Friday, June 5, 2015
Would you believe that I just celebrated my third year anniversary here in Zurich? Before that it was two years in Austria. It is really a bit difficult to comprehend. Never in this life of mine did I long for a life that involved me leaving my family for an overseas local.
On a recent trip to Canada, a sales clerk asked me where I was from because I spoke "good English". I was mortified. "I am Canadian!" I protested a bit too loudly. In hindsight I get it. Her friendly Canadian manner was just making conversation after noticing my weird accent. I hear about it enough at home. My Canadian accent is gone. Abroad people still laugh like heck when I say "about" and the fact that I sound so Canadian. My British pal whines that I am ruining her accent. My BFF has perfected my Canadian accent so well, that everyone thinks that she is Canadian, even over me.
As thoroughly Canadian as I am, it is changing. Accents, mannerisms, habits, routines - even the way I think has changed. For instance, in Canada I don't believe I ever made a meeting on time, it was deemed too keen to arrive right on schedule. Just this week I found myself apologizing for arriving 3 minutes after the scheduled meeting time.
Now for the 5 year look back. It has not been easy. My family has in moments suffered in their willingness to support and love me from afar. I sometimes crawl into bed missing them so much that it literally takes my breath away.
So why am I still here? Why leave the ones you love most of all? This is a question that I am often asked. It breaks my heart a little when it happens, but I understand why people ask. It is weird. Seemingly counterintuitive even.
It is an answer that is so difficult to explain. I felt restless. It was a way of being most of my life. I was always searching for something. When with my son and family I felt contentment. Happiness. So there I focused my energies even more. I absorbed them. As my son pulled away in his eagerness to build his own life, I struggled. The restless feeling became more prominent. When the opportunity came up to move - they pushed me to leave. It was not I that sought it.
But they were right. The restless feeling eased.
So on this third year (Zurich) anniversary, I want to thank my incredible family for being who they are - how incredibly lucky I am. I love you.
I also want to thank this beautiful country for letting me call it home, and the people in it that accept and love this displaced Canadian.
...and it seems fitting to wrap it up with this Canadian song...