To be exact, we hit the nine-month mark last Thursday. It’s the strangest feeling, looking at the calendar and realising how long we’ve lived in Canada. I can still recall the exact mix of excitement and grief when we had to say goodbye to our loved ones at Düsseldorf airport, then board the plane to take off on our new adventure. The same memory of leaving South Africa replayed in my mind that day, but somehow seemed vaguer, as if it had been in another lifetime.
Some days, it seems the last airport-goodbye happened years ago, possibly even to another person. Other days, it feels like it happened yesterday. I can smell the croissants baking in the little café where we had something to drink with friends. I’m there as the window fogs up when Kayla presses her face to the glass and squeals about the aeroplanes. The tug returns to my stomach as I buckle my seatbelt and replay saying goodbye to the people who’d become our family, yet I can’t wait to get going. Can this thing just lift off already?
Yesterday, but nine months ago.
I can’t tell you what I was doing when we met the anniversary of our ninth month in Germany, but I can tell you how I felt. Lonely. Depressed. Anxious. Except for a handful of wonderful people, we had no one. We were lost in translation.
This time is so much different. The despair lifted so much faster. We settled in so much easier. Kayla’s going to a fantastic school. Though we don’t see them every day, we have family in the same country again. We’ve made good friends and have a social life again. We’ve found a great church. We fit in, accent and all.
Sure, living in Canada has its own challenges – that’s life, right? I feel self-conscious about my English almost every day (but okay, my angst-riddled mind will always find something to be self-conscious about). There are still some cultural things that we don’t get. Different holidays, different ways of doing things.
All in all, though, this transition has been painless. It feels like home, and that’s all we could ask for.
Until next time.