Today was officially the day that it really hit me that I’m going to India. The last few days have raced past, with the grace and speed of a freight train, and it’s really starting to feel real. For almost 9 months, this trip has been a talking point, something that I was going to do “in January…” and now suddenly it’s actually on the verge of happening. This whole experience has felt very surreal, and Im sure it will only continue to feel like that in some ways, until I’m back and settled into classes.
I spent this afternoon with my grandparents and my cousin playing cards (a pretty standard event at my grandparents’), and dropped my younger brother off at the airport for his work trip to Grand Prairie (lucky guy). Even though I have been living in Montreal for the last year and a half, it feels weird knowing that the next time I will see my family is probably six months or more away (I’ve been lucky to come back every three or four months), and likely, the person I am now, will not be who comes back in some ways. Even without the complex challenges India will throw at me, it has been challenging coming back to Calgary at times, because the city feels the same and while it is home, I sometimes feel like I don’t quite fit. Like I’m caught between two places and not really “living” somewhere, more like existing. And I recognize its unrealistic to think that I would stay the same person that I was when I left in August 2015, and that everyone here would be the same. While I plan to come back to Calgary for my final placement and to work after school, it will be a different me coming back to a slightly different city. There is so much beauty in change, how people and places change and grow, carving out new places, feelings and relationships to explore. Even though I don’t feel like my “place” in Calgary is the same as it used to be, it also opens up the possibility for me to gain new sense of belonging to Calgary, and to the greater world. And I’m going to do my best to embrace new possibilities with open arms.