I’ve been back in Canada for over a week and am finding that adjusting is a slow process. My heart is in Jamaica, but my home is in Canada. Home is where the heart is, right? Hmmm…how do I wrap my head around that one?
In Jamaica, I left behind some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. On my last day at JASL, my amazing colleagues threw me a going away party. I received a plaque and numerous gifts, but what was most endearing were the heartfelt good byes. Tears were shed. What I loved most about Jamaica AIDS Support for Life was the family-like atmosphere. I didn’t know how my presence and the work that I did affected the people I worked with. (They also served wine – oh how they know me).
When I arrived in Canada, the sun was shining brightly, like an homage to my time in Jamaica. The heat felt comfortable, but it had a different quality. The blowing air was cool and refreshing. It felt less like a blow dryer than a nice breeze.
All I could think of was Starbucks. I wanted a coffee to soothe my soul. We walked to Parliament Hill and sat in the grass. The atmosphere was very similar to Jamaica; people were chilling in the grass and simply enjoying each other’s company. It was a small comfort.
I walked around Ottawa in zombie mode – my own debriefing session. I spent my alone time reflecting on the people I met (and those dearest to me) while the “what happens now?” question loomed in the back of my head.
I can’t even say that I am eager to return home (I’m still in Ontario, btw). I have found that life in Canada kept on, and things have changed in my absence. It’s not as simple as going back to my same old life. I have more change that I need to adjust to. Change within my soul.
And now, eight days after my arrival, I am finding that adjusting is slow. We had one week of debriefing where we discussed the importance of allowing ourselves to adjust at our own pace. It’s hard, though, not knowing what is going to happen next in life. I’ve always been eager to see what will happen next, rather than sitting back and enjoying the present.
I feel like this internship has opened so many doors, but how do I choose the right one? Perhaps there isn’t one correct path in life. After all, humans have freewill for a reason. I need to take comfort in the fact that life is short; there is no need to choose one path in life. Walking different paths is important to personal growth. Sometimes we need to mix things up a bit.
So, what have I learned? The million dollar question…
I’ve learned how to let go of things you can not change. I’ve learned that life needs spice. I’ve learned that we need to take risks or we end up right where we began.
My advice to you, the reader, is to take risks. Make mistakes. Life is one big learning curve. Never stop. Move forward. Always.