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Leaving With Memories (And a Truckload of Stuff)

August 28, 2017
Leaving With Memories (And a Truckload of Stuff) | Tiny Ambitions

I planned on this post being about the ‘stuff’ that won’t be making the 1400km journey to our new home. That list, if you’re curious, included my car, our mattress, my desk, a bookshelf and $500 worth of miscellany that I sold. However, when I started writing, I took a turn down nostalgia lane and realized something about memory and ‘stuff’. I hope you enjoy it!

Last Friday, after I got home from my local grocer, bags in hand, I had a realization.

This was the last Friday I was going to spend in our small town.


This time next week, we’ll be settling into our new home in Northern Ontario. And probably having a fight with our internet router.

What a weird feeling.

Our two years in this small town have been a mixed experience. We both went through two less than ideal jobs and, because we moved into town not knowing anyone, we basically (actually) had zero social life. On the positive side, we had a lovely apartment, many outdoor adventures and the quiet day-to-day life that often accompanies a small town.

I’m actually pretty apprehensive of moving to a big city (again). It’s been two years since we lived in an urban center and I’ve kind of come to love the quietness and slow pace of our town, even despite its faults (like the lack of any decent restaurants). I’ll definitely miss being able to walk down the middle of the road after 6 pm because the whole town is basically deserted. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to having access to a range of culinary delights (especially and almost entirely, ramen), and being walking distance to almost anything I could need. Gosh, I really do miss being able to walk to do our errands.

As you have probably guessed by now, I can be quite a sentimental person sometimes. However, I’m trying not to let my emotional self get the better of me this time. Nostalgia can be a tricky thing. It can be a useful tool to help us remember our past, but, if we’re not careful, it can also be a distorted view.

Leaving with Memories (And a Truckload of Stuff) | Tiny Ambitions

Real Life is Messy

Sure, it would be nice to imagine that the last two years have been a wonderful adventure with no turbulence. But that isn’t real life. In fact, the last two years were filled with significant turmoil on my part (I’ve been dealing with anxiety, depression and some other chronic health issues for the last couple of years and it peaked about a year ago). Mr. Tiny Ambitions and I both had less than ideal jobs that led us to question if grad school was worth the time and money (obviously it was, or else we wouldn’t have met!).

This is where I think memories can be a little misleading. I don’t know about you, but I tend to remember the ‘bad’ as worse than it really was, and forget how truly awesome the ‘good’ was. Maybe it’s an evolutionary thing. It may be beneficial to remember the negative more vividly, as a protection mechanism, to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes twice. Like, wandering into a sabertooth tiger’s den late at night. I might be getting a little off topic. (Who says an anthropology degree doesn’t pay off??)

Real Life is Also Beautiful

Of course, this is only half the picture. This small town also represents the first place Mr. TA and I ever lived together, and for that reason, I shall always remember it. I’ll remember the late night walks by the water we used to take (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen dozens of these walks). I’ll also remember the small gems we discovered along the way. Like the bakery that makes the most amazing donuts that became a part of our Saturday morning routine. Or the truly mind-blowing hole-in-the-wall Mexican place we discovered, by chance, one lazy Sunday afternoon.

Despite being a self-proclaimed introvert, a few people in our town have also stood out over the last two years. At our post office, the clerk (Kevin), learned my name after seeing me come in nearly every day. He even asked about our move once he saw our mail forwarding request come in! Thanks, Kevin, for giving this awkward human a reason to look forward to checking our mail every day!

I’m also grateful for our landlords. They are two of the nicest, good-natured people I’ve ever met. Every time we crossed paths, they gave me hope in the human race. I will genuinely miss them.

Leaving With Memories

With the exception of the apartment we shared, the ‘things’ I will remember most about this small town aren’t ‘things’ at all. But, I’m sure you could have guessed that (if my birthday post from a couple weeks ago proved anything, it’s that you guys are a bunch of smart cookies!). In fact, I can’t think of a single ‘thing’ that I’ll remember as being fundamental or defining of our lives in the last two years. I honestly can’t.

Maybe that’s the takeaway from this week.

[bctt tweet=”When you reminisce in fifteen years, it won’t be about the ‘things’ you had in your life. ” username=”tinyambitionsbb”]

Because, as we all know by now, ‘things’ are not the things that matter.

So that’s it. A two-year chapter of our lives is coming to a close. What an interesting, messy, lovely chapter it has been. I can’t wait to start the next one!

We’ll officially end our time in Southern Ontario (for now) on Friday when we start the 16-hour (aka two day) journey to the north of our big, beautiful province. Will we be able to fit all of our stuff in a 10-foot Uhaul truck? Gosh, I sure hope so.

