So yeah a year down the line…
I spoke about my Canadian parents previously. And I only briefly touched upon my actual parents. Leaving them to go out on my own was and has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I don’ think I could ever find the words to convey those emotions. I’ve written poetry about, talked about it but yet I don’t think I can ge a handle on those emotions or feelings ever. I think it will just be something I have to come to terms with. Part of me will always feel like I abandoned them for my own selfish needs, maybe I did. Even the reassurance of my parents and brothers, never overcomes the guilt I feel. As I write these words, I still feel the guilt. At that point I feel I had to make a compromise within myself. Had my dad not had his accident, then perhaps I wouldn’t have felt so bad. But in January last year a lot of stuff happened that really took its toll on me. I think some of it still does and perhaps I may struggle with that the rest of my life.
But I’m alive now and still moving forward so I shall try not to dwell too much on the past. Being here back then at first felt like a holiday. I went out for dinner to all the places I loved had some Timmy’s steeped tea, (it’s awesome). Ask Ally (my best friend, although he prefers coffee). Life was good I guess. A couple of days being here I met Priya, we hung out and she took me to a Gurdwara here. One of the craziest Gurdwaras I have ever been to! Even recently I went there and I was manhandled by some old dude because he thought I was an Indian spy, ha! Honestly some of the most random shit has happened to me here. Yeah so we hung out for a while and I got to see how Canadian people lived. I won’t go by her standard because her life goes at a million miles an hour, and that’s too fast paced for an old man like me. (No doubt, I’ll get killed if she ever reads this).
A lot of stuff has happened in between but I really don’t want to dwell on all of that. I’m trying to look at the bigger picture. Was this a good decision for me? I’d have to say yes. As hard it has been and believe me, it has been hard! Sometimes the loneliness gets to you, sometimes people you thought were your friends let you down, others its people from your past wanting to drag you down, and then there was the unknown with my dad’s health. Daily phone calls to get updates, worrying from one day to the next etc. So yeah it’s been very hard. Would I change it? I probably would but just to make it easier being here, I wouldn’t change my decision to come here. I’ve really gotten to know myself but also, I’ve gotten to know the people who truly matter. There may only be a handful, but there people I have come to know, will always be there for me. These people are like my extended family and no matter where they are in the world, I know they will be there for me and vice versa. For that I am truly thankful to them. They’ve endured this last year with me and lived m ups and downs. Without them I would not have lasted this long. They all know who they are so I won’t mention names, but know I love you all very much, you guys are my family.
Being here I’ve also come to know people who are no good for me. These people aren’t bad people but they have their own ‘stuff’ going on. I mean, we all have this. We all have so much going on in our lives, that it’s hard to fit in someone else’s shit too. I know, I’ve been there. At times I’ve spread myself so thin that I’ve forgotten what’s actually important to me. And my own relationships with people have suffered because of this. It’s a fine balance between being there for someone and self-preservation. The key is to understand that and not hold it against someone if they up and leave. My biggest issue is with people who make promises that they cannot, or have no intention on keeping. If you truly can’t do something then don’t say you will. It’s such a hurtful thing to do to someone. I know, because I’ve been there. Living in a country when you only know a few people, without transportation is very hard. Even the simplest of tasks become hard. And when someone offers you help and you accept, that person is not just offering you help, they are giving you hope! The worst thing you can ever do to someone is give them hope and at the very last second take it away. Numerous times, I won’t even try to count has this happened to me. From people here and at home. Sometimes all you want to do is here a familiar voice, because things are really getting you down. Then this person says, “sure, we’ll talk at this time”, that’s hope. You make plans to be free etc, you sit and wait nothing comes through. You wait a little longer, yet nothing. So you ask them why and it’s “something came up”. I can understand this happening, a couple of times, but when it becomes a habit, you really begin to question this person and their intentions towards you. This takes a toll and your hope diminishes with it. It has been a tough year…
I guess from that experience, I’ve learned to be tougher, or pretend to be tougher. I’ve learned that I am an emotional person, sometimes too emotional and that they get the better of me. There are people who know how to push my buttons and all they want is a reaction, and sadly I end up giving it to them. It’s only me that gets hurt at the end of the day not them. I’m learning to let that go and I’m getting better slowly. Everyday I learn something new about myself and I guess that’s what life’s about.
