Banff – April to December Update Story

Written the 8th April 2008.

The reason I haven’t really written about these months are perhaps many, but one of the main reasons would be that I got myself a girlfriend and it got kind of serious.

As you might know I am not that experienced in serious relationships so I had a steep learning curve, the issue I was facing was not only that I had heaps to learn about women, but also about mental illnesses. The girl in question was suffering from mental depression (not diagnosed until later) and she’d been suffering from it the last 10years or so without actually getting professional helps. About the same time as I started to see her (February) she started using anti-depressive medication.

Dating someone with mental illness is not easy, especially when you start to care for this person and even worse when you fall in love…
Her illness had a few ugly faces, one was that she got too stressed up and didn’t know what to do and due to that she just pushed everything away including the people that stood her closest i.e. me.

The whole relationship was a battle for me not to get hurt, but I failed miserably over and over and over again… I have no idea why I kept coming back and forgiving her. Love I suppose?
The pictures are kind of interesting now looking back at this, coz there were many taken while she was in a good mood, and not so many taken while she wasn’t (and needless to say, those were the periods when I was dragged down with her).

I don’t blame, accuse or put any guilt upon her, since she was (and probably still is at this time of writing this) very ill. My closest friends, the General Manager Janette, and the Front Office Manager Jamie was super supportive during this whole ordeal and I can never thank them enough for all the time and energy they spent helping me and listening to me.

I wrote meters and meters of emails but I don’t want to include them here coz of the sensitive information about my X, but one email to a dear and close friend, I will and it sums it all up I think.

Hey you,
Part of me is gaining anger or frustration of her actions, my spiritual advisor tells me it’s her pills talking, and she advised me NOT to continue with her, since I am not a person who can take big ups and downs.
I fooled myself thinking that a moody relationship is way different to 180degree turns, so I can take moody…
I am trying to understand her, I am trying to be there for her, try to be as helpful as I possibly can to decrease the stress for her. But what happens? She has barely spoken to me since you put her in charge and sent Simon home. It has been a tough job for her, she’s done really good (I think) but it wears her down. I had to steal a hug from her today and when I sent her a text asking if she wanted me to cook for us tonight (one less thing to worry about for her) she wrote back that “I need some me time tonight”. So I have basically not seen her for 2.5days and I am a kind of person that craves physical attention when it’s like this.

I feel like I have done something wrong, that she changed her mind again. I honestly and objectively don’t think she has, and only needs some time to settle some stress, which is fine.
But do I need this heartache?
Would I be better off finding myself single, even if it would really hurt for quite some time to break-up with her?

I have been feeling stressed a bit as well about my choices, coming to Canada, to settle or not to settle, to take that leap of faith or go back to the secure bubble I have (or had at least) back home in Sweden.

The big picture I think I have down… but now I have to get all the puzzle pieces together and as Monica my spiritual advisor said… you are on the right track, but you just have to make the right choices in the right sequence (talk about pressure), coz if I choose to do one thing that is meant to be done later, first, then some other stuff will not be able to be done coz it will be too late to do later.
If everything had “best before dates” on it, it would be easy to sort accordingly and just munch away on the right cookie and then continue on the second one… aso.. (Does it make at all sense?)

I am rambling a bit and I am a bit hurt, perhaps for no reason…

It’s so confusing for me, coz we spent 5 fantastic days incl. the 2 absolutely wonderful days at the Caribou together, we laughed, we had fun, we relaxed, we hiked and we had an awesome time together.
Then nothing…

No hugs, no kisses, no talk, no communication, no nothing…

*sigh* :((

This girl is driving me insane… :s

I just feel I have been a terrific guy, being there for her, serving her, supporting her, giving her love and encouragement making it possible for her to spend two nights in the Jacuzzi suite, having a massage (first time for both of those for her) and really being super patient with her regarding her issues in life…
Just feel I deserve some communication when she needs some “me time” and let me know a bit more and let me in on it since I am trying to be an understanding boyfriend here… It’s OKEY to have “me time” and we all need that…
I am not sure where I am taking this or what I mean with it… just a tad upset I suppose..

I just want to be with her and being able to hug her and share the happiness I know we have shared earlier…
I just got asked if I wanted to come over for a movie with another girl… I really want to and I really could just cut my ties and play with the idea… but I feel stupid to do so. I am not a player and I don’t want to hurt anyone, myself included…

Okay, off to the dungeon… food, movie and sleep…

Have fun tomorrow rafting…

I will see u tomorrow afternoon I work 10-18 tomorrow…

I hope I didn’t sound too depressed in this letter… :s

Cheers, Swede

Needless to say I think, I loved her greatly and some days I miss the good parts in her, and as from the start, I seem only to remember good things, the friendship, the ability to talk and talk and talk about absolutely everything, the open communication about everything in the relationship was the glue that made it stick together.

It started couple of days after I arrived to Banff (end of January) and the last nail was hammered in just after new years with many (with emphasis on many) break-ups and other mishaps.
It ended kind of tragically, and who know, perhaps we run into each other one day, somewhere again, if it’s meant to happen?

