In 2018, the industry I was working in started to feel the pressure of a declining oil market in Alberta. Large electrical and control projects in the oil field were becoming hard to find. As a result, I found myself doing a lot more electrical service work out of town.
It was becoming a lot harder to maintain any kind of regular workout routine. For instance, it was not uncommon to arrive in the gym, and 10 minutes later having the phone ring, and be sent off to work. I found myself eating out a lot while being on the road. I could fit in the occasional workout, and sprints of eating well. But it was hard to maintain anything that was consistent.
Around this time, one of my best friend’s Dad passed away from Cancer. He was an amazing man and is greatly missed. He had a wonderful funeral filled with friends and family.
I was reunited with a really good friend, Michelle from my early days. I originally met her at a local bar that all of our friends frequented back then. Michelle became very good friends with all of my friends, and we would all hang out regularly over a period of 5 years or so. Michelle and I also worked together at the same Earls restaurant and shared all kinds of entertaining stories with each other about the Earls days.
Back in these days, Michelle dated one of my best friends. They remained good friends, even throughout their many breakups. Michelle and I always had such a natural and fun friendship.
Eventually, long after her romantic relationship with my friend was over, our friendship grew into something more. One night we ended up kissing.
Shortly after that night, I told her that this didn’t feel right, and we should just remain friends. I could really see the potential for our relationship to grow into something amazing back then, but I felt way too guilty dating my best friend’s ex-girlfriend.
We never saw each other again, until Michelle’s 30th birthday gathering with our group. After her birthday, I never saw or spoke to her again until we reunited with our original group at the funeral.
True Balance = Connection
I haven’t done the best job of keeping in touch with most of my friends over the years. Michelle made that clear to me at the funeral and said I needed to stay in touch with everyone. She reminded me of how close our group really is and that I would greatly benefit from those relationships. We agreed to message each other a couple of times a year.
I kept up with these friends more, making it a priority to share time with friends at their cabin, or fishing. I was starting to see more balance in my friendships.
Michelle stayed somewhat true to her word. She checked in a year and a half after the funeral and then one other time 3 years later.
Her text came in while I was out of town with work. I was extremely busy with work and hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep at the time. I thought it was best to message her back once things slowed down, and I was in a better head space.
That time never seemed to arrive, and I found myself flat-out busy, until the day I was flying home – 3 weeks later. Regardless of my reasons, I felt guilty and that wasn’t right. I messaged her at the airport and apologized for not responding to her text earlier.
Thankfully she was understanding, and just happy that I got back to her. After arriving back in Calgary, I met some of our mutual friends at their cabin and made a plan to drive out to Kelowna to visit Michelle and some of our other mutual friends.
Balance in Love…
I was a little nervous while driving out to see her. I hadn’t seen Michelle since the funeral. I’d put on some weight since being at the funeral, which l was self-conscious about.
I also hadn’t really spent much time with her since we were young. I was just nervous and wanted Michelle to see the same person that she knew in our younger years.
After arriving at her door, my fears were put to rest. We had a long hug and from then on, everything came so naturally.
Over the next 3 days, we had so much fun together laughing and catching up. We went hiking, toured the vineyards, and walked the Waterfront boardwalk.
The day we spent at the vineyards was really special. We stopped at the Red Rooster Winery for lunch. Our waitress used Michelle’s phone to take our picture.
From the moment I hugged her during the photo, I knew that my feelings for her were changing into more than just friends.
I also got the sense that she was feeling the same way.
The next morning Michelle said that an intimate relationship was too hard for us with me living in Calgary. I agreed, so we both decided to just remain good friends.
I was only planning on being in Kelowna for 3-4 days. I ended up extending this to 10 days. It was just so hard to leave each other. We could no longer deny the love that we felt for each other. We needed to pursue the love that we felt for each other on a deeper level, but we were not sure how this was going to look with us living 700kms apart. But we needed to try.
Leaving Michelle and driving back to Calgary was really difficult.
I completed another 3-week shift out of town with work. This was a really tough shift being away from Michelle. The Industry I worked in was really slowing down. Being away and working out of town seemed to be the only option left for employment.
I decided to take a layoff from the company that I worked for and relocate to Kelowna.
This was an extremely hard decision to leave the electrical oil field industry. Over the years, there were parts of the job that I really enjoyed. But the instability and uncertainty of a declining oilfield market helped drive me to make a change.
I sold my home in Calgary, packed my stuff, and relocated to Kelowna to start a new life.
It was an exciting time settling into the Okanagan lifestyle while exploring opportunities for work. During this time, Michelle and I built an even deeper connection and love for each other.
I proposed to Michelle in the spring, and we set a date for the wedding in the summer of 2021.
The original plan was for me to find a job in Kelowna that allowed me to live a more balanced lifestyle, where I could get into a regular routine of work and a healthy lifestyle.
After giving this a lot of careful thought, we decided for me to join the Best Ever Guide to Life team. It is a chance to combine all of my education and passions into one position – helping others express their passion through food, learning, and hobbies.
I am so incredibly honored and grateful to contribute and share in the Best Ever Guide to Life Inc. Life is an exciting journey filled with ups and downs.
My Best Ever is…
I feel the key to achieving a happy and fulfilling life is to try and find a balance between work, family, relationships, your passions, and a healthy active lifestyle.