Monday, 16 September 2013
Home is Where the Heart is.
It's a strange feeling sitting down to write a long overdue conclusion to my London adventures. While my year is certainly over, rest assured this won't be the end of the blog.
Life has certainly been a little crazy since my plane landed in Vancouver two weeks ago last night. I had a day to unpack myself into my new (temporary) apartment, and was right back at work the following day. If I've struggled with anything (besides lack of sleep) in the last two weeks, it has been fighting the overwhelming sensation that my last year in the UK was a simply a figment of my imagination. It is strange to settle back into my old routine so quickly, it truly seems as though I never left. Although it's wonderful to fit back in so quickly, this is one of the feelings I was afraid of.
I'm absolutely loving being back at work (yes, an extremely pleasant surprise). I think I had forgotten how much I enjoy my job, my colleagues, and my students. Although starting the school year off, flying by the seat of my pants, has been quite the test, it has been softened by the wonderful conversations and quick catch-ups with friends, and colleagues who I haven't seen. I've had a stream of students popping into my classroom just to say hi and welcome me back (some of whom I no longer recognized as they've grown so much in a year). Work has changed a little as I'm teaching a few blocks of phys-ed along with visual art. The school is also well into it's big renovation, so we're all having to be a little more flexible than usual (what doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?). My neighbourhood is also new, which has also helped to keep me on my toes. It's been fun exploring what's around me, finding the bank, the grocery store, the nearest pool, and all of life's needs.
I've had countless wonderful dinner with my family (a luxury I had also missed), been able to attend my best friend's bridal shower, had evenings at the ballpark with my brothers, and girl's nights out with childhood friends. These are definitely some of the wonderful aspects of being home. I've had ocean side swims at Kits Pool, runs through old growth forests, and drives to work along the ocean, staring up at the North Shore mountains. The city is definitely beautiful, and the quality of life (and air!) parallel to none.
Yes, I still miss London. I miss London daily, if I'm being truthful, probably hourly. Everything I do, see, hear, reminds me of bits and pieces of my year there. I am conscious that I sound like someone in a new relationship, who mentions their other half in every other sentence. Everything that comes out of my mouth seems to link back to last year's memories, and the city I left behind.
I think about my routine. I miss the pave stone on my street that wasn't properly set, and would wiggle each time I intentionally stepped on it. I think about the different brands of food I used to buy in the Waitrose. I miss good generic builder's tea. I find myself converting prices back to £'s to figure out whether or not something is over priced. I get sad when the students play Mumford & Sons in the classroom as it makes me think of London. I miss the Canadian crew I grew to love, and find myself looking forward to Christmas when some may be home to visit their families.
I know I'll get back to London at some point, I just wish I knew when. I'm grateful that I enjoyed my year as much as I did, but I can definitely say I wasn't ready to come home. I know, just like any relationship, I needed to come home to put my year in perspective. I'm now left to wonder if this feeling I have in my chest is also like a relationship. Does it need time and a half to heal? Will I eventually shake London out of my system, or is this a feeling I should be listening to?