When I moved to Halifax, I wanted the city to become my new home. I had just left Toronto a month after my mom moved into her dream home and we sold the house I grew up in. I packed my bags, we filled the car and I thought, “This is the perfect time to create a new home for myself – a new home in Halifax.”
At the time, I thought that a “home” was some kind of paradise. I’d close my eyes, take one deep breath and envision a place where perfection was born and struggle was foreign. A place where I would find success and nothing less.
I once believed that a “home” was only associated with the most incredible memories and victories. No failure, no rejection – the best times and the best times only.
I used to think that a “home” was perfect.
But now I know, or rather, now I believe, I had it a little wrong. I think back to the house my mom sold and I put my realist glasses on.
I remember that I loved that house so much. I remember that it was filled with the best of memories but it was also filled with hurt. My parents got divorced in that house and I experienced all kinds of pain that I never knew existed. And yet, it will always be my home.
I now understand that home is a place where I can grow. And as much as it can be unbearably irritating from time to time, growth is not always rainbows and sunshine. Growth is discomfort. It’s painful. But with growth comes maturity – and through the difficulties, we learn more about ourselves and are bound to become stronger and more resilient human beings.
As soon as my plan didn’t unfold as I had hoped for in Halifax, I freaked out. I thought, “Great, now this can’t be home.”
That was, of course, until I remembered – home isn’t paradise.
Home is a place where I can feel both joy and pain. I soon realized, finding the courage to persevere and look back on my progress in a place where I feel comfortable to thrive and struggle, that’s home.