Last monday, I started a new job. It is still in the same city, still relatively in the same domain, still a Crown Corporation.
I worry often that I make the wrong decisions. My previous employment, of almost four years, had been difficult for reasons that will stay off the internet. I often think back to the month I accepted the position. In the same time span, I had been offered another job and declined in favour of this one. I had also been accepted to complete my master’s degree. Would my life have been different had I accepted the other job offer? Had I decided to do my master’s degree full time?
I’m still single, but I did move to my own apartment. I took so many trips that I may not have taken otherwise. Finished grad school. Made new friends but lost old ones. I was in a pretty bad bicycle accident coming home from work. This blog was started. These may seem trivial, but to me, they have been the most important things since September 2013.
On my last day, the tears came fast and often. I didn’t think I would feel as emotional as I did. So many colleagues sent me wonderful messages and emails that made me cry. Those who had stood by me, encouraged, supported and commiserated with me when things were going badly received giant hugs and thanks for being there. I walked out of the building with a colleague-turned-great-friend and I had to swallow my tears. This was it. The moment I had been looking for for almost two years. And yet, I kept thinking.
Am I making the wrong decision?
I had to shake myself away from these thoughts on Saturday. My friends and I were attending Sangria Fest, a new Sangria pub crawl. Well, it turns out we made the wrong decision going to this event. First of all, it was a mess. Kind of a train wreck. We paid $15 each to attend with the idea that we would get discounted sangria pitchers and food. Most of the places we went to did not honour the discounted price. One of the bars dropped out at the last minute. There wasn’t a lot of people. I felt like we constantly had to give out phone numbers or emails. We didn’t even turn in our ranking sheet! So I will do it here.
We started at Pub 101. I haven’t been back to Pub 101 since the Jagger bomb Thursday night I went to in my first week home from Italy. I haven’t had a jagger bomb since. And with good reason. We had a pitcher of the white wine sangria. To orange-juicy in our opinion. Apparently, the red wine sangria was much better, according to two members of our little group. Also, as per usual, Pub 101 was sticky, and the event was already out of control.
The next stop was Patty Boland’s. I use to sneak into Patty Boland’s when I was underage in university. It’s a great Irish bar in the market. We ordered two pitchers, one of the white and one of the red. The white wine sangria was pretty good – great mix. The red wine sangria was not very good. This is also where we got food. We had to inform the staff about the discount from the Sangria Pub Crawl.
The third stop at Red Lion Public House. We only ordered the red wine sangria here. It was also the priciest one at 29.00 per pitcher (again, it was suppose to be $20). This one was our favourite. The sangria was carbonated, there were more fruit in it and the mix was pretty good.
The fourth stop should have been Blue Cactus but they dropped out at the last minute. And to be honest, it would have been the best. As we walked by, we noticed that Asian Alley had a special for sangria pitchers at $15.00. Which really annoyed us to be honest.
We finally got to Kiko’s afterwards. And the service was terrible. We waited at least 20 minutes for someone to come take our order, even after one of us asked the waitress if we should just order at the bar and she said she would be right over. The sangria was the advertised $20.00. It was good and the mix was fine. We had the red wine sangria.
Slightly buzzed from the day and really annoyed with our decision to attend this pub crawl, we headed out. Destination: LCBO for additional drinks and El Caminos for tacos.
El Caminos is so popular that the wait time was an 1 hour and 15 minutes. So, we headed to Manx, a wonderful basement bar on Elgin Street. One of my favourite places on Elgin and probably in Ottawa. Gin and tonic for me, of course. Once El Caminos texted us that our table was free, we walked over for the best tacos and a margarita. At this point, I think we had been drinking our way around Ottawa since 2:00 p.m. and we weren’t done. We grabbed our purchases from the LCBO, hung out a friend’s place before hitting up Glow Fair!
Glow Fair has a silent disco that just blows my mind. Because it looks so weird. Everyone has headphones and you dance to the music. It’s just bizarre to see this. Matt and I didn’t stay long because we headed to Bier Market once Jason had arrived.
So Saturday. Some good decisions. One really bad one.
And as for Sunday? I dragged myself out of bed to see Raj do a race in Little Italy. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning, bright and hot. I did not envy those racers. Mostly because I hate the heat and I dislike exercising. So, I’m glad I was a spectator. But it reminded me to spend more time in different neighbourhoods. I never really have a reason to go out there, so I should start checking it out more.
There was a hurricane warning in Ottawa later so I did the safe thing and snuggled into my bed, watching something or another on Netflix. I only decided to get up when I realized it was my time to join my family for a Father’s Day supper. For that, I stayed on my side of the river and went to Bistro 75, the restaurant in the hotel in front of the casino. It was good – little choices for vegetarians but a great ambience.
And that was it. The more I talked with my family members and friends, the more I tried to figure out if I was making the right decision. There is a risk involved in starting a new job. And as much as I can try to predict the future, I can’t. I decided on two things. One, I made a decision. It had to be ok. And two, no matter what, I will be ok. Sangria fest was a shit show but I had a great time.
So, bad decision or not, I had to stop worrying.*
And accept the choice I made.
*Will probably never happen. But I can keep trying.