On Winnipeg, and negativity

One of my most popular posts is a post I wrote praising Winnipeg a few years ago. I still stand by it.

But I didn't always.

I used to be one of those winter-hating, downtown-bashing, sad excuses for citizens who felt that the only positive aspect about living in Winnipeg was that I was able to bitch about it.

I used to think that moving to Toronto would solve all my problems. That it would make me happy.

Who the fuck knows why.

A bigger city doesn't make you a better person.

A different climate doesn't change your personality.

A subway system or some skyscrapers or more clubs to visit on the weekends doesn't improve who you are.

Only you are in charge of that.

This seems to be something that people from Winnipeg forget about. People I see on Facebook and on forums and in newspaper comments.

They become so obsessed with associating their identity (read: personal misery) with where they live that they blame their city for causing them to be bored, broke, stuck in a rut or otherwise unhappy with their lives.

As though a city is to blame for their own personal choices and mistakes.

When someone posts something negative about Winnipeg, I wonder if they realize that it's a reflection of themselves? When they say "eugh what a shit-hole! This city sucks!" do they realize that they live here. They're a part of whatever problems they feel the city has because they're a citizen here.

Any by rejecting their own personal responsibility they put down those of us who are trying to stay and make things better.

By saying "I'm better than Winnipeg!" what they're saying is "I'm better than everyone who chooses to live here. I'm better than you."

Because instead of trying to figure out why they're unhappy here they blame Winnipeg. And they run away.

(Or say they're going to, anyway)

Most people who claim to "hate" Winnipeg never seem to actually go anywhere. They stay here and gripe because it's far easier to bitch about it than to actually take all the steps necessary to move away.

This is because people's perceptions of their problems are so deeply-tied to Winnipeg that most people don't ever actually leave. It provides people with a reason to be upset, with an easy scapegoat.

"My life would be so much better if I left this place"

"My career would be farther along if I lived somewhere else"

"I'd be a happier person if I didn't live here"

I hear people make these statements and it makes me sad for them. That their happiness is contingent on a population size, on street names, on landscape.

What a horrible way to go through life.

Don't get me wrong -I'm not saying nobody should ever leave. There are a multitude of good reasons for anyone to move anywhere.

But a shitty attitude shouldn't be one of them.