Jon Billings Photography

Where I Am.

An Open Letter to (from) Ottawa.

It's been just over two and a half years since I left the "big" city and headed back east. I've had a love/hate relationship with this place, with most of the emphasis being placed on the later of that combination. 

The circumstances that I left under were less than ideal. I left a shell of the person that I thought I was when I first arrived in the nation's capital. At the end of the six years I spent here, I had accumulated an amount of baggage that I had never expected to carry with me. A divorce, guilt of not being the "ideal" dad to Owen, working a dead end job among a slew of others. When the blessing of being laid off from my job happened in March of 2013, I was in the worst mental shape of my life. Depressed and hopeless, I packed my car two days after and drove for the coast.

Enter my refuge of healing, Grand Manan. A place where I began to pick up my pieces and put a better, healthier version of myself back together. I owe much of where I am now to Joy and Brent, who took me into their house and loved me while I started the process of figuring out my identity and worth again. It is on this island paradise I found a new, more honest version of myself. And the beautiful thing is, I'm ok with not being perfect now. I'm ok with the thought of constantly growing, gathering experience and not regret.

More importantly, I have learned (and still am learning) to be ok with what happened here in Ottawa. Coming back here used to be something I dreaded. So many bad things used to get dredged back up anytime I would visit. Now, when I arrive after 10+ hours of driving, I appreciate this place, and that appreciation grows with every trip I make back here. So Ottawa, I apologize for my negativity towards you the last few years. It wasn't you, it was me. I'm thankful that you still hold great friends, great adventures, and delicious food.

P.S. - Although if you could work on not being so humid, that would be great.

Jon Billings1 Comment