By Alison Cairns
October 28, 2008: I looked at the calendar on today and suddenly realized that this week marks my 10 year anniversary as an Edmontonian. I can't honestly recall whether my plane touched down on October 28, 29 or 30th of 1998, but I know it was one of the three. The months that followed were ... well, frankly, pretty miserable. My new job was not what I had expected and my mind-numbing boredom was driven by it. And I quickly came to realize that living in a strange city, all alone, was a very isolating experience. I can't count the number of times I wondered if this move had been a huge mistake ... but as long as I still had the job that I was hired to do, I wasn't willing to quit and go home to Victoria.
Gradually, as time passed, I came to be more comfortable living on my own, dining at a table for one, and going to movies without anyone to share my popcorn. Winter turned to spring and things began to change at work, which helped pass the time and restore some semblance of employment-related self-esteem and ambition. On the personal front, growing up I had always joked that my soul mate must be living on another continent, because he clearly was nowhere to be found on Vancouver Island! But never in my wildest imagination did I truly believe that I would find my perfect other half here in Edmonton. And yet, there he was, and only then did I begin to realize, once again, that things in my life truly do happen for a reason.
Soon, two more very important men entered my life, and altered it in the most significant way. Though small in stature at the time, these two little men had perhaps the biggest influence over my entire life, as it was because of my interaction with them that I realized what I wanted more than anything in this world: I wanted to be a mom.
And now, here I sit, ten years later, with the greatest job in the world – mom – and a large and loving family spread near and far. Holding my hand is the most amazing little lady a mom could ever have dreamed of, and together we're surrounded by three wonderful men who make us love, laugh and learn every day ... with one more who is growing fast and will soon join us all in our journey together.
Looking back, I'm amazed that ten years have passed so slowly and so quickly at the same time. Though a special city on the West Coast will always hold a significant place in my heart, this new place has become my home ... mostly because of the special people who made it so.