Here’s to home, where things never change

As I’m writing this, it is the first day after our November reading break, my first real reading break that I didn’t start and end with Zoom classes!

Ask any of my friends, my roommates, my coworkers, or anyone that had any sort of conversation with me in the past two weeks and it is obvious that I was really excited to go home! Finally coming home after what seemed to be the longest midterm season of my life on top of working and needing to buy groceries (in general, live) was something I really needed.

Photo by Rich McCue on Unsplash

I woke up bright and early at 6am to catch the 9am ferry (side note: the Gordon Head to Downtown to Swartz Bay bus journey with full-sized luggage is not for the faint of heart) and was buzzing with anticipation. Never mind how windy and cold it can get on the sun deck of the Spirit of British Columbia, I stood outside, admiring the beautiful scenery, the trees on little islands when all of a sudden, I spotted it – Tsawwassen! Home at last!

My friend picked me up from the terminal and as we were pulling into my driveway with the biggest smile on my face, I realized that everything in my hometown… seems the same. I mean, I was gone for two months, things could have either completely changed or have stayed exactly the same; turns out it was the latter.

My enthusiasm to come home suddenly changed into this feeling of mediocrity. It had felt as if I had never left. To some, that seems like something that doesn’t really matter, but there was this little piece in me that wishes that things back home were a little bit different because I wanted change. After two months of my life being turned upside down one day after the other, home felt familiar… a little too familiar. The streets and sounds were still the same, the mall was still busy, the buses still ran the same routes, and the food still tasted the same.

Despite my underwhelm, I remembered that the reason I came home was that it was something I was used to. It felt like home. Richmond is the city where I grew up. It is where I learned everything I needed in order to succeed in Victoria. It is my hometown, my home where everything began. And thanks to that, Victoria will always be the city where I become my own person, where I learn to grocery shop and commute like a pro. It is the city where everything changed for me. It is my home of change, the city where everything I learned in Richmond comes into play.

Justin with his family members

I missed my family and friends back home so much. It was great seeing them, but it was an even greater reminder that not everything needs to be different. Sometimes, reinviting myself to what was familiar before is different enough.

So here’s to home, where things never change. And here’s to living a brand new life hundreds or thousands of kilometres away, when what we learn at home seems to matter most.

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