With the Olympic games dwindling down after a couple weeks of a great event living up to its hype, Canada is on a nationalism high. Rallying behind heroes such as mogul athlete, Alexander Bilodeau, of whom most of us had never heard about before the onset of the Games, is a display of Canadian pride. I must say when I went to DC, I felt very proud every time I mentioned I was a Canadian or donned my bright red, pointy top toque (not hat). Even my Quebecois friends said they felt like they were nationalists in the US (which is a feat in itself…). For a person who has grown up less than an hour away from the Rockies, I can truly appreciate the beautiful natural landscape Canada has to offer. My family and close friends are generally still in Canada. There are opportunities here for me. So…why am I so intent on leaving?
I’ve been really challenged with this question as the vast majority of my planned gap year is going to not only be outside of my hometown, but out of the country, hell! even out of the continent. My father told me on my last visit that he had already prepared himself that I would not be settling in Calgary or even Canada. If everything comes through, come May, I will be in Europe romping around France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium for 20 days before settling into Brussels for an internship until December. Afterward, I’m hoping to head down to Haiti for 6-8 months to help volunteer with relief work. With everything I have in Canada, with so many people trying to get into the country, with Canada cited as one of the best places to live in, why in the fuck am I seeking/grasping every opportunity to leave?? Perhaps I’m a bit crazy. I’ve mentioned before on how many philosophers say that man’s most comfortable and natural state is where they count as home. Maybe I’m still trying to find home. Maybe I’m running from something? though I have no idea what that may be.
The underlying reason of why DC was so challenging to me was because I had no spiritual base in my cell group and music ministry. Although I knew God was watching out for me, I craved having a group of people that could relate to me and my problems on that level. Yet, as soon as I came back, I began making preparations to leave once again. One of the things that really stood out to me when I came back was how comfortable and compliant people where in their little bubbles and that …just pissed me off. Being in DC really opened my eyes to a lot of things I believe being in the Global North and an academic institution insulated me from. DC is yes, an American city, but it is composed of people from all over the world. The majority of the people I met there weren’t from DC or even the US. Even if they were, they had gone abroad and learned some random foreign language far removed from their mother tongue (eg. Mandarin). However, my attitude was borderline arrogant and I got a reality cuff over the head from God. Although I do not fully understand why I’m so gung ho about leaving this awesome country or my home, I have come to understand something about myself that has always been there but has perpetuated itself over the years. I’m not satisfied with comfort or compliance, rather I seek opportunities that unsettle me and throw me out of whack because maybe, maybe I can learn something so amazing. Maybe, He can use that to use me. However, I am afraid. Afraid that without a strong spiritual home base, I will stray from God. Afraid that I will flit from place to place and thus, be forever a lonely wanderer.
So it is with reservation that I travel, but the potential wow is what drives me past my fears.