After spending 25 years creating precious memories in my home city, Toronto, I have finally packed my things and moved myself to Ottawa. Mind you, it’s still in the same country. Heck, it’s still in the same province! But deciding to up and leave was a huge feat for me since I have never lived away from my parents before.
It was the beginning of a new chapter of my life.
There were all these fears I had when figuring out how I was going to make it out in the “wild” such as, how I was going to get food, how I was going to find a job, or how I was going to survive without my mom’s delicious homemade soups. In a city where you spent so many years in and where you basically recognize all the ways to live well in, it’s easy to just simply stay there and continue living out that comfort zone.
But my curiosity and itch to get outside and see how far I can go (just like Christopher Columbus except I had a pretty good idea where I was going) outweighed my fears. The decision was already set.
After moving and finally settling down, I learned three very important things about myself that perhaps rings the same with you as well when taking drastic steps like mine:
1) It’s ok to ask for help
It’s not only ok but it’s also very encouraged to ask for help. Living in a suburban city where I have no car, I have to depend on my roommates to help me get around like grab groceries. During this move, I also caught a bad cold and a strep throat infection. I thought I could sleep on it and it will be fine. I really didn’t want to ask them to drive me to a walk-in clinic where we would spend at least 2 hours in. But the sickness just got so bad I had to go. I sucked up my ego and forced myself to ask them to spare a chunk of time for me. They were super nice about it and I will forever be grateful for it. I now owe them two sushi dinners, which they gladly accepted. 🙂
Knowing that you’re in a whole new environment and the people around you are aware of that, take advantage of their hospitality. I think we tend to get so caught up in being independent that when we’re in a position of temporary vulnerability, we become very anxious. It’s ok. Ask for help. That’s what human relationships are for!
2) What works for others may not work for you
I have a deep fear for failing. Then again so does everyone else on this planet. For me, before leaving my parents, I promised them that I was going to prosper in my new city and earn so much money that would make the move all that much worth it. I kept my eyes so focused on making money that I lost sight of what I really wanted to do here. Since it is a government city, I want to get into a high level position in the Ministry of Education but I want to start by teaching and tutoring, whether it’s languages or yoga, to get tools on how to revolutionize the education system. This is a big dream of mine. I thought I could do other little assignments to get money, but they weren’t my passion. In fact, they distracted me and made me feel like a zombie caught in a system with no goal.
I would look at others who were earning big bucks doing something that seemed simple, but I didn’t realize until later that it was their love for it that made it simple. I find that life is like a discovery channel, constantly uncovering something new about what everything is and who you are as part of this vast world. It takes patience and a willingness to accept what works and what doesn’t to really help you reach that state of nirvana, that place of genuine happiness. Keep your mind open to what the universe reveals about you!
3) You’re stronger than you think
For the first few days, I actually thought I was going to die. I was going through extreme emotional instability, bursting in tears randomly in public because I knew that I was no longer a few steps away from my family or a bus ride away from my friends. I was feeling so sick physically, I was barely eating and lost the motivation to do anything. I honestly believed that I made the wrong choice. Then after that period, it was like a rainbow coming out on a rainy day. I’m now so comfortable in my new home that it makes me blush a little bit when I think about how I was so fatalist just a day ago.
A lot of people don’t realize how capable they are until they’re faced with adversity and overcome it. This is wisdom that everyone knows. Yet, they don’t know how true and profound that is until they’re placed in that very situation. Our society has us all believing that we’re weak and need to always be in a state of comfort. However, we’re creatures of infinite potential. When you stifle that, you get numb and unhappy. So the next time you think you’re not strong enough to survive something, think again. You’re much stronger than you think. You might want to repeat that until it sticks.
I’m still and will always be learning about myself as I go through life and challenges. While I feel more fragile now, I do not regret my decision. In fact, I’m more proud than ever and ready to inspire those on a similar path.
Everything’s going to be fine. Trust me. Trust yourself. You’re amazing! x