When I landed in Toronto on the 12th of June 2011 it was a Sunday. I was the first person in my family to ever be in Canada. I was so jet lagged, and the Canadian coins were so confusing. I found a payphone and called my mum to tell her I was OK. For her it was the next day and she was just waking up. I felt like I was just waking up too – but waking up to a completely new, adventurous experience.
I’m the type of person who enjoys celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and generally acknowledging the passing of time. I think it is important to rejoice in these milestones because there are times you get stuck and you can’t see a way out of a situation. There are points in our lives, where we look toward the future, and all we can see is a path which branches in a hundred different directions, with question marks at every crossroad.
After my Masters degree I felt stuck. I spent six months hanging out in Hong Kong doing a low-paid teaching assistant gig at my old High School. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was itchy for adventure. And then the idea of Canada came and smacked me in the face.
I have loved living in Toronto, but it hasn’t always been easy. I went back and read my post from my 6 month CANAversary and I was so happy and full of joy and Autumn sunshine. Little did I know, the cold hard truth of a Canadian winter was about to punch me in the face (and this was a mild one apparently!) The Canadian winter wears you down. It gets dark before you leave the office and it’s dark when you wake up in the morning. I still love the snow and the lights and the romantic feeling of the crisp Canadian air, but its the January/February part of winter that made me beg and plead with the imaginary man in the sky for a day of sunlight, or perhaps just a temperature above zero.
And then suddenly in March/April… it was spring like, and we had a few weeks of randomly hot weather, and the tulips in the road dividers all bloomed, and people were outside, and it wasn’t dark any more. And I wore a skirt, and realized those weren’t socks I was wearing, that was my ankle leg hair wrapped around my toes.
And hope returned with spring. Trees were green, and not bear, and the kids in my street started playing out there again. And then summer hit and everyone started sweating their asses off again and bitching about how humid it is.
And I though AHHHHHH. We’ve come full circle, I remember sweating my ass off with a big backpackers back hoisted over my shoulders, walking around the same area.
Because that’s what a year in one place means. Experiencing a full cycle of all the seasons – and BOY! are they vivid here in Canada. Autumn is chilly and BEAUTIFUL, Winter is FIERCELY cold, Spring is BRIGHT and ripe with potential, Summer is SIZZLING and exciting. Each of the seasons has brought me some new discovery of self.
It has been a challenge but it has been thrilling. I have no idea where this is going or what’s next, but if I can pack a bag and move to the other side of the world… well…
I am pretty much ready for anything