O Canada pt5: clarity and inevitability

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.

How do you know if you’re going to stay? How do you know when it’s time to leave?

There’s no one correct answer, the situations are different for everybody. But one thing I’ve found that every immigrant has in common is that their answer comes in a cloud of clarity.

Sometimes it’s quick. A move abroad that you spent a year planning ends in three months. Your stuff is sold and your flights are booked. One day you just wake up and you know.

And sometimes whilst the clarity comes quick, the process of leaving takes much longer. You might have obligations stretching out months. You might not be in the financial position to leave any time soon. You might just want to see out the summer that you suffered through winter for.

If you’d asked me in December I would have told you 100% I was staying in Canada for at least another 3 full years. But come January, I knew I would be leaving after just 1.

The pros and cons lists I made in my phone to make sure I was being rational were as thorough as they were nonsense. Rent prices was a con of moving back to the UK. ASOS same day delivery was a pro. The seaside, the cottage life, my friends here, my friends there. Snacks, winters, summers, taxes, employment rights, Bulk Barn.

In the end I didn’t even count up my lists, there was no need to. Moving back to the UK this year was inevitable, that much was clear.

When I decided to move to Toronto in the first place I remember describing the move as an inevitability. Like well yeah of course I’m going to quit my job and move across the world? What a stupid thing to question. Moving felt like the most natural thing in the world. Moving was like the only option that made sense. And that same inevitability will carry me back home at the end of this year.

But until then I’ve got enough to be getting on with. I need to enjoy the summer. To spend time with all of my beautiful friends. To work out how to ship my things home. To drink as many Caesars as possible. To learn to sleep through the noise the racoons that live in my yard make as they riffle through the bins.

I don’t know the exact day I’ll leave, but I know it won’t be soon. One day, at the end of the year, I trust that I’ll wake up and know it’s time to book that flight.

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

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