Following Your Gut: When Your Home Isn't Where Your Heart is

Two years ago, I made the decision to leave BC and move across the country to Montreal. I left behind my family, my friends to move to a city that I had spent approximately two weeks in. Not only that, but I left behind my degree in Violin Performance to transfer to a Bachelor of Arts (it seems that I have an aversion to degrees that guarantee a job at the end of it). My mom always told me to listen to my gut even if it did not make logical sense, and while moving across the country was probably not what she meant, it was also the best decision I ever made. 

teacup with flower and book page Photo by Debby Hudson from Unsplash

Growing up in small town BC on the west coast, I loved where my family lived but I could never imagine living there myself. When I started university at UBC, I truly believed that being in Vancouver would resolve my nagging gut feeling that I did not belong. I was wrong. During those two years, I had never felt more out of place. On a whim, I decided to apply to McGill, not truly believing that I could ever be brave enough to follow through with it. To be completely honest, after I applied, I forgot about it. I was caught up in my life in Vancouver, and in theory, it should have been perfect. It was only a short trip to where my family lived. It is a beautiful city where I had friends and a great job. I was studying violin, which had always been my dream. When I got my acceptance to McGill, all of those reasons disappeared. All I could focus on was how in the world I was going to pack up my whole life and move across the country in the span of a few short months. Once I got that acceptance, it was not a question of if I would go, but how I could make it work.  Resi Kling

A year and a half after moving to Montreal, I still have no idea what possessed me to make that decision. But I am eternally grateful for it. I still love where I come from, and I miss my family every day, but the feeling of truly belonging is incomparable. My family will always be my family, and my home will always be my home, but it is not where I belong. I do not mean to make it sound as if moving across the country and starting a new degree in a new school where I knew only a handful of people was easy, because it was not. There were many moments where I questioned if I had made the right decision or if I was delusional. But those doubts faded, and sitting here now, even in the middle of a pandemic with the first imposed curfew of my life, there is no place I would rather be. I have built my life here and there are no longer any doubts in my mind that this is where I belong. So even if your home is not where your family is, it can still be your home. It may be more complicated, and you might be just a little bit homesick no matter where you are, but it is so worth it. I followed my gut even when it didn't make sense, and ended up exactly where I was meant to be.