Moving to a new community is one thing. Moving to a new province away from everything you’ve ever known is something entirely different. You integrate. You become a part of a new family and circle of friends. You adapt.
Its years down the road when you get out of your teenage mentality that you realize that everything you left behind was and is so precious.
I had this mentality before but it really hit home for me this year. After spending years coping and telling myself that I was entirely happy, and don’t get me wrong I am… I realized how much I was really missing out on.
I had the opportunity to go home this year for a longer period of time than I have in ages. I got to experience my niece and nephew for three solid weeks as they grew and changed. I made besties with my soon to be three year old niece and also had the chance to discipline her for the first time ever… as she hammered her parents brand new dry wall. She hated me for a few hours and then we rekindled our bosom relationship. My parents are beautiful people, some of the good ones. They change and grow each and every time I see them and coming from a child’s perspective who doesn’t have the opportunity to be around everyday it’s remarkable. My older sister and her husband are building a beautiful life for their family. Their life is something to look up too. Living minimally and full of purpose, it’s what everyone should strive for.
I had the opportunity to watch my very own baby girl meet all of the people that influenced my life in significant ways. I watched her build a relationship with her grandparents and her aunts and uncles. I watched her grow out of an entire clothing size and learn to roll the opposite way.
Its literally remarkable what can happen in three weeks.
The most surreal moment of my entire trip involved my little sister. She’s beautiful. She’s working a job and working towards an amazing future for herself. She’s passionate and real. She brought so many things back to me. One night as we were going through her bedroom and making boxes to donate, I was in her closet and I could tell she was on edge. When I pulled out a self portrait of myself that I had painted in high school off the top of her closet I realized her upheaval. She quickly responded “when you moved away, I took a bunch of stuff from your room so I could feel closer to you.”
In that moment I laughed it off, but then I went to bed and cried, because at the time I didn’t realize how badly I affected everyone around me by moving away. Seeing the child that I left behind in that beautiful woman’s face was a newsflash. She’s changed and so I have I.
Being away from my family and everything I ever knew is hard. And it’s equally as hard adapting to a new life and community. Trying to make and build relationships is a daily struggle. But this is a choice I made.
Just know in your heart if you’re struggling that it will be okay. Growth and change are crucial in life.
I’m not from here, but I’m trying.