For anyone who hasn't heard yet, I am no longer in the glorious people's republic. I have been in Canada for about 2 weeks, and there is a good chance I'm not going back anytime soon. Reasons for this are long-winded, complicated and vary depending on who you ask, so I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail on here. We'll just say that I'm not happy about it and my displeasure has been made known. The fact is that I'm here whether I like it or not, and I now need to focus on what's next. Here's a little update though.
I was basically given less than 48 hours to pack up my life in China. I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone or wrap up any of my business. I was planning on moving into a new apartment on December 1st. The big 2 month holiday was coming up. Friends were coming to visit, then family, and we all had wonderful plans. My Chinese was improving rapidly, and I was making some great friends. This hurt. This hurt BIG. A lot of you know that my basic life philosophy is based on thinking that the people in my life and my relationships are more important than basically anything else. I cherish you guys, deal with it. Having to just cut ties on such short notice is likely going to haunt me for a long long time. So, I have overcome a lot of the emotional trauma I was going through a couple of weeks ago, but I'm definitely still dealing with random outbursts of sobbing and tears, although these are increasingly less frequent too. I owe my friends and family a gigantic thankyou for helping me through this, for your shared outrage, your words of encouragement, your patience and your understanding. Just amazing. I hope I can be there for all of you when you need it like you were for me!
So, what HAVE I been doing? Well, my first stop when I got back to Canada was Vancouver. I hadn't been planning on stopping over, but when Brig said "clearly I am going to come see you at the airport even if it's only for 30 minutes" it occurred to me that being in Vancouver and leaving after 1 hour was ridiculous. For reasons yet unknown, the school wasn't super happy about me stopping in Vancouver and actually tried to forbid it. Fortunately they relented at the last minute after I told them I had already purchased an alternative ticket to Toronto for a few days later. I figured "What does it matter where I am as long as I'm not in China right? Isn't that what the big deal is about anyway?" Anyway, I went to Vancouver. I didn't do a whole lot. I went to Whistler because Charlene insisted on taking me, and I'm glad she did. It was wonderful...everyone tells you about how pretty BC is, but as a stubborn and proud Ontarian I guess I've always brushed it off haha. Vancouver was perfect...exactly the adjustment period I needed before confronting Ontario, Toronto, and U of T. Plus, I got to see Brigitte and meet all these people I've heard all about but have never met. AND I got to see Main and Hastings in real life, which was exciting because I'm a big Canadian social sciences nerd and have read SO MUCH about that corner!!! SO RAW!
After Vancouver, I came back to Toronto. In chronological order: saw parents, saw Hridi, saw U of T (blech), saw Lisa, Lauren and Ray (And Hridi again), saw Abby and Tzazna, moved in with Abby and Tzazna, then saw as many other people as was possibly possible. This week is kind of a blur of me dealing with emotions and a couple of surprises and trying to wrap my head around being in Toronto and having to deal with the logistics of paperwork and stuff I had to do. It was good though. I have great friends. Unfortuantely my return has coincided with end of semester crunch time and everybody is all stressed out and busy, but we managed to work around it. Yesterday Dad picked me up and we stopped in Waterloo to see Robert. Quick Robert update (since about half of you will want to know): in the middle of exams, still taller than me (first thing he pointed out actually), has a job in SARNIA next semester (isn't working with any relatives though), still gets confused easily, did a dumb thing in the car and bent one of the rims, turns 21 on friday, has JUST discovered what a hair straightener is and what it's used for and is totally blown away by it. The usual.
I'm now back in Clinton where it has been snowing for like a week straight. I am trying to unpack my stuff (it sucks) which is going slowly. First of all, things in my suitcase still SMELL like China. And some things in the suitcase haven't been worn since China. Memories and stuff. Additionally, mom's house is already full of my stuff. I have 3 rooms worth of stuff, because I usually have 3 rooms at my disposal (dad's, mom's, with me). So I'm taking things out of my suitcase and have no where to put them. The drawers are ALL full. It would almost be better to just leave it in the suitcase until I move somewhere new (which is probably going to happen). Everybody should be home for Christmas soon, so Clinton isn't so bad.
What's next? The school hasn't really given me a good answer on this one yet and my main contact there is on vacation until January. I would like to get some answers from somebody sooner than that, but it may just simply not happen. I would love to find another job outside of Canada, but that generally doesn't ever happen once somebody comes home. There is a good chance the replacement job will be in Toronto or Ottawa. I am trying to push the school to find me something new sooner than later because I don't want to just be hanging around. You shall be kept posted about this situation.
So that's that. Details will be shared one on one if you should so desire! And I'm sorry to anyone that I didn't see and all the people I haven't responded to and stuff like that. Things are finally just starting to normalize now, so I should be able to talk about this stuff more now.
I'm working through it, I'll be okay eventually. Thanks again everyone!