O Canada pt1: finality and evolution

A series of personal essays reflecting on moving to the other side of the world. There are no conclusions. Sorry. I’m working on it.

Last year I decided to move to Canada. From conception to move, the whole thing took 5 months. I quit my job, I booked a flight. I said goodbye to everybody I know. In those lengthy crying sessions that constituted as leaving parties, I hugged and kissed my friends and danced with them until the early hours. I told them I loved them and I meant it. I set off to start a new life and they continued living theirs.

It’s only now that I realise the weight of those goodbyes. It’s only three months later that they seem to be taking on a finality.

When I left the U.K. I fundamentally changed the shape of every single relationship I had, although I didn’t know it at the time. My relationships — especially those formed by proximity — now had to become elastic, to reshape and reform themselves to fit within the overlapping crevices in our new lives. I send and receive messages in the dead of night. I don’t know the subjects of the anecdotes any more. I’m watching my friends falling in and out of love from a distance. I observe but I no longer participate, and my friends likewise for me. Our common reference points drift further apart. We’re following each other’s lives over social media, but we aren’t experiencing each other anymore. Our friendships, as they existed in the UK, no longer exist. Instead we’re occupying a new space, and it’s really hard.

As I welcome more new people into my life I can’t help wonder what shape those relationships will take. My life is in flux, I don’t even know which country I’ll be living in next year let alone what my life will look like. And my friends and family from home are moving on, experiencing their own new adventures. I was talking to a friend this week, one who I miss very dearly, about the odd contrast of desperately missing somebody but also being genuinely happy that their life is progressing without you, and what a curious combination of emotions that is. “That’s called love babe”. He’s right.

I’m choosing not to see those goodbyes as a finality, but as another stage of an evolution. Life is constantly morphing and changing and we’re always evolving to be the best versions of ourselves within the confines of our situations. Change is a chance to learn more and love deeper. I don’t want to remain stagnant, I want to use everything I’ve learned to help me become the best me possible. I want to evolve into the ultimate Alice. Less finality and more evolution.

British lass in Canada, writing about politics, pop culture, feminism, class, being a millennial, telly, and myself. Tweet me @blerhgh

British lass in Canada, writing about politics, pop culture, feminism, class, being a millennial, telly, and myself. Tweet me @blerhgh