Before I moved to Montréal this summer, I was fraught with all the usual doubts that come in the face of big changes. Am I doing the right thing, making this move across the country? How long will it take for me to put down roots this time? Will I thrive, or merely survive?
I was sitting on a rock by the Pacific Ocean one afternoon before I left Vancouver. It was a perfect, clear summer day, and I could see across the strait to where the city lay shimmering in the heat. Even from that distance I could pick out landmarks and pinpoint where I lived. I thought then that maybe home is where you know exactly where everything is, including where you fit in.
I’ve since come to the conclusion that home and identity are two things that we likely have to keep re-shaping throughout life. It’s a daunting task if we attempt to do it alone. So I’m grateful for family and friends for whom distance presents no obstacles. Wherever they are—in the next room, a few streets away, across the city, across the country, across the border, across the ocean—they keep me anchored. They help me remember who I am, what’s important, and why I do what I do.