Remember people come and go. Sometimes the people you’re around aren’t right for you at that time. Then down the line they come back, but remember you’re both different people and sometimes it’s the situation that needs to change also. Something I’ve learned being here too. Sometimes it’s not that you’re not right for each other, It can simply be the timing isn’t right. Then somehow things just fall into place and that’s all it can take. Try and go with it, because we all make mistakes but these mistakes are forgivable, all we have to do is ask for forgiveness. It’s just about being brave enough to ask for it. We should all take that leap of faith, life is too short for regret.
Poetry has become a big thing in my life. It used to be when I was younger but I drifted away from it. Then I started to write but not sharing it. I then ended up becoming friends with someone who has shown me a lot about what I can do with mere words. It may not be the best but I never intended for that. I simply wanted a way to cope with things I was going through. It started with this blog over a year ago and has now expanded into poetry. I’ve also started to write song lyrics, something I used to do when I was a teenager. I remembered that me a Callum (my oldest friend, I’ve known him since I was around 4 years old), recorded some songs. If I can find them I’ll post them and embarrass myself ha! It’s been a year of self discovery but I feel I am a better person for it. I am proud of my poetry, even if it is simple, it is pure and from my heart and one of a kind. I hope in time I get better but I am not seeking the approval of anyone. If it helps one person get through a tough time then it has done its job. I’m happy with that.
I tried my hand at modelling recently and was told I was “a natural”. I guess that’s a compliment, I do love a bit of attention, I won’t deny that. And being a Scottish Sikh in Canada, I do get a lot of it. And I’ll say honestly, I love it. Women pay me a lot of attention and you know, after feeling like a Lepper for most of my life, it’s a bloody good feeling! But I guess we all get our rewards one day. So if anyone says you’re ugly or puts you down, you will get your chance to shine. It’s taken me until I reached 30 to get this attention. It’s fun but it’s not everything. It is nice though. But yeah I shot for a bunch of guys who thought I had style. They run a website called TurbanEsque, and my pictures will appear there soon. Here’s one of the one’s that will be used.
I have to admit I do scrub up well, haha! It was a fun experience, and I hope to do it again. Things like this never happen to me back home. I don’t know why but things here are just a little different for me. I feel better about myself and I’ve lost count on how many times, I’ve been called different. I guess I’ll take it as a compliment as nobody wants to be the same as everyone else.
Canada has changed me, it always does. Each visit to this place changes me in a way. It’s usually subtle but because I’ve been here so long, I’ve seen a different side to me. I mean I write, I can say I’ve written poetry, tried my hand a modelling and even looked into being an extra for TV and film. I may not have a career that everyone else focuses on, or married with kids. Being here has reminded me what being alive feels like. Life isn’t a bed of roses and happiness will never be found in money. I know that if I didn’t have a penny I could find happiness if I’m around people who I love and who love me. That’s my currency to get through this life. I have a lot of love and resolve. I’m getting through by living. Even on my down days, out of those I can bring poetry. In my happiness I can put a smile on a friends face and that’s all I ever want, to be there for people. If I have to endure to do that then I am wiling to be that person. I’m living life, because I am actually alive. I feel sadness, I feel pain, I feel happiness and I feel love. I cannot ask more than the ability to feel.
I’ll leave you with this. Canada has also furthered my knowledge of Sikhi, not by leaps or bound but I’m moving forward with it. The biggest thing I can take from it is acceptance. Knowing that we are all different but acceptance is the key. We are all trying to get to the same place, but we are just at different stages. So don’t look at the differences we have, look at what we have in common. The compassion we share, the love of our Guru, the happiness that it can bring us. So I will urge us all to not look at what makes us different. Caste those aside (get it? I joke!) and come together as people. We are all people and we need to embrace that. I thank Waheguru for opening my eyes to that and I hope I don’t ever change.
Thank you all again for reading this, I appreciate it. Apologies for any mistakes!
As I write this Bon Iver – I can’t make you love me/Nick of time plays, so random!