This image is from http://www.wondercliparts.com/
I was not born in Canada. I was not raised in Canada. I grew up in Canada.
Now that you are sufficiently confused, let’s carry on.
I immigrated to Canada as an adult. I have lived there long enough to feel like I belong.
In Canada, I learned to follow my heart through the hardest detour in my life. I’ve almost always done what my heart told me, but until then, most had been fairly easy decisions.
Then I came to a particular juncture.
One path gleamed with the career and life I was happy with.
The other was not resplendent in comparison, but it led back to something that was/is the dearest to me in the big wide world.
But it was not an easy decision to make.
In my late teens, I had left the nest and spread my wings.
By my late 20s, I had flown much further and much wider than I had planned or even imagined.
In my mid 30s, with focus, hard work and perseverance, I achieved whatever little goals I had gunned for.
And then it hit me.
Despite all the external embellishments, I was not happy.
I thought things over. I prayed. I talked to a few people.
I had to make a choice.
A career with the trappings that the world worships?
An incomparably less glamourous vocation that would allow me to wake up with a feeling of contentment every day?
Again, not an easy decision to make.
After all, how many just chuck their glowing careers and globetrotting ways to baby-sit ageing parents?
If I had to listen to Daddy and Mummy, and dance to their “You can’t live with your parents just because you want to be with them in their old age” tune, I would have still been in Canada.
But I listened to Canada instead.
I had read about people who had made similarly tough decisions to simplify their lives by tuning out the world and listening inwards to what their hearts told them.
Some made choices that involved reducing frivolous expenses, some chose smaller living spaces, some chose to give up their private vehicles and rough it out with public transport. And some gave up blazing careers.
I met very few of these people, but mostly, I read about them. With each one I met, and with each article I read, my resolve to return to my roots grew stronger.
And now I’m back in the country of my birth. With those who gave me birth. Not Daddy, of course. He’s off on a jaunt somewhere. 😉 Took off five months before I planned to return. Hmph.
I’ve been back with Mummy for a few years now. And I’m happy. Poorer, no longer hip, definitely not happening. But happy.
Oh yes, I am at peace. Finally.
This home I grew up in is where I belong. Unless Mummy decides to beat me to it and join Daddy wherever he is. Then, I will take off again. Most probably.
I do not have links to the exact articles that inspired me years ago. This article (with its accompanying URL below) is a very good example of some of those I had read.
Here are some pictures of my time in my adopted home nation.
GO Transit is the province wide, rail and bus transit system in Ontario. Another FYI snippet. Canada has provinces, not states.
This normally busy station is deserted because it was one of the last trains I took back to Streetsville in Mississauga, where I lived. I had wound up that particular Canada Day at the Exhibition Place, downtown Toronto.
The lady in the red jacket is Hazel McCallion. I’ve given her the faux title royale HTH, which I’ve coined for ‘Hazel The Hurricane’. Hurricane Hazel as she is fondly known, is the feisty and fiery mayor of the city of Mississauga in Ontario.
Hazel McCallion is 91 now (I know!) and has been our mayor in Missisauga for the past … wait for it … 33 years. Yes, Thirty. Three. Years. Whoa!
When I lived in Canada, I used to volunteer at (the) City Centre in Mississauga, among other places. After my stint at City Centre in the morning one Canada Day, I spent the evening (this photograph was taken) in my neighbourhood in Streetsville. Hazel McCallion lives in Streetsville as well.
Kate Spade Girl Me BFF Two
Kate Spade Girl is my nickname for my Jamaican-Canadian friend who is fond of that designer.
Kate Spade Girl visited me when I lived in China. Kate Spade Girl will spend Christmas this year with my family at home. Yaay!
BFF Two joined us for dinner one night (in China).
The little shout out, rather scribble out, in my hand is to my other dear Canadian friend, who I call affectionately call ‘Tinamisu’. Tina is of Italian origin. I like Tina and tiramisu. 🙂
Kate Spade Girl and Tinamisu are my closest Canadian friends.
Being a lover of nature and the simple life, it was only natural for me to be drawn to our Native Indian heritage in Canada. I enjoyed spending time at Crawford Lake in the Halton Region of Ontario.
This image is from http://www.flyingsnail.com/Sprung/sprungdreamcatcher.html
A dream catcher is a Native Indian item made with a willow hoop and a sinew net or web. It is hung above the bed or at the window. It is believed to filter out bad dreams and only let good dreams pass through. I like that idea.
This next shot is not very clear.
Thank you, O Canada, for giving me the strength
to go after my most important dream,
which I am now blessed to live.
This image is from http://www.deviantart.com/
Happy Canada Day, Hook and family, and my other Canadian readers!
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My Canadian blog bud, Hook, released his book recently. If you’ve had enough reality TV and would like to switch gears to reality reading, Hook’s book is for you!
Although I haven’t read it, I like his blog posts. Oh, and this daddy’s girl is mighty pleased that the cover of his book has been designed by his 14-year old daughter, Sarah. 🙂
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I’d also like to send some Canada Day love to another blog buddy who is south of the 49th parallel.
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Marcy King or Orples’ Brain Mama as I call her (as opposed to ‘birth mother’) has some entertaining and endearing Orples tales to tell.
Orples what? Orples who?
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Hook and Marcy, wish you both the luck of the
Four Leaf Clover Eleven Point Maple Leaf in your literary ventures!
Thank you, The Book of Terrible, for liking my last post.
P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.
I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!