2016 marked as a year of massive changes. I went from never having traveled much to moving to a completely different country (from India to Canada). Immigrating to Canada has its perks- amazing people, Tim Hortons, Chipotle, wonderful bunch of new friends (like really amazing friends, how did I get so lucky?), free medical after first three months (since I came as a PR), Niagara falls and boxing day sale (I love saving money). Despite all the positives, I failed repeatedly in my career. I have never felt so lost, so helpless at finding work for myself. Moving to Canada made me question whether or not all the wonderful work I did before has any value, sometimes I feel people don’t believe it when I say that I have certain skills and work experience. I have had my mood swing up and down and go through desperate moments of despair to unrealistic elated moments. You could say, 2016 wore me down.
In order to not fall through the cracks, maintain my motivation and not give up, I decided to list down all the things I should be grateful for to help me remember, there is hope. So here it goes..
- I was showered with a lot of love from everyone I have known all my life including my friends, colleagues and bosses. Not to mention my family. I don’t think I have ever received as many gifts as I did when I decided to move abroad. I wish I could personally thank them all for it, cause somewhere I believe that is all that keeps me going, even though I am not as much in touch with them anymore
- Well in the first trimester of 2016, I was pretty independent financially and I could buy anything I want without looking at the labels. It took me a long time to get there, but I did get there. And though I am not at a happy place financially right now, my past success keeps me hopeful
- Believe it or not, but it took me 27 years to take a flight that lasted more than 24 hours. I have never traveled so far before!!
- I genuinely surprised myself at how fast I adapted when I moved to Canada. I thought I wouldn’t be able to survive without a few things, but I did without any pain. I can’t believe how much I prepped- I had a notebook full of notes and pointers and places to go to when all else failed. I swear I could help people transition professionally
- I am not as confident anymore. But I never fail to surprise myself with my sense of humour. You could almost say, my humour saved me
- Made amazing new friends and it is such a savior that I do not take it for granted
- I never received the support I thought I needed, but always got support in unexpected ways. Sometimes you don’t know what you want, but others do
- I navigate like a pro. Of course, I use GPS, but I move around the city all the time, explore, meet new people and do random things all by myself
- Learned to manage my finances like never before
- Use online banking. Owing to how old school I am and largely mistrustful of any online monetary transaction, it is a big deal that I can actually do online transactions
- I singlehandedly impressed a whole bunch of people with my language skills. I happily busted myths about education in India and told them proudly that most of the education in India is done in English
- Value my family like never before. Living with your sibling is not all that bad, and you do not realize how much your parents do for you, till they aren’t around to do it for you
- I interacted with and befriended amazing people from all over the world and had the benefit of learning about mental health field in their respective countries
- Got fired. I am still recovering from the shock but I think it is good for my ego to take a blow once in awhile
- A huge appreciation for a struggle. It is easy to forget how hard things can be and assume that everything is in your control. Sometimes you are just a pawn in the larger scheme of things, but somehow I find happiness despite being a pawn
- Had my heart trampled over like a hundred times. Learnt the hardest lesson in my life, love and commitment are not the same thing. The good news is, I finally got closure about my relationship with my ex.
- I volunteer at a lot of places and teach zentangles. I wish I was paid but volunteering brings me happiness too!
- Learnt a lot, like so much!! I am surprised I haven’t burnt out already, it has been so overwhelming but I have learnt a lot
- I don’t know why I keep going, why I haven’t given up. Which is why I am grateful for the unknown force that drives me
The essence of all beautiful Art, all great Art, is gratitude. -Nietzsche