I don’t celebrate anniversaries, but this time I want to. Exactly 1 year ago today (25th October), my life changed. For good or for bad, I don’t know. But it changed. I can’t believe it’s already a year since I moved here.
My memory is shit, but I still remember my very first day in this city. My Air India Mumbai-Delhi-Toronto flight landed at the Toronto Pearson airport at around 9 am. I finished all the immigration formalities at about 12.30 pm. I met my Airbnb host in the waiting area, and we went home. I drank an XL mug of ginger tea, dropped my luggage in the room, took a shower, and then stepped out to buy a local sim card and open a bank account. It was already evening by then, and I started to feel hungry. I saw Wendy’s across the road. My very first meal in Canada was at Wendy’s, and it was horrible. Somehow, I finished it and then went home. I was trying hard not to fall asleep, but I just dozed off at around 8 pm. I woke up at 3 am and found myself in the sweet company of Mr jet lag. He didn’t leave me for 2 days. I can’t believe this was 1 year ago.
This country has taught me a lot.
I moved here with zero expectations, and I was ready to welcome everything with open arms.
I have grown up so much as a person. The past year was a big and long roller coaster. There were more lows than highs. I have seen many dark days, but in the end, we’ve to count our blessings.
I am Limitless
My biggest takeaway is learning that we’re all limitless. We are all capable of doing things that we think we can’t. I have broken so many boundaries I had unknowingly built around me, met incredible people- Refugees from Syria who are working hard to build a new life here, young couples who left everything behind and moved to Canada to give their kids a better future. I can’t even imagine taking care of a child while trying to pull my shit together. Their stories motivate me to conquer my fears every day, jump out of my comfort zone, and make me realize that we’re all limitless.
It’s Easy to be Kind
One of the easiest things people can do is be kind to one another.
Everyone here has been so kind to me; there were literally times when in my head, I used to scream, PLEASE STOP BEING SO NICE I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
Later I realized it’s incredibly easy to be friendly and kind. It takes zero effort. I come from a place where you can’t expect kindness from strangers (because everybody is so frustrated with their own lives). I wasn’t very kind either (sometimes). But now I think I am ready to become a brand ambassador of kindness and compassion.
Appreciate Small Things in Life
Living alone, far away from your family, can teach you a lot. As I didn’t have a job, I had to survive on the little savings I had. We have replaced our ‘needs’ with our ‘wants’ and can’t imagine a life without our wants. Since I couldn’t afford all the fancy things (which I thought I ‘needed’ for comfort), I was grateful for all the small things I had and soon realized that I could manage with limited resources. I know people who didn’t have even the basic things that I had when they moved here. I felt privileged with whatever I had and am grateful for them.
I knew I would change a lot as a person before moving here, and now that I see all those changes happening, I hope I turn into the best version of myself.
Thank you, Toronto, for making me the person that I am today!