As February turned to March, my mind is flooded with memories of this time last year. The end of March is not a birthday or anniversary that I have been celebrating for years; it is a first anniversary. This time last year, my husband had accepted a job offer in San Francisco. I developed an incredible sense of admiration for his willingness to swap our cushy lives for ones that would inevitably be more challenging and filled with uncertainty. We accepted that uncertainty with the hopes that the experience would facilitate his professional and our personal growth, and perhaps even bring us closer together. With that, we frantically began packing the belongings of our suburban Toronto home.
At the end of March last year, we left our family, friends, and entire lives behind to embark on this adventure. An adventure that will surely shape our lives for years to come, regardless of what the future holds. We knew just one person in the city and he has proven himself to be nothing less than family over the course of the last year, lending a hand whenever needed.
My 16-hour days were spent seated on the floor of our downtown apartment furnished with nothing other than the five suitcases we deemed essential to our day-to-day living. My four-month old filled the empty rooms with his coos and cries. My days may have been spent in solitude, but never in silence. The blank walls that encased us served as a cold reminder of a home we left behind. I had my work cut out for me. I would be spending the next few months filling my kitchen cabinets with pots and pans, my living room with cozy furniture, and my walls with artwork and photos. With baby on hip, I would be rebuilding a home in this new city.
Every day was a challenge. Every day was a triumph. I was desperate to tell someone about my days in excruciating detail; the little things that made my baby giggle uncontrollably, the way he hated to be in the stroller, the way his eyes were filled with so much wonder, and how difficult motherhood really was. But, my words would have no ears to fall on.
So, I started to write. I blogged as an avenue to share my new life, to share my adventures as a new mom in a new city. I wrote at night, after putting the baby to bed, cleaning up the aftermath of the day, and making dinner. Every time I sat down to write, I found myself in tears. My heart was overflowing with emotion, and I was taken aback by what a relief it was to let it all out.
I wrote, and you read. The last year has been filled with so much words of encouragement and love that I am left wondering what I did to deserve such awe-inspiring and supportive family and friends. Your likes, shares, comments, and personal messages gave me the confidence to continue. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Many people go through their lives never having discovered their true passion. I’ve found two.
Less than one year ago, I wrote a simple blog post describing our eventful flight with a four month old.
Last week, I received a simple two-lined email inviting me to blog for the Huffington Post. I have a strong urge to write back to them saying, Are you sure?! I think you may have me confused with someone else. Miraculously, they don’t have me confused with someone more qualified and talented. Like you, someone somewhere thinks I can do this.
The events of the last year have shown me that adversity is another word for opportunity; an opportunity to learn, an opportunity for personal growth, and an opportunity for self-reflection and discovery. I accept the challenges ahead with open arms. I have been fortunate enough to take a seat in the classroom of life, and I have every intention to make the most of it.