Do you have a defining memory of the last two years of your life? Are you starting a new phase of your life soon? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

If you missed last week’s episode of Tiny Bites, you can listen to it here. Stay tuned for a new episode this Thursday (or Wednesday night, if you’re on Anchor!). 

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment August 31, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Oh yay, it’s happening! What a wonderful reflection on your past two years. It’s interesting to hear what you liked and didn’t like about living in a small town. As a city dweller, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to leave this concrete jungle and I think there would be a whole lot of things I would miss and a whole lot of things I would definitely not miss (the noise and pollution, for starters!). I hope this new phase you are about to begin brings you two lots of happiness and new, urban adventures! 🙂 My defining memory of the last two years would definitely be getting married this year and leaving my old job at the end of last year (which I despised). It’s always interesting to look back on the last few years. My reaction is invariably that I would never have imagined that I would end up where I am. Wishing you guys happy and safe travels. I can’t wait to hear about how you settle into your new home. See you on the flipside!! xx

    • Britt August 31, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Thanks so much Lisa! I always find it interesting to reflect at the ‘end’ of something. Almost always, I remember it differently than it happened in the moment. Here’s to new adventures!!

  • Amanda of My Life, I Guess August 29, 2017 at 10:57 am

    There is so much to love about Northern Ontario! There really is the “small town” feel in many of the communities and neighbourhoods, so hopefully that helps with your transition.

    I am currently feeling really stuck in this phase of my life/our lives. Last summer we got married and I started a new job. And it feels like not much else has happened since. Just going through the motions.

    As strange as it may sound, I’m hoping that a meeting with the bank to consolidate our debts will at the very least make me feel like we’re moving in a positive, forward direction instead of treading water.

    • Britt August 29, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Thanks for sharing Amanda! I can definitely empathize with ‘going through the motions’. I hope your meeting at the bank goes well! Even something tedious like that can represent an important step forwards.

  • luxestrategist August 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Wow, Britt, it seems like this whole move was a whirlwind! It seemed like just two weeks ago you said you were moving. But yeah, I’d be a whole mushball of emotions, just like you. I always get like that whenever I move. I moved in with my husband a few years ago to a decided less hip neighborhood. I used to have a great apartment in my absolutely favorite neighborhood previously. It was really hard to give that place up and I still feel a little pang whenever I’m in my old neighborhood. But my new neighborhood has totally grown on me, and of course that I’m living with my husband is so worth it. It feels more like a home now, because he’s there, too, while before I was just living in a room with roommates.

    • Britt August 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      I know right!? I don’t know where the time went. That’s awesome your new place has grown on you! It does make a difference to the feel of a house when you’re living with your significant other versus just roommates. I’m sure Teddy appreciated you making the sacrifice!

  • Pam August 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Brittany, I am a new subscriber and still catching up on all but wanted to thank you for sharing your journey, both physical and emotional with us the readers esp. your vulnerabilities. I believe this helps in acknowledging it out loud as you do, naming it – allowing us the readers to call out what is going in our mind & heart in a way we may not be able to do on our own.
    The best to you and your family as you continue your new adventure!

    • Britt August 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Pam! They are exactly what I needed today. For me, speaking openly about my struggles has made it easier to cope with them. I hope readers know they are not alone. Welcome to the Tiny Ambitions community!

  • Journeys of The Zoo August 28, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Dear Britt,

    As you will be loading your truck, we will be (finally) listing our house (in Eastern Ontario). It’s been over a year in the making and has come with lots of stress. Like you, I remember the bad times as pretty bad, however, I know at the end of the day, I will not remember these times. Instead, I will remember the good times. Here’s to many more of those for the both of us.

    Safe travels.

    Besos Sarah.

    • Britt August 28, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks for your kind comment Sarah! Good luck with listing your house. Here’s to many more good memories for the both of us!

  • midlifemimi August 28, 2017 at 9:49 am

    We want to start a new phase of our life if our house would sell 🙂 I’m not a patient person LOL I want to start right now. We are going tiny as well. Moving into a travel trailer at first and paying off years of debt. Ending wreckless shopping trips and drastically reducing our items. I have already started the downsizing. I get more dedicated each day, going back over my choices and cutting more. I feel like pretty soon I am going to put the whole house in the garage sale.

    • Britt August 28, 2017 at 10:50 am

      That’s amazing! What a life changing journey you’re embarking on. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope your house sells soon. Thanks for reading!

      • midlifemimi August 28, 2017 at 1:02 pm

        Thank you so much!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.