Eventually, I did end up leaving the Winnipeg, but the contempt I felt for my city when I was 17 didn't last as long as I thought it would.
Now, with the end of my post-secondary education in sight, and the very real option of leaving the city for good (or at least for a real job) is a possible actualization, I'm not so sure about leaving after-all.
I used to not understand why kids my age didn't want to move out of their parents basement, and go travel to foreign countries for months on end.
After my first year university, I couldn't wait to be anywhere but here.
That said, it was one thing to leave when all my things were still in my parents house, and my permanent address still read "Winnipeg, Manitoba" on it.
Just a few short blocks away are friends that I've gone to school with since grade two, they still live in the same house that their parents bought as newly weds.
I used to knock them for not wanting to break free of the grasp Winnipeg had on them, for not wanting to move out of their beautiful River Heights homes, and into their own dingy apartments in Osborne Village.
But as I sit in my own dingy apartment, eating noodles and collecting dept. Frequently visiting the LC to buy the cheapest bottle of wine possible, I look back at my 17 year old self and laugh.
Winnipeg ain't so bad.
My whole family is here; when I don't have enough money for food or laundry, my mom comes to get me.
When I'm feeling stressed or lonely, I have several friends within blocks from me, who no matter how cold it gets, are willing to meet me at the Toad for a drink.
And yeah, it's cold. Really, really effing cold. And yeah, there are pot holes, the buses run late, and sometimes downtown gets sketchy. But the people are nice, there are plenty of job opportunities, and family and friends are always near-by (if you're born and raised like I am).
So I guess I've searched, and maybe I'm getting old or something, but nesting in Winnipeg doesn't sound so bad to me anymore.
That said, a hot vacation out of here never hurt anyone.