Sunday, 21 September 2014


Prior to a much-needed Skype chat with a friend from home who is also living abroad, I'd spent the majority of my weekend in my myself.

For those of you who do not know me well, I suffer greatly from issues of anxiety, particularly of the social variety. Sure, I'm energetic and friendly, but it sometimes takes a lot of pep talking to get me to leave my room/house. Now, to be fair, while this played a significant role in me not exploring my new city, it was more so the result of having to read a mixture 50+ articles and books to prepare for classes this week.

Anyway, the point of divulging this personal information about myself, was to note that although I should have been reading, I actually spent a good majority of time laying in bed (over)thinking. I've had a lot of changes in the last year and a half, with a handful of them happening in a relatively short period of time. I'm realizing now, that the 'survival mode' I've been living in over the last while since my Mom died is fading away pretty quickly. I miss her. And, one of the hardest parts about getting on the plane to England was knowing she wasn't coming along with me. You see, had she still been alive, she'd have likely accompanied me to help me get settled. I felt robbed of this experience. Heck, I still feel robbed of all the experiences to come that she won't get to be a part of.

Perhaps the hardest part of moving this time is the fact that I know no one. My dorm is extremely closed off, and I'm significantly older than those I'm sharing my apartment with. While this is nothing new for me, the added element of cultural difference is also quite apparent. I literally have nothing in common with any of the people I am living with except for the fact that we are studying at the same university. The sense of feeling different was not something I felt during my time in Ghana. Maybe that is because when I was there, I spent the majority of the time with a group of ladies who I shared the common bond of 'being in Africa for the first time' with, in the same way that life in Wolfville was shared with other students experiencing the same 'stressed out, study-fest, trying to sort out life' crisis, mixed with a 'we're gonna save the world' determined mindset. But here, I'm the only one who seems to have an end goal. This isn't my first time away from home. I'm not trying to figure out who I am. I came to this school specifically because of the program's ability to help me achieve a future career that I am working to achieve. And, as a result, I feel alone.

So, here it was Sunday morning just short of noon. I'm stretching after a workout, when I look up and notice the smoke detector in my room with the number 27 stuck to it. I don't know if they all have this, or if it's just mine, but in that moment I realized I'm not alone. The number 27 was the address of my Mom's house. Home. When I was in Ghana I found this blue tie-died t-shirt (which I am now the proud owner of), that had a hilarious phrase on the front. It wasn't until I had washed it and had it out on the line that I realized on the back, in very large print, the number 27. And here, in the middle of my slight breakdown from finally allowing myself to feel the past year and a bit, it appears once more. Home. I think that through the grieving process, we look for any sort of sign to allow us to connect to the person we are missing. I think that in many ways I have certainly subscribed to this - this being one of them. But, if it gets me through the day, than what's the harm. Maybe it's my Mom's way of letting me know she's with me. Maybe it's just a sticker with the number 27 on it.

Well, that was a big emotion dump. How's about something a little happier? If I zoom really far with my camera, I can see this from my bedroom window. I have no idea what or where this is. The rest of my view is surrounded by buildings, but this one little section makes me smile when I look out...

Taken at approximately 7:30 am
Taken just after noon

Thanks for listening,
the Orange Canadian.


  1. Note: Perhaps I should clarify, that I do realize that I've been here less than a week. The purpose of what I wrote was not to focus on my present situation, but more so to point out that changes, both good and bad, can be hard to undergo, particularly when you're missing someone of great significance to experience it with. It was also to sort of 'confess' that I'm realizing I have to actually deal with the events of the past year and a half, despite obviously not wanting to.

  2. BEAUTIFUL Blog post, and BEAUTIFUL photos.
    Your Mom is with you, maybe not in the flesh, but definitely in small ways.

  3. Beautifully written post, I hope you can work through some of the issues and difficulties in your life, you certainly articulate them extremely well!

    1. Thank you for your well wishes and feedback. Grieving is a life-long struggle, I believe. BUT, I take it one day at a time, and for the most part the days are more often 'good' than they are 'not so good'.
      Thanks for reading,