About 2 months ago I made a pretty radical decision to not only move out of my parents' house, but move across the country. I went to Vancouver in August with the intent of visiting friends and family, and returned back to Toronto only to start packing for my first one-way flight ever. Let me walk you through what happened...
I fell in love with the west a couple years ago when I visited my sister on Vancouver Island. I visited again last year and my interest grew stronger. I came back again this past August and thought "What the hell, why not try?" and applied to a single job. I applied knowing at the back of my mind that nothing will come out of it, but at least I gave it a shot. I woke up the next morning to the HR department scheduling an interview time. That interview turned into an in-person interview. That second interview turned into a job offer...
It all happened within a matter of 5 days. I was definitely not prepared for this at all; not even close. BUT, I approached this situation the same way I've approach most situations in life: Just say yes and figure it out as you go.
September 21, 2017.
I finished packing around 15 minutes before we left the house (obviously) and it still hadn't hit me that it would be the last time I'd see my house, my family, my friends, my car, and most importantly my fully-stocked fridge for a very long time. It hadn't hit me that I'd be leaving the birth place of one of the most important things in my life, NVSN. It hadn't hit me that all these relationships I've built with so many amazing people would have to be continued virtually. It hadn't hit me that I'd be hitting the restart button in a brand new city. It hadn't hit me that I will no longer be able to call Toronto my home. I spared the waterworks cause I knew if I put on a show, my mother would not let go and would do her best to convince me to stay.
Over the first few weeks, I felt like I was on vacation because apparently paying rent, getting up at 6:45 am every morning, doing laundry and being an actual adult is a normal vacation to me... I missed home but I was doing more than okay. Well, at least I thought I was.
It slowly started to get harder to open my eyes in the morning. My bedroom floor became a display of all my dirty clothes. My "cheat day meals" became popcorn chicken instead of a chicken caesar. My patient and quirky personality was slowly turning into a pessimistic and irrational one. It became so easy for me to complain about my day rather than appreciate what good came out of it. It became easier to push everyone away rather than express how grateful I am to the people I love and care about. This isn't the first time all this has happened to me, but I refused to believe it was anything like it.
I'm currently sitting in my dark room, wearing my comfiest hoodie, eating yet another fast food meal and re-reading a text I received earlier today that said: "It just didn't sound like you". I've read that AT LEAST 50 times since I got it and I can't believe how true it is. I've been speaking differently, acting differently, eating differently and to be completely honest, I don't even recognize myself. As much as I want to run away from it, I can't.
I'm feeling those feelings of depression I've avoided so well for the past two years. It's scary, yes. But, I am once again realizing the importance of sharing, writing, and self-care. I am once again realizing how important it is to appreciate those around me. I am once again realizing the immense importance of self-care.
Maybe this is a reminder for me that one's mental health isn't a quick fix, but a process. It's work. Work that won't be easy, but work I need to do. It's so much easier said than done, but I know it's not a fight I have to fight alone.
Thank you for listening.
Naim Jutha, NVSN.