Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It had been over eight months since I'd been home. But this weekend, I drove two hours to Dulles airport, and two long plane rides later, I found myself at the Edmonton International Airport, sans luggage.

Things have changed since I left. Although I only got to hold one of them, there have been at least three new babies born among friends. A whole bunch of my friends have up and left the city. And my parents' new house is completely framed and well on its way to being completed. I thought it would be weird to be back... but I guess when you've lived in a city for 18 years (and driven in it for 14), you naturally remember how the roads work together and manage to get easily from place to place. (Edmonton also has a handy numbered-street system which makes it quite easy to navigate!)

I've changed. I don't know that I can say entirely HOW I've changed, but at the very least, my sister pointed out that I now say "about" like an American. (You know, with three syllables instead of two!) As people asked whether I was planning on coming home after finishing, I replied that I was looking at cities like Atlanta, Chicago and New York,* places I never really would have dreamed of living before. There's a certain sense of accomplishment that I've gained from conquering my first year at Darden and working at a tremendously successful start-up that seems to trump all my previous accomplishments. In many ways, heading back to Edmonton felt like heading back to a much smaller world... an ironic comparison because Edmonton is a city of a million, and Charlottesville-Albemarle county has only around 100,000.

Over the last few weeks, I've realized that as we move forward and move on in life, we never have the option of going back. If I were to move back to Edmonton now, it would never be the same as it was because I am not the same as I was. Our experiences in life are entirely dependent on our own outlooks and the perspectives and make-up of the people we are with. It's impossible to live in the past... something that we could be sad about if we weren't committed to building an exciting future.

Before leaving for Charlottesville last year, I got quite nostalgic, feeling that the things I was leaving behind would never quite be the same. As it turns out, I was right.

*Not an exhaustive list of possibilities.

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