found the whole thing to be exciting. I was desperate to leave Vancouver (me now: WHAT WHY) and try something new.
Because I had spent all these years on the safe side of the fence.
For once, I wanted to be bold and different.
But little did I know that my ‘different’ would come not in Ottawa, but right here in the comforts of my own home.
If I could pinpoint an exact period of time where my life was at its darkest, it would have to be Fall 2016 semester.
10 weeks of therapy and counselling later, I felt alright about where I was in life, the direction I wanted to go, and where I saw myself.
I still held onto Ottawa with a fondness and passion.
At this point in time, around February, I was in the running to actually go to Ottawa. Things were happening and it looked as if I might have won my ticket to go and reinvent myself.
I was already telling people that I was getting ready to pack up my things to leave for a new life there.
But even though I had this strong conviction to be bold and different, when it came to actually applying for co-op positions, I stuck with safe things. I applied for things that I knew I probably could get if I did well in the interviews, just because I had background or knowledge in those jobs.
As I was getting ready to give up and put my job search to rest, there was a position that opened up at a tech company right here in Vancouver called RESAAS.
A tech company. Me. In a tech company.
So you’re probably thinking, safe Rachel would have never applied for this job.
But safe Rachel wasn’t in charge.
On a whim, I applied for it. I closed my eyes and submitted my application. But I had no idea what I was getting into.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t be doing anything tech-related. I applied for the role of Digital Content Coordinator, which would require me to write. A lot.
It sounded too good to be true, especially for me.
But I felt that I lacked a lot of the skills that was necessary. I wasn’t really techy by any means, and on top of that, RESAAS operated in the real estate field. I felt really unprepared on that front because the only thing I know about real estate is that housing prices in Vancouver are astronomical.
In the end, in about late March, I was faced with a decision that would determine where I would be come May 1. Would I play it safe and stay in Vancouver? Or would I pack up everything and leave for Ottawa?
I played it safe and I stayed in Vancouver.
Or did I?
As I reflect on how the past four months just flew by, I can say now that going to Ottawa was the best thing that never happened.
With any period of life, there were highs as well as lows. There were plenty of things that I could have lived without. But at the end of it all, I would have never traded this summer for anything else.
This summer I stretched myself to try new things, learn new skills, and pursue new opportunities. I made new friends and had my heart broken. I made life decisions and made just as big decisions to move forward.
The Rachel I was last year would look at Rachel today with shock and confusion.
But I would hope Rachel from last year would also say “damn, that girl is living her best life and chasing after her dreams.”
Because we all need to chase after our dreams.
We have the opportunity to be bold, daring, and passionate.
Life is short – why wait?
It is scary to think that I almost missed out on this opportunity.
Not to say that going to Ottawa would have been a total bust, but I do believe that my time was better spent at home this summer.
So, I want to take some time to recognize and acknowledge my time at RESAAS.
My time at RESAAS was another in-your-face reminder that four months goes by insanely quick.
The learning curve at the beginning was quick and steep, and at the beginning I felt like I was drowning in a sea of information overload.
But I didn’t actually drown, because the team at RESAAS was so welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
Truthfully, when I was growing up I didn’t expect working to be this cool. Where you could come in every morning to friendly faces and people who loved what they were doing. Where you could be yourself and connect with everyone on a whole plethora of topics. Where there is even a foosball table in the office.
It’s the little things that helped to put my mind at ease, roll up my sleeves, and actually try out something new.
From the very bottom of my heart, I want to thank every single co-worker that I’ve met at RESAAS. For helping me to improve my writing, for being exactly who you are, for answering my questions, for telling me stories, for opening up, and for teaching me about the wonders of the Aeropress.
I leave RESAAS with a heavy heart but assure everyone that the skills and lessons learned here will not be forgotten, and are also greatly appreciated.
This isn’t good-bye, because I know for a fact that I will probably show up again at some point to say hello!
Thank you, RESAAS. I needed you this summer, and this year.
Lead image credit: Ken Thooptong
Intrigued by RESAAS? Check them out here!
PS, no, this isn’t for marks. I submitted my co-op work report already! 😉