Looking Back

Please bear with me. I'm feelinging a little sentimental.

Every person's life is like a story being written. Except the characters are also the authors. We write the story that we want others to read.

Almost 4 years ago I made a decision to move to BC to chase my dream career. It wasn't an easy decision to come to. I knew Vancouver was the city to go to to find the knowledge and experience I needed to reach that goal. But it meant leaving behind a lot of dear friends and everything familiar in order to go out and face the unknown.

I'd been in Edmonton for 4 years, off and on. It was just starting to feel like a home to me. I had a girlfriend, a job, a great big circle of friends, hobbies, and lots of family close by. My bills were paid, I had very little stress, and I was really enjoying life.

But I felt restless at the same time. I felt like I was standing still, just waiting for something to happen. I crave change, variety, and progress. Despite all the great things I had going for me, I felt stagnant.

I don't believe exciting things will ever just happen if you wait for them. I think most times you have to make them happen on your own. And so I decided it was time to close that chapter of my life and start writing a new one. I applied to school, made moving arrangements, put my life in a box, and shipped it off over the Rockies.

I planned a moving-away party. I invited everybody I knew. We ate, danced, drank, laughed, cried, and had a good time. At the end of the evening I said my so longs. Everybody asked me, "when will you move back?"

"We'll see," I'd answer, cringing. I already knew the answer. This wasn't like the first time I left Edmonton to go to school. I wasn't planning on going back.
The next day I hitched a ride to the airport with some friends, gave them goodbye hugs, and stepped on a plane destined for my future. One way ticket.

I found a place to live. I moved around a bit. I went to school. I snagged a good job that makes me happy. I made new friends. It's been 4 years. And every time I flip back to that previous chapter I see all the great things I had.

To those I left behind: Most of this current chapter is filler. It's here to progress the story and establish a few new characters. But all of you were the characters that mattered most. You're the ones who shaped me, who characterized me. You're the ones who were with me in the beginning, who are always in the background, and will be with me at the end. I count myself very lucky to have as many close friends as I do, and countless memories to go with them.

It's been 4 years. I'm always surprised and a little flattered when somebody asks that same question, or makes suggestions like "you should move back to Alberta". It's nice to know they care, and that if I returned tomorrow they'd welcome me back with open arms. It's always great to visit them, and always hard to leave.

But I like where this story is going. After 4 years, my answer hasn't changed. When will I be going back?

We'll see.

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