Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In The Middle

I learned in many of my University writing classes, the best place for any writer to start a story was in the middle. Before leaving Toronto, I was in the middle of growing up, in the middle of realizing how much I loved home, and in the middle of figuring out how good I had it.

I stepped into my backyard really quickly, to wipe away a couple tears that escaped after talking to my uncle. I inhaled the cold Canadian air and looked back inside to all my aunts and uncles sitting around the kitchen. I often miss these family parties and the chance to see all my titas, titos and cousins due to work and school. Being an only child, I looked forward to these gatherings since these cousins were the closest I’d have to siblings. But as much as I always wanted a brother, a sister or a bigger family, I know my parents were more than enough of the immediate family I needed. I spent many moments taking for granted home cooked meals, family mall strolls, my mom’s fruit shakes and the roof above my head.

And under that roof, amongst the many rooms are all my things, scattered and waiting to be selected, folded and packed into a suitcase. The suitcases remained empty until the last few days, because the rest of my time was spent hanging out wherever and whenever I could. I knew I had amazing friends, but I didn’t realize how amazing until I walked into a restaurant expecting a quiet dinner, to a table filled with all my girlfriends. Imagine still being close with someone you’ve known since kindergarten, your first, ever, best friend whom you played Barbies with all the time. Some I’ve known since the second and fifth grade and a few since the beginning of high school. Growing up is tough with gossip and fights and different schools with different schedules, but we always managed to remain friends and act as if the last time we saw each other was just yesterday. These were my girls. We grew up together. And there they were, with a cake saying bon voyage and this heartwarming surprise.

After a few glasses of wine, they made me think a spontaneous night was in order. They pretended to brainstorm places and came to a not-so-random conclusion of a nearby bar. I was excited for what reminded me of our high school days where we hopped into a car, going nowhere in particular and somehow still had fun. We arrived at Bier Markt, walked through the crowd and kept bumping into familiar face after familiar face. My favourite girls brought together all my favourite guys and there I was standing amongst all my favourite people.

The last few weeks made me realize how much I didn’t want to leave, in the middle of preparing to leave. This wasn't just your ordinary vacation/adventure, this was a new job in a new world, all on my own. It was becoming harder and harder to pack my suitcase and zip it up. Up until now, I think about how I want to stay close to my family and friends, but I need to break out of my comfort zone; how I want to continue being my parent’s little girl, but I need to grow up; how I would not feel this emotional if I had just stayed home, but I need to be stronger.

And in all that happened my last day at home, I was torn in the middle of what I want and what I need.

As much as I get home sick quite often, I need to put a bookmark in the middle of my favourite book titled home. A book filled with all these significant places and characters that hold so much importance. For now, I’ll experience this world a bit, return back soon and pick up right where we left off.

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