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A New Adventure: Transitioning to a new job and a new city

Volunteering in politics has brought me countless amazing opportunities over the years. From meeting former- and future-Prime Ministers and Ministers of the Crown, to making some of the best friends of my life, to working for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne – I have experienced so much more through politics than I ever thought possible. The latest opportunity it has afforded me is quite possibly one of the most exciting to present itself yet. I am extremely excited to be joining Cambridge’s new MP, Bryan May, in Ottawa as his Parliamentary Assistant and Communications Advisor.

Since graduating in 2013, I’ve been living in Toronto where I worked as a communications intern in Premier Wynne’s office. I stuck around after my internship as her Social Media Coordinator, and since April of this year, I’ve been working full time on my own business. Now it’s time for a change. I’ll be leaving the city of Toronto behind and taking on Ottawa and its harsh winters.

To say I’m excited to work for MP Bryan May is a massive understatement. I’ve been close with both Bryan and Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry since early 2011, when Liberal prospects in Cambridge weren’t so great. I worked on both of their campaigns in 2011, seeing more of them and my colleagues than I did of my own family. The results in both the 2011 provincial election and the 2011 federal election were not as we’d hoped, but I stayed close with both of them. Even our families grew close. In 2014, I wasn’t able to work directly on Kathryn’s campaign because of my commitments in Toronto at Ontario Liberal Party headquarters, but I kept in touch with the local campaign, helped where I could, and was on hand to celebrate her much deserved victory on election night. In the 2015 federal election I was able to work on Bryan’s campaign, but mostly from afar – I was living in Toronto and helping multiple Liberal campaigns with communications support though my business. But I helped as much as I could and was there to help get-out-the-vote and celebrate Bryan’s victory on election day. I think it goes without saying that the prospect of working for either of these wonderful representatives is very exciting to me, and I’m looking forward to starting my new role with Bryan.

Me, Stephen, and Skype cuddling on the couch.
Me, Stephen, and Skype cuddling on the couch.

What I’m not looking forward to is leaving my partner behind for several months. Stephen is in the Media Communications program at Humber College here in Toronto, and he doesn’t graduate until the end of April, so it’s not practical for him to join me in Ottawa at this time. Instead, Stephen will stay in our Toronto apartment with our dog Skype until he graduates. I will go on to Ottawa. Because it’s too expensive (and exhaustive) to maintain two full apartments at the same time, I will be moving in with my cousin and her husband. They have graciously offered to rent a room in their home to me, which is much more affordable and manageable than renting a second apartment. This does, however, add some additional complications:

  1. Stephen and I have been living together for a year and a half and I’ve grown used to living with him, and increasingly so in recent months because I’ve been working from home. I will miss him. A lot. Still, I’m confident we’ll survive the long distance for five months.
  2. Moving in two stages makes the logistics of the move more complicated. Instead of packing everything up in Toronto and moving it to Ottawa in one day, we’ll be packing things up and moving them slowly over several months. When I make the move to Ottawa this month, I will take with me just the things I need to survive at my cousin’s: clothes, suits, winter weather gear, etc. Then, over the course of several months, I’ll slowly bring more and more to Ottawa from my visits to Toronto. Finally, at the end of April, we’ll move everything from Toronto to our new apartment in Ottawa. Then we’ll also have to move items that I’ve accumulated at my cousin’s to our new apartment.
  3. Maintaining two households (even though one is just a room) will require some duplicate items. For example, I’m going to need a desk and dresser in Ottawa even though I have a perfectly good desk and dresser in Toronto. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that Stephen and I share much of our clothing.
  4. My family, for the most part, lives in Cambridge, with a few exceptions in Brantford and Port Dover. By moving so far away, it’s unlikely that I will see them as often.

Over the next weeks and months I plan on writing about my process: the transition to a new city, the start of a new job, the challenges of maintaining two households, and the ups and downs of a long distance relationship.

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