Canada, My Home
E.T. Phone Home
When I decided to return home after 16 years away, I had a lot of mixed feelings. Those of shame, defeat, heartbreak, and some positive feelings as well including pure potential, excitement, and a knowing that this was the right move. In 7 days, I packed up my belongings and moved across the vast beautiful country I call home. Hopped on a train to the airport and cried the whole way there. It was rough. I was mourning the loss of my home, a relationship that was no good for me, and so many friends I’ve made while in Toronto. It needed to be done though.
I felt alienated in the space I called home. The bed I lay my head in felt wrong and like a stranger’s bed. I needed a new beginning. Hell, I even felt alienated from myself. Moving was a thought in the back of my mind that I’d entertain from time to time but never found its way to fruition and was certainly never taken that seriously. But as more time went on, it seemed my only next right choice.
As I boarded the plane a hot mess, my companions were two very overweight pieces of luggage. My suitcase, and my past.
There is No Place Like Home
The flight attendant saw through my weak façade of happiness and gave me a mini free bottle of wine. Thank god for people like her. Although I don’t condone drinking while emotionally compromised, that gesture was more than the wine itself. She was telling me it was going to be okay and there are people who will catch you when you fall. She couldn’t have been more right.
The icing on this particular cake, was that it was my 35th birthday. I chose to fly on that day for many reasons. A change in my life that serious was meant to be on a half-decade milestone so I would never forget and never repeat. A change like that demanded attention to understand the gravity of the situation. What was really happening and how positive of a move this was both literally and figuratively in my life.
Although some friends moved on, some outright mocked me for failing sighting the idiom “How the mighty have fallen.” Many stuck with me, supported me, and listened. Those are the friends I still have today.
I gave myself 6 months to focus on myself and not jump into another relationship. The fact is I was in a relationship, one with myself. And that one needed a lot of work. Through love from my amazing parents, eating well (paleo), going to the gym regularly, and sticking to therapy twice a week, I was able to come back to the Mark that I remembered. Turned out I had mad PTSD that was diagnosed and treated but I wouldn’t have known that unless I sought help from a professional.
Slowly, my bed started to feel like mine again, my world started to make sense, and things fell into place.
Home Sweet Home
The first year back was hard. I slept a lot, tried to connect with friends, and go out. Those of you who know me know I’m quite social, so for me to say that, means I wasn’t in a good head-space.
No dating apps, no dating, just me, myself, and I. Healthiest decision I’ve ever made. Made leaps and bounds with my own growth in a shockingly quick time-frame. At least that’s what my therapist said. But it was also what I felt. Confidence, freedom, acceptance, and love.
Home showed me that it’s okay to restart and grow from the you that needed a little help. Home can mold and shape you, buff out the imperfections, and round out the rough edges. I know not everyone has that opportunity, but those that don’t, can find love among friends who are their family, or a pet.
There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. No shame in admitting it to those around you. Or even writing it on a blog for the world to read. Focus on yourself and find home. It can be in a plant that you tend to or with a barista at a local coffee shop, but sometimes, we all need to go home for a while.
Photos by Justin Erickson
Butterfly pin by Justin Erickson – Buy it here
Suit by Zara
Shirt by H&M
Jeans by Levis
Belt by Gucci
Sunglasses Ray Ban