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Leaving Home, Being Grateful for What You Have

Now that my time at home is becoming shorter, I’m beginning to feel a sense of loss. I’m beginning to appreciate the things I have, things that I have always taken for granted and things that I will not have when I leave for ICO in August.

At this point in time, I live in Toronto, Ontario, in the magical land of Canada. We live in igloos and hunt polar bear. We play hockey while riding on moose and our workforce runs off of Tim Hortons coffee. We always say sorry, even when it’s not our fault.

I’m going to miss all of that.

I’ve never been a sentimental person. I guess that’s because I’m not the type of person who takes his time to appreciate life. I have always been excited to leave wherever I was and experience something new, and that’s evident now in the fact that I’ve spent a ton of time preparing for school, but absolutely none preparing to leave home.

I like to think that I’ve grown up in the last two years, but I honestly can’t tell you whether or not that’s true. I have, however, learned to take a moment and appreciate the things around me every once in a while. Maybe this is the reason I’m beginning to miss home, even though I haven’t left yet.

I’m absolutely excited to explore a new city and experience new things. I could talk endlessly about what I want to see, do and accomplish. But I think I’ve given those things more than their fair share of my time.

I’m beginning to recognize that there are many things I will miss. Maybe I should give these things some thought.

I’m going to miss walking down the street to hang out with Michael, one of my closest friends. I’ve known him for over half my life. I’ll miss having dinner with my family in our little kitchen/dining room. I’ve made so much progress getting to know my family in the past year… I wish I had more time. I’ll miss the guys and girls at work and even the work at work. I haven’t known them for very long, but they feel like family (Roots FTW). I’ll miss watching Korean variety shows with my girlfriend and laughing at the top of my lungs. I’m going to miss the sound of traffic outside my window, and even the buses that come by late at night and early in the morning. Sure, it’s loud, but it’s also home.

For the first time in my life, I’m going to miss this place (the magical land of Canada). Moving to Chicago for school feels “permanent” compared to my undergrad. I know I’ll come back one day, but I will be a different person–someone older, wiser, and hopefully with some muscle.

These are the last few weeks of my life before optometry. I don’t know why, but I’m a little sad that I’ll be leaving this part of my life behind.

To anyone out there reading this, whether you are about to walk through ICO’s doors for the first time as a student and came to this blog looking for perspective, or whether you’ve simply stumbled on this post by accident, be grateful for what you have. Being grateful shouldn’t be reserved for those few weeks before a big life change. That is a mistake on my part. I should have spent more time enjoying what I have instead of letting petty things occupy my attention. I should have spent more time with my family instead of sitting in front of the TV or computer. I should have invited people out instead of waiting to be invited. Maybe you can relate to some of these regrets.

Life is full of things that you can enjoy… and they are around you at this moment. Don’t wait until you lose what you have to treasure it.


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