12 Years in Canada and counting

This month is an anniversary month for me. This year marks the twelfth year I have lived in Canada. I think the past twelve years have been the craziest and coolest years of my life so far. I am so different from when I first moved here. When I first moved to Canada I was a pretty quiet individual, ok I am still quiet but not in the way that I mean. I used to hang out with people and just listen, never really talked much because I thought what I had to say didn’t add any value to a conversation. I also never would do that much stuff by myself. I didn’t like going out by myself too much. I felt that I always had to have someone with me when I would go out and do stuff.  I think over time I realized that most of the time I just ended up listening to someone else talk. The only time I ever really did anything by myself was take road trips to see the mountains.

The year that really changed my life was 2008. I started to do more by myself. I started taking more classes by myself, plus I started making more friends who asked me questions about myself. I realized that I didn’t know how to talk about myself that much. I didn’t know what to say or how to answer a question. Before this time I was always worried what people would think about what I said or I was worried they just were interested in something else or wanted something from me. A big step in becoming more outgoing was teaching English as a second language classes. I found that very enjoyable and rewarding. I had to talk about myself in class a bit and I had people asking me questions about my life.

Over that year and into 2009 I was really opening up.  A conversation that really stands out in my mind was with an acquaintance, who is now close to me, asking me to tell them about myself. It really put me on the spot, I wasn’t in a classroom setting but a one-on-one setting. Sure I could talk about topics I was interested in but to have someone ask me about me just made me stop and think. It surprised me because I was listening to them talk about themselves and I was really enjoying listening to their experiences, but when they stopped and asked me about me it was the first time that I thought someone may enjoy hearing about my experiences.

I learned to open up after that, to trust at least a few people. It has been very hard for me. It is a struggle to say what is on my mind at times because I worry about being judged by the people who are closest to me.  I think I have begun to realize that sometimes it is the people who are closest to you that you should be able to open up with without worrying about judgement.

I am so grateful to the circumstances in my life that have led me to this exact moment and to this place. I know I am exactly in the place that I am meant to be. I wouldn’t change anything in my life or have done anything differently. I feel very lucky.


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