In a little over a month, I will have been in this country for one year, and while it would probably be more appropriate for me to make this public declaration of what has changed on the actual day of my arrival, I will probably forget. So what have I done? I’ve written this entry in advance and then set the date forward in WordPress so that this entry will be published on June 7th, the day that I officially moved to Canada. It’s a cheap trick, but I’m a forgetful because I’m a student, so it’s ok.
I’ve learnt so much in the year since I’ve been here. When I moved, I was just at the border between socially awkward teen and not so awkward teen. Now I’m an adult, and social situations that used to be weird and difficult for me are now every day life. My life really has changed. I’ve made new friends, I’ve figured my way around this city, I’ve started playing an instrument, I’ve started running again, my health has improved, and I’ve learnt a lot about life in general.
But if I had to sum up my year in the most valuable thing I have learnt from this experience, it would be how to meet people. My friends are more important to me that anything else in my life, and when I “lost” them, it was horrible for me. I stayed in touch with a lot of them, but I missed the day to day interaction. I missed my old summer job, and the friends I saw during the summer, and my old house, and even biking to the grocery store which had become so familiar to me. Then I moved here and it was all gone. Now I’m in a city, and I’ve never lived in a city. Everything was so strange. When I started school again, people all around me were talking to each other, and having fun, and laughing, and I couldn’t be a part of it. But I kept my head held high, and I acted like I knew what I was doing. When I talked to people, I made an effort to be myself, knowing that there was no reason to be awkward. This was the situation, and I had to deal with it. I thought I would never meet people, but I got involved in things, namely theatre, and I started to not feel as lonely. Some things worked out, some didn’t and when I moved on to the second semester I already knew some people, and I started to meet even more. The most wonderful feeling after a move it to walk down the hall and say “hello” to at least 5 people whom you know and talk to. Eventually the good days and bad days turned into mostly good days. The more comfortable I grew, and the more people I talked to the better I felt about myself, and if I was in a situation where I didn’t know anyone and where I felt awkward, it didn’t matter anymore, because I had outlived the worst of it; I dove into the ocean and learnt how to breath. Now there are people I know, people I trust, and people I am close to. I know people I can tell things to, people I can ask for help, people I can count on, and people who can count on me.
We’ll see what summer will bring, but I know that at least now there will be people I can spend time with. There are people I can call when what I really want to do is go out somewhere and not have to drag my parents along or go by myself. It was a rough year, and I can’t say the rough times are over, but I am finally almost settled.