In April, the 19th actually, it was all settled, my condo was sold as the highest priced 3bedroom condo in the area ever, and the papers where signed.

Mt Norquay
During May I also climbed the local mountain Mt Norquay with a friend and we were so lucky with the weather, clear blue skies and no wind.

Rafting and ATV-ing
When I came home from Canada last time, with my back injury a spiritual advisor told me that it could have been a warning sign that I would have drowned in a river if I would have continued. In June I was, as the Front desk Supervisor, invited to go rafting with Canadian Rockies Rafting one day and some other company the day after. I hadn’t had any issues with my back for a few years and after 30minutes in a raft it hit me again, badly. So bad I talked myself out of going the day after. I did however enjoy the afternoon with CRR and would recommend it to anyone!

About a week and a bit later we went ATVing at Toby Creek, same place we went snowmobiling the year before. It was great fun, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed to ”go at ’er” but when my ranch it bought there will be a few ATVs, Snowmobiles in the barn for sure  ;))

Condo Sale
In July I went to Sweden to sell my condo, move my stuff and clean everything out before the new owners took possession.  The deal went fairly smoothly, but of coz there were some minor discrepancies between me and the new owners, but nothing that is worth mentioning.

When I came back I had a wicked month, I went to many places and enjoyed the Canadian summer fully, even if there were many mozzies in the valley that year. To mention a few treats, I visited Sulphur mountain (took the gondola up and hiked down on the backside to the natural springs of Cave and Basin), went to Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Spiraling Tunnels and much more.

The last days of August I had gotten my eyes on a vehicle, a Nissan Xterra. A week later it was mine *smile*.
Needless to say, I drove quite a bit the next couple of months and one of my favorite areas is Spray Lakes behind the town of Canmore. A gravel road that goes for almost 600km in a big loop. The scenery is stunning and the area such that you want to stop every two seconds and take photos and just enjoy it. At the end of the month my X went home to Australia and at the same time I moved to a new place that was supposed to be ours when she got back. But she had time to break up with me before she got back so I continued to stay there (even if it was too expensive) alone until I left in December.

October, November and December
A few friends from Pano visited me in October and it was great fun to have them around and giving them the tour of Banff. Also went hiking with Amanda, another great friend.

November consisted of making new plans, attending seminars in Calgary regarding investments, packing up and saying goodbye to the X since she was going back to Australia for good towards the end of November.
December was mainly packing up the unit, arranging everything for storage, parking of the car and such. In the middle of the month Banff Caribou Properties, the company I worked for, had a Xmas party and I also saw it as my going away party.

The 10th of December I wrote to my two bosses:

To whom it may concern,
I hereby resign my position as the front desk supervisor at the Hidden Ridge Resort.
I thank the staff and management of Banff Caribou Properties for making my almost year long stay pleasant and eventful.
I wish all future success in which ever avenue the future brings to you.
With warmest regards,
Stefan Martensson

And the 13th, the day after the Xmas party and the day before I left Canada I wrote companywide:

Hello everybody!

For those few who knew, yesterday was not only a great Xmas party; it was also in my eyes, my going away party. Thank you all for coming!!  ;))

Today is my last shift dressed up in the Caribou team colors and I am leaving my position as the front desk supervisor here at the Hidden Ridge Resort and will first go home to Sweden tomorrow morning for well deserved Xmas and New Year holiday celebrations.

Right after new year’s, I will yet again sit on the airplane, this time flying to Brazil and further to Chile and finally end up in the Argentinean Patagonia in a small village called Bariloche in the very south of South America. Here I will be based for minimum of three months doing field research on an endangered species (the condor), management of a protected area (Lanin National Park) and do some other things directly related to my background in science.

This opportunity is hopefully the first stepping stone to get good quality work experience to get my career started, perhaps here in Canada, if only my permanent residence can go through soon!

I would like to thank my friend and also FOM Jamie Schoel for invaluable advice (both regarding work and general life) under the 11months I have been employed by BCP. His work steering up the resort under the hardships we experienced during the summer months was invaluable and his confidence in me was greatly appreciated and I learnt a lot from Jamie about creating a team not only within his department but also cross departments with maintenance and especially our core the housekeeping department.

The General Manager – Janette Holtzman also a great friend who supported me and was actually the one who made me take the decision of chasing my dream, even if it ultimately meant that she lost her front desk supervisor.
There are so many people I would like to thank for their friendship and support on ALL of our properties and restaurants, but the list would be long, so please don’t think your friendship or support is forgotten!
All the best to all of you in all your future endeavors whatever and wherever they may be!!

For those of you, who don’t have already added me on the now so famous Facebook, feel free to do so. If you like pictures from all over the world feel free to surf into my website or email me at: if you want somewhere to sleep (in a tent) in South America.

I will finish off the same way as I started my position… as Mr. Borat would say:  HI FIVE!

Stefan Martensson

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