Let’s start at the very beginning (cue the von Trapps)

It was Spring of 2016. I came home from work to an excited husband. Not because I was wearing a tight dress. Well. He told me the offer was confirmed and we would be moving to Toronto in December. It was not the sound of music to my ears. 

I remember looking at my husband and not uttering a word. I could not even bring myself to say “Congratulations!”. I looked excited. OK, I was but just not in the Oh-my-God-you-mean-I-don’t-have-to-face-nonsense-my-students-throw-at-me-on-an-hourly-basis-?! kind of way. In fact, it was a distinct sense of misplaced timing. 

I am not and certainly do not want to sound like a ungrateful b*tch. Living in another country is a tick off my bucket list and I am happy to be able to do so with the love of my life. 

But what’s going to happen to my job? Despite my students’ ability to make my blood boil, I enjoyed every minute of it. I worked my ass off and was making headway for advancement. The timing could not be worse.

I pondered about how to break the news to my boss, colleagues and students. I tried to suppress the sadness of relinquishing the satisfaction this part of my life gave me and the fear of things to come and life AFTER Toronto (yes, I think a lot. Maybe too much).

I consumed SO.MUCH.JUNK (food and TV) to stop myself from going nuts just thinking about all these issues.

In the months that followed, everything happened swiftly. I broke the news to my boss and colleagues, I started to shed my portfolio and knew I pretty much have to start from ground zero after my return (damn it!), if I could return (double damn it!).

We broke the news to the family. I was worried about my mum. My mum is, well, a worrier. It’s hereditary. Doesn’t help that I am an only child.

We sold our beloved apartment. We moved in with my in-laws. We sold our car that saw us through so many great years. No job, no house, no car. Nothing. Some of my friends saw it as a blessing. To me, I was losing stability. I cried so much in that few months I amazed myself at how I didn’t die of dehydration.

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View from our apartment. Or what used to be our apartment. Looking at this makes me happy and sad at the same time.

We packed, we moved, we looked for apartments in Toronto and wondered how I would survive the infamous Canadian winter (Singapore’s lowest temperature ever was 19 degC when I was, like, 10 years old). We had breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner appointments packed to the brim with loved ones. We said our goodbyes. Through all, I was still struggling to make sense of the move, the gain and the loss. I didn’t want to burden my husband with these thoughts because he should not have to feel apologetic about this great opportunity in his career. I didn’t want to sound too negative in front of my friends. I was trying not to look and sound like said b*tch.

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Three days after we arrived in Toronto. A Canadian welcome.

8 months later, here we are. Land of the maple. And I am writing this post. And there is still so much to share but I need to go cook now. Till next post.

Know someone who has a similar experience? Or maybe you are a guru on sob stories life changing moments? Feel free to comment and share. Please keep it honest, not mean. Merci. _CC

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