Hello again after a looong time friends! I have long ago stopped sharing my reasons for sudden hiatuses (after all, my blog, my space, my rules), but just this once, I am excited to actually write up a full blog post about why exactly I have been away for so long.
And the reason is this: after a whole year of careful planning and preparing, I have finally moved to Canada for my graduate studies! 🥳
This has been a dream come true for me; I am not going to lie. Ever since I was 16, I was dreaming of getting the chance to study at a top business school in Canada. My number one choice, like everyone else’s, was the University of British Columbia, but you know how the saying goes–you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
It turned out, that UBC was not what HE had planned for me, but I am quite happy with where He has taken me: Ivey Business School at Western University.
To be fair, the programs available at UBC were not 100% aligned with my future career goals or the kind of life I am dreaming of building for myself 10 years down the line. But the MSc in Digital Management program at Ivey is exactly tailored for me: after three and a half years in marketing in the tech industry, this program seems to be exactly what I need to kick off my career the right way.
And despite what my classmates say, London, Ontario, seems to be a good change of scene for me so far. Being born and raised in Dhaka means I have been a city girl through and through; so to leave the hustle and bustle of city life and the glittering towers behind should’ve been daunting to me. But instead, over the past month, I have found myself appreciating everything about London. It’s supposedly the 11th largest city in Canada, but it feels more like a quaint, charming town with all of its trees and miles and miles of open green fields.
The only thing that I am not happy about is the geese. Apparently, they are perpetually angry. And violent. And they poop everywhere. And if they attack you, you better be ready to run because these aren’t ordinary geese; these are protected wildlife, and any act of self-defense against them is a criminal offense punishable by the law.
In other words, I am currently living a very new and exciting chapter of my life, and so far, I have to say that life has been very kind to me. I have been blessed with good people around me, and I am blessed that I am able to even have this amazing opportunity to pursue my higher education and prepare myself for a better career.
It cost me a lot though, to get this far, and I am not talking about money.
Just last night, I had a dream that I was visiting my family and in my dream, I was heartbroken because I knew I would have to leave them again. I woke up with an ache in my chest and a heaviness that comes from the knowledge that though it was just a dream, it’s also very much rooted in my current reality now.
I am grateful to be here in this new country; there’s nothing more exciting and freeing than being able to uproot yourself and reinvent yourself in a foreign country–in many ways, I feel like I am writing my origin story here.
But so much of my happiness is also tied to the unconditional love I hold for my family, and the love that they have for me. I might be happy and at peace here, but at the end of the day, I am coming home to a quiet house with no cats to rub against my legs, no mother to hug or share tea with, no sister to order takeout with.
I don’t mind the independence, but I miss the company of the people who have been my cornerstone all my life.
It’s a strange middle ground to stand on, I am not going to lie. I like that I am able to write these words down in a quiet house with no distractions. I hate that I do not have a cat to pet every 5 minutes after writing. I like that I can buy and eat whatever I want (within the budget of course). I hate that I cannot share my cooked meals with my family.
But the hardest part to cope with isn’t even their absence: it’s the time difference. When I am wide awake, the people I love are fast asleep. When I am asleep, they are busy going about their day. It’s a strange thing to live half the world away from people who are your whole world.
All I can hope for is that someday, I get to share this peace I have found with them too. That one day we’ll be living just an hour’s drive away from one another, and not an entire ocean away. This country I have moved to is so different from the one I was born into, and I hope that one day I can share all the things I have found wonderful and beautiful here with the ones I love too.