I’m not going to lie, its been a little bit weird coming home from Vancouver. I grew up here, and even though I moved away to go to University, this is the first time I’ve changed my permanent address and physically moved myself into a permanent home that is not the one I grew up in.
And it was great — and definitely the right decision — but there is a certain amount of nostalgia when you come back to a place that you left after 24 years of life there.
Add in the circumstances with us canceling our Florida trip and a sick family member and you have a mix of craziness going on. Plus everyone was sick, and everyone is a little stressed. But its been wonderful.
I grew up in this home, with these amazing people, in this neighbourhood. And even when I moved I went to school only an hour away — and I could return (and did) whenever the urge struck.
I set out on a run yesterday and I got to memorialize, in my own way, the neighbourhood in which I grew up (and actually had never run in). I got to run in my snazzy new Fitfluential jacket my Mom got me for Christmas and check off one of my 25 before 25 bucket list items. To run in the snow (aka 6 degrees celsius, 42 fahrenheit). There was snow on the ground, so I believe it counts. You can feel free to argue this point if you feel that running in the snow should be actually physically in piles of snow — but then I’m going to make you do it first.
I ran by my best friends house from when I was little (not hard, its next door). I ran through the pathway we used to take to school. I ran by my elementary school, the place I had my first job (a toy store), the place I had my second job (a pharmacy). I ran by the tobogganing hill, the place where we were babysat after school from grades one through five, and then the place we were babysat grades five through eight. I ran through the trails. I ran by the bench where the guy who I thought was my true love asked me to be his girlfriend, and I ran by the bench where he later broke my heart. I ran by the playground where I played when I was little, sat on when I was a teenager, and the place where I tried (and hated thank goodness) my first cigarette.
Then I realize that running is what connects all the places I’ve called home now. The place in Waterloo I lived for the last six months I was there was my home, as was where Manfriend and I lived for two years. I ran in both places. Then my first home in Vancouver became familiar from running and my home where I am now, well, I’m still working out the routes but I’ll get there.
Home is, quite literally, where the run is.
And as I collapsed quite unceremoniously on the driveway after four km (I pushed myself to finish the four km in under 30 minutes, 29:56 ya’ll) — I realized that no matter where I go or how far away I am there will always be this place to come back to. And I can always run past those landmarks that mean nothing to anyone but me, and I can always connect with the people who are a part of my life.
I had a good run.
And then I had good food.
And then I saw that childhood friend who lived two doors down for the first time in a year and a half
Someone asked if we were sisters. After 20 years and numerous moves around the world for both of us, we might as well be.
You see, the people who make an impact in your life never change, and the places that make an impact will be there (they may change, but you can feel your way around them). So yes, I miss home and yes, I’m nostalgic but I’m making new memories in Vancouver. And I’ve never felt more like I made the right decisions.
True friendships and family will last the distance. As my six year old pen pal said as we played barbies on Wednesday:
“Amalia, do you know what is more precious than diamonds and gems?”
“No, Annie, what?”
“True friends. Like you. Even when you mess up barbies hair”
Home is where the run (and okay, where the heart) is.
And also where Mom’s food is.
And where the dog is