Eight years ago today, I confidently arrived in Canada for the first time.
That day changed my entire life, my entire being.
I was desperate to leave Virginia and start anew. The moment I entered the country, I suddenly felt at home, as though I was supposed to be here. I immediately connected. I felt like I truly belonged.
Over the past years, I’ve seen and done a vast amount of things. I’ve made friends, I’ve lost friends, I’ve kept some pretty incredible friends who were and are a huge blessing in my life to this day. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve gone about things entirely the wrong way, I’ve battled severe mental illness, I’ve lived and I’ve loved and I’ve evolved as a human being. I’ve created and I’ve bloomed. I’ve grieved, I’ve laughed until I’ve nearly puked. I’ve been stricken with emotion on Canada Day because of the love I have for my adopted country.
I’ve seen such beautiful parts of Nature both by my home and far away. I’ve spread my arms to the sun, I’ve relished in all four seasons that Canada has given me in vivid splendour. I’ve praised the moon, I’ve walked in snowsqualls, I’ve danced in peaceful 2am snowfalls, I’ve listened to the cries of loons and I’ve felt the Cheltenham Badlands firm and red under my feet. I’ve smelled of cottage campfires, I’ve seen how rich blue the Georgian Bay is. I’ve looked across the glittering expanse of Toronto from the top of the CN Tower.
I’ve run outside with a camera to watch tornadic storms roll in. I’ve gardened, I’ve helped foster kittens for adoption, I’ve gone on adventures and I’ve learned to truly embrace life and who I am with my best friends at my side.
I have created a dazzling rainbow tapestry of memories and experiences. And even though the relationship that led me here was finally ended long after it should have been, I don’t regret the creation of that tapestry at all. I don’t regret my life in Canada. My life has been so full of richness in so many ways, and I have a truly grateful heart.
I never got my Canadian citizenship, which is probably a good thing as it might affect getting my UK visa, but I’ve considered myself to be a Canadian from the moment I received permanent residence in 2010. I tell people I’m Canadian. It’s where I live, it’s where my roots dug into, it’s deep in my soul. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a Canuck and I’m proud of it.
And even if I lose my permanent residence and never get to live in this beautiful country again, I will always be a Canuck in my heart.
Love and light,