I did it.
I moved back to KL. I don’t say ‘home’ because that would mean that Ottawa was not home, and that’s far from the truth. I’m lucky enough to have two homes. I’ve been back in KL for nearly a month and it’s been wonderful. However it has been a little challenging re-adapting to the Malaysian humidity, constantly having my parents’ attention (I’ve never been all alone with them before! I’m used to having three scapegoats!) and expressing my thoughts to invisible friends. It’s a little tough.
But spending time with my parents, seeing Mr. and his family, and finally getting to put this wedding together is a blessing.
This post is all about my undying love for Ottawa, my friends and life that I had to say goodbye to for a little while. I am sitting in my dark room all by myself at 10:53 p.m. and trying really hard to not cry. It’s scary, moving across the world is terrifying. It was exciting when I did it six years ago, because it was to an unknown adventure that I was sure held nothing but great and beautiful things. I was right, the last six years has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Ottawa gave me life-long friends, a partner, so many life experiences, big dreams and a whole lot of love. I grew up there, started my adult life there and started a home there. But there were days when I’d pick my phone and text Mr. and vent about how ready I was to come back to KL, to have a break from work and just veg out.
However there was definite self doubt when deciding to move to KL – am I doing the right thing? Is this the right time? Should I have waited a couple more months? Would I have been less sad about leaving if I had more time? How am I going to cope with leaving behind my independence? Leaving my job, my friends, my sister?
All these questions were things I avoided, because I knew that deep in my heart of hearts coming back to KL and being with Mr. and starting the next chapter was what was ultimately going to happen.
Life is always pushing forward, there’s no pausing, no rewind (can you imagine?! I could’ve saved myself from so many fashion mishaps) or fast fowards. There was nothing I could do about it, moving to KL was a no-brainer, so I decided to go through the motions; the packing (I managed to fit 6 years of my life into 7 boxes!), the beautiful goodbye parties, gifts and final ‘coffee dates’ with friends.
The last three weeks of my life in Ottawa was filled with so much love. Nikki and gang threw me a surprise wedding shower, Hilary made me dinner and an amazing card, Amisha took me out for free ice cream, I had breakfast with Selin and Christina, I spent the day watching polar bears and had my last beaver tail with my four favourite boys and Kelly, Karina, Liz and I had our final (for a while) dinner which is always filled with laughs and love, I even got a bonus night with Karina, Andrew and Whistler, Christina brought me out for Pho, I had my last brunch at Zak’s with Amy, I spent time with Michelle the only way we knew how (talking non-stop for hours over tea and treats!), had a quick coffee goodbye with Kristina, Laura and Sherry met me in a dark little pub on Elgin for some great hipster eats, my Malaysian ngegehs stayed over multiple nights, I had tea and my last adjustment with Stacia, was lucky enough to have multiple sleepovers with Nikki, Gerry and Charlie, spent an evening with my McFarlands, rode Dazzle for the last time, was lucky enough to enjoy a magical weekend filled doing all the things from my bucket list with Anna, Jake, Chelsea, Katie and Malie, cried my soul out in Kate’s car and ultimately was spoiled rotten.
To top it all off, some sweet friends also came to watch me bawl my eyes out at the airport. Why do people do this to me?
I kept it all in the best I could, but for some reason images of friends and thoughts about Ottawa randomly popped into my head during the 32-hour trip to KL and I would cry at the smallest thing. I’m pretty sure the lady next to me on my Montreal-Doha flight thought I was insane. But seeing my mom and Mr. at the KLIA arrival hall made all the plane-sobbing and gut wrenching goodbyes worth it.
But even after a few days in KL, I still had an annoying feeling hanging out at the back of my mind: I don’t know how to feel about my last day at Carleton – did I do it right?
I had meetings, emails to send out, final tasks to wrap up but it didn’t feel like a Last Day. What’s a last day supposed to feel like? I was sad, but not very sad. I had my breaks and lunch like normal. I saw people, made phone calls like every other day. I even remembering thinking “should I be crying? should I pretend to cry?” as I cleaned out my office. Saying goodbye to my boss, co-workers and friends was surreal. For some reason I thought that I’d see them all again soon, so there was no reason to be upset. I remember walking out of the office with Anna and Katie, who were both quite sad, and I had a big smile on my face. Weird. We walked to the bus stop and I waited for my bus home. I got on the bus and watched as it took me through Carleton, for the last time in a while. I was taking it all in, and finally realized this was ‘IT’, and when the bus pulled out of the main entrance – an overwhelming sadness just washed up all over me. I cried and almost got off the bus because I didn’t feel I was ready.
But I had to keep going, and I remember just forcing myself to sit, but allowed myself to cry (I stopped halfway home, people were giving me looks).
And that’s simply it – I have to keep going.
Thank you, Ottawa – for the bestest friends and greatest years of my life.
I’m sorry for this poorly-written, scattered and rambly post. I will be better.