What a Year!

How long has it been since I’ve been here! I’ve missed writing and I’ve missed this space.. I know that I have never written here regularly, but I think of things I want to write about almost every other day.. I actually wanted to participate in NaBloPoMo this year but the last few days were crazy and I didn’t get around to it.. I even had the first post drafted in my head.. OK, the first few lines of the first post, I admit! But that still counts, right?

Anyway, coming back to now.. Where shall we start.. 2016 has been quiet a year for me, so many exciting things have happened.. So shall we start with an update.. in bullet points, perhaps? I know it’s not the end of the year but I feel that this year needs a recap already.. I think it has been a great year for me, I wanted to make the last year of my twenties count, and I think I’m doing a good job at it! 🙂 So let’s start with an update:

I missed the blogathon in January, so I decided to write everyday in February.. I almost wrote everyday but gave up in the last few days.. In February, I was considering online dating as I had written here, and one Friday night in March, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a shot.. It was a night when I was frustrated with going back to my exes and getting disappointed.. What followed was about a month of conversations with a few people and a couple of boring first dates.. And then I met B and we clicked on the first date.. Despite a lot of doubts about getting involved with someone at the time, I couldn’t resist the temptation and we kept seeing each other and I fell head over heels in love with him.. I have briefly written about him here and here.. We were together for a little less than four months and it’s been over three months since I left but I am still in love with him and trying very hard to get over him.. However, I have no regrets at all.. He was perfect for me, and I can’t stop remembering all the sweet little things he did for me.. We were driving through the forest and he sang “Lean on me” to me because I mentioned that I liked the song.. On our first trip together, I forgot to pack a toothbrush and he had packed a spare one for me just in case.. I could go on about the so many things that he did and why he means so much to me..  All in all, he showed me what it’s like to love and want and respect someone and feel loved and wanted and respected in an adult romantic relationship.. Even though he never said he loved me, all that he did when we were together conveyed that love.. Most importantly, he made me respect and fall in love myself again and showed me all that I offer in a relationship..

I also spent the first half of this year applying to lots of jobs and interviewing at a few places.. Initially, I only applied for jobs in Canada because I had decided to move here from the US.. After many melt-downs and existential crises, I also applied to jobs in the US and interviewed for a couple of positions.. Eventually, I accepted a postdoctoral position in Toronto and moved here in September end.. It’s not my dream job and is a compromise in some ways but it’s a step in the right direction, hopefully.. I had been thinking about wanting to move to Canada for a few years now and it happened and it will hopefully work out in the long term..

It was a lot of work to wrap up seven years of my life in the US.. I had to organize six years of work in the lab and leave things in a state that someone else could continue working on my projects.. At home, I spent a lot of time organizing my things.. I only kept about 30% of the things I owned, donated most of my stuff and sold all the furniture.. There were endless days of sorting and packing and I was exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed for the last couple of weeks.. Even though it was crazy at the time, I was so happy and proud of myself that I accomplished all of this on my own.. The only help I had was when I asked B and a friend to take things to a donation place and the storage facility because I don’t have a driver’s license.. I managed everything else on my own and it was empowering.. As I think of the last few minutes in the apartment, I remember this conversation with B.
“Do you still have a spine?” he asked.
“I do, but it’s ready to break into two,” I answered, lying next to him on the carpet.
“You have a spine of steel. I am so proud of you for all that you do.”
With tears in my eyes, I managed to move closer to him and kissed him.

For many years in graduate school, I had wanted to take time off after my Ph.D. degree.. Initially, I wanted to take a a year off but reality eventually dawned and I realized that a year would not be feasible.. When I was looking for jobs, I kept this as a priority and was eventually able to take two full months off.. I couldn’t leave North America because of visa issues and spent some time struggling with the reality of not being able to travel to Indonesia or Europe (both were concrete travel plans at some point).. I also didn’t want to travel alone to begin with but I made my peace with it.. I chose to accept these restrictions and make the best of what I had.. I traveled across the country on the Amtrak, spent some time in a few cities on the West coast, and had some interesting experiences, both good and bad.. I am so glad I gathered the courage to make this trip and enjoyed the luxury of time.. After spending a few weeks with my sister and BIL in Edmonton, I traveled to Tofino in Vancouver Island for a week and that was surreal.. I definitely have to write more about these travels and should leave some fodder for the blogging challenge!

I moved to Toronto a little over a month ago and I’m still transitioning and settling in.. There are many days when I feel overwhelmed with changing jobs, cities, and countries.. I feel stressed and exhausted having to deal with everything on my own.. I am still looking for apartments and have to move again in December..  On many days, I’m annoyed and frustrated with many things and I question my decision to move to Canada.. Of course it doesn’t help that I miss my friends and B and my life in Pittsburgh.. But there are also days when I feel alright.. When I feel at peace and think that things will eventually work out.. Big changes in life are hard and I hope that Toronto will feel like home a few months or a year or two later..  Spending many days and nights thinking about B and missing him, I finally decided to give online dating a try again.. I realize now that I can survive on my own and be moderately happy but I am happier when I am in a fulfilling relationship.. Earlier this week, I went on a first date that was a bit meh.. And instead of just meeting this guy again because I don’t want to be alone, I told him that I’m not interested.. This is when I realized that I’m so glad that I met and dated B because it gave me a good idea for what I want and how a good relationship made me feel.. So, I think and hope that I am finally in a position to say “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened..”

For me, this year has been about being courageous and doing things I want to despite my fears, and I hope that I continue to live my life on this track.. I will leave you with this quote..

“Our dreams will break the boundaries of our fear.” – Brandon Flowers

Song on my mind – All of Me by John Legend

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2 Responses to What a Year!

  1. Waiting for more posts!

  2. Pingback: Long overdue update! | Sunshine and Rainbows!

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