When Paths Diverge

BY RACHEL WONG

Routine makes life so easy. We become so set in our ways that sometimes it’s hard to let go, especially when we decide to go one direction and life pulls us the opposite way.

When it comes to friendships and growing up, it took me a long time to really understandparting-ways the obvious – that we all grow, and when we grow, we change. We are exposed to the world everyday and we learn so many new things. We meet new people and engage in new opportunities. All of these experiences shape who we are, and ultimately, we find like-minded people to spend time with along the way. Spending time with those who are similar to you can put you at ease – it feels natural to open up to people that you can relate to. But when friends inevitably change and paths no longer align, it can take a while to realize that it might just be time to part ways.

. . .

Alicia* and I were inseparable. It’s hazy in my mind now how we even got to being friends, but we have known each other since we were 6 and we have stayed friends ever since. Like most friendships do, ours had its ups and our downs, and we were there for each other during times of both triumph and sadness. We were the kind of friends that talked all the time about the future and what our lives would look like together: we’d be each other’s maid of honor at our weddings, we’d get matching SUVs and we’d alternate hosting play dates for our children during the day.

It was a very idealistic way of thinking, but despite reality eventually hitting us, we made it – sort of.

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When Home Doesn’t Feel Like Home Anymore

BY ZAKIYA KASSAM

Over the past seven years or so, my definition of “home” has been in shaky limbo between where I grew up and where I live now. I’ve always called both my home, because that just seemed like the diplomatic thing to do. As the cartoon Dragon THow-do-I-protect-my-home-equity_slideshowitem.pngales taught me, two is better than one; so I had deemed myself lucky to be able to call two cities my home – Calgary, where I was born, and Toronto, where I live now.

I’m not sure if this was inevitable, but over the past few years I’ve found myself growing indefinitely estranged from my hometown. This became more glaringly apparent with each visit back to Calgary, where instead of feeling safe and comfortable, like “home” should make you feel, I instead itched to return to my new life in Toronto.

I recently went back to Calgary for a visit, and those five days felt way longer than they should have. Funny enough, I felt as though nothing had changed since I left there, but the uncomfortable lurch in my tummy told me that I no longer felt any sort of pull back to the city I had lived in for the first 18 years of my life.

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17 Years

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

My brother (4), my dad, and me (7) on my dad's birthday.

My brother (age 4), my dad, and me (age 7) on my dad’s birthday.

Yesterday my parents moved out of the house I grew up in, and it’s giving me a lot of feelings.

We moved in when I was 6, and I’m 23 now. I moved out to go to university, but I’ve been back a couple of times since then. When spending more than even one minute than I had to at university was more than I could handle when I was 18, I was able to come home to my parents’ every single weekend and even still work at my old part-time job. When I left my boyfriend who I was living with in Toronto at 20, I was able to move back home, back into the safe, four blue walls I spent most of my time in before. I redecorated to make it feel more grown-up, but the blue paint is still there underneath and I know this.

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My brother (age 8), my mom, and me (age 11) on my mom’s birthday

I moved back to Toronto when I was 21 and it seems to have stuck this time. I have a real job now so hopefully I won’t ever need to move back in with my parents. But I still visit fairly frequently. It still comforted me to know that my past still exists, because I’ve built this whole new life for myself here, which is great, but sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten the experiences that made me who I am.

None of my friends from back home speak to me anymore. I had one, but he’s barely spoken to me in 3 months, even completely ignoring my birthday, which is a new one. I wanted him to be there, even if only for an hour, and I told him that a few times but he wasn’t.

I think that the hardest part about this is knowing that no one else is paying attention. I never thought that you could live in a place almost your whole life, and no one would even notice or care if you left. Continue reading