This essay was originally published on October 19, 2012.
If there is anything I’ve learned over the past three years, it is to never count on anyone but yourself. As much as we would like to believe that there are family members and friends who will be there for us no matter what (sometimes they might be), the majority of the time, we are our own best friends. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but thankfully, I’ve not only learned it, I’ve lived to tell about it.
Without going into copious detail about why I’m glad to be back living in the United States, I will say, however, that I did appreciate what Canadian life had to offer me during the time I spent there. I learned some new skills, gained some valuable insight, and finally made peace with the fact that my Canadian family is nutsy-fagan-batshit-crazy. That’s a technical term; I found it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to live in my mom’s birthplace for a few years. For a very short period of time, I truly felt like I belonged there. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a huge mistake for reasons beyond my control. I beat myself up about my decision to move there for a long time, and now that I’m back below the 49th parallel, I can say with complete honesty that that mistake lead me to something even better than I could have possibly imagined. Life is not easy, and the journey it takes you on is not always pleasant. Sometimes, you have to endure a hell of a lot of unpleasantness to get to a place where things start to get better. I thought Toronto was that place for me, but it wasn’t. The place I am in now is that place.
I am deliberately being vague about my current location for reasons having to do with the nutsy-fagan-batshit-craziness I had to endure during my time in Canada. I will, however, say this: To those who might read this (and you know who you are), you can no longer hurt me; you can no longer control how I live my life; you can no longer inflict yourself and your insanity on me; you will never see or hear from me ever again. And lastly, I want to say that I feel sorry for you; it is your loss that I am no longer in your life.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s on to bigger and better things. I will look back on my time in Canada as a pit stop I needed to make in order to get to where I am. I am grateful for the experience, however horrible and painful it was to endure, but I am even more grateful for where it has lead me. And, I am happy to say that I still have the ability to experience the joy and happiness it has brought me.