I have been inactive in my blog for a couple of months now. That’s what happens when you decide to move across continents and call a new city your home. It’s only recently, I have had the time and the mind set to work on my blog again, taking baby steps to slowly revamp and resume The Making of a Minimalist.
I should have left a hiatus note. I even had one drafted; but the over-optimistic part of me thought that maybe, MAYBE, in the midst of my cross continent move, I will have the time to write some of the blog entries. There are half done drafts of those too, catching cobwebs in my draft section. Unfortunately, none of that happened.
I am a planner through and through and although we have been preparing for the move for months, things kept popping up in the very end. Part of it was my husband who loves doing things in the last minute, but most of it just happened because of the nature of the chore itself.
By far, the biggest challenge I faced was the unpreparedness of leaving my family behind. I thought I had it covered. We went out on family dinners and spend quality time; we talked about a lot of things that has never been said before and made peace with incidents in the past. We laughed, cried and dreamed about the future together. I thought to myself, it won’t be that bad; with the internet, there are unlimited voice and video calls and I am probably going make a visit each year as well, right?! But none of that mattered. There is nothing, I mean absolutely NOTHING that can prepare you for the immense grief and guilt that takes control over you when you are about to take-off. When you are waiting for your check-in time at the airport and all of a sudden you remember all the things that you didn’t say, all the things you didn’t even apologize for. But all I ended up doing was avoid having a conversation, for both parties’ sake. I sat between my parents in silence, hoping that the silence will speak louder than words. Leaving my family behind is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
When we landed in Toronto, we were greeted by a very loving family- my husband’s aunt. I will forever be grateful to them. I don’t know how newcomers do it, make it on their own in a new city, in a different country, without having any family around. I honestly have a newly found respect for them. Having that aunt and her family was a tremendous source of support and just what we needed as a myriad of emotions and jet-lag took over us. Naturally but sadly, my blog was the last thing on my mind.
I can’t tell you whether the move has been worth it. What I can tell you is, it was necessary on my part. I needed to be away from all the familiar influence in order to truly understand and discover myself. I have lived with or near my family and relatives my whole life. I have been loved and cushioned most of my life by my over-protective family. While that is very common in South Asian families and not necessarily a bad thing, I feel it has impaired me on a personal level. How do you truly learn to be independent if you always had someone watching your back?
It has been three months here in Toronto. Thanks to the aunt and her family, we had a very smooth transition into our new life. Its just the two of us now, sharing and maintaining an apartment and all the chores in between. If you have a South Asian background, you can probably understand how even that is a big deal for us- we are spoiled rotten with household helps and chauffeurs, ready to do our bidding. So this is a huge adjustment in itself.
Occasionally though, but not too frequently, I carefully allow myself guarded moments like these, where I sit back and let the realization take over. My “I-miss/will-miss” list.
I will miss the birth of my first nephew, my niece starting school, the “everything will be alright” embrace of mum and the quiet concern of mum-in-law. I miss fighting with my brother at work and telling off father every chance I get. I miss the incessant discussions about cellphone cameras with my father-in-law. I miss the slumber parties, watching despicable horror movies and trying all the new restaurants with my favorite cousins.
I will miss the homemade comforts like, “khichuri” in rainy days, warmth of vegetable-noodle soup in winter and the punch of lemon ginger tea when I catch a cold. It doesn’t taste the same when I make them.
I miss the stolen moments with my grandmother on the first floor landing. I have a delusional believe that I am her favorite, among her 21 other grandchildren.
It’s these bitter-sweet longings, in moderation, that push me ahead to make the most out of this new life. So much guilt, grief and yearning has come out of this move, that I have to believe, only good things remain.
Thank you for reading ❤
Dedicated To (in no particular order) : Nanu, Bordi, Abbu, Ammu, Bhaiya, Bhabi, Aliyah, Amaya, Arshaan, Ma, Baba, Mariam, Waliza, Ibrahim, Nasima Khala, Younus Khalu, Jhumi Apu, Fiza, Bilkis Khala.