January 1, 2023•719 words
Since I moved to Canada and started living basically alone, festivals like New Year's Day started to lose meaning. There is no family gathering, no entertainment activities with real people offline, and not really any activity special to these events. Christmas, New Year's Eve, or whichever special holiday, is just another regular day of the year to me. I wake up, make my own breakfast, sit in front of my computer in my own room, have lunch, and then again go back to my own room in front of my own computer. Sometimes I play games, but neither is that special for any day of the year. Other than my work at the university, everything that I do, everyone that I know are basically online, and nothing feels special anymore.
Traveling is impractical for me as well, at least for now. For someone wheelchair-bound like me, the only feasible modes of traveling would be via accessible public transport or via my own car. It is problematic to get my own car while I am still just an international student (and my car would need accessibility adaptations as well), and accessible public transport is nearly non-existent during holidays. I cannot even feasibly travel to Toronto, the capital of the province, which is less then 2 hours of driving away. One of my close friends I know now lives less than 100km away, but there is no mode of transport between us other than driving -- and we have not even met once since we moved here. Being confined to one small university town, what I can really do is not much. Days and months start to blend together with this kind of life -- and to be honest, I still feel like 2022's new years day was just a few weeks ago.
I grew up in a big metropolitan area, never being too far from my family and close friends. As such, it never entered my imagination how lonely it would be to suddenly leave everything I knew behind. Well, not exactly "everything I know", but pretty much everything and everyone I knew offline. There would always be something to do and someone to hang out with during any special day, but all of that is gone once I moved to a different country alone. Sure, I have made new friends, but how many could you feasibly make in such a short time? I am not a very extrovert person anyway, and it has always been very hard to have close friends. I might have had only a dozen during my entire life before, but now I have to start over. And that, is very, very hard.
For the longest time, I thought that I am a more online-inclined person, and offline interaction could be a bit overwhelming to me. Turns out, that might just be a result of living too close to those I love. Without them always around, and when my social interactions are limited to online, the loneliness really starts to kick in. I did not even feel the same thing due to COVID, but rather only after I moved out on my own. With COVID, I could still at least live and talk with my family, but now it is all different. I even struggle to write a summary for 2022, which I have been meaning to do for the past few days, because, again, without much offline interaction, what I do everyday just feels the same, even when they are not.
So here comes the time to say something about the new year. I don't really have any resolution to make this year, for I know that any resolution would not be a thing even after just January. All I have is some hopes that, if true, would make my 2023, and potentially all years after, a little bit better.
Hope that my thesis project would go smoothly and I would get my master's degree without much issue by the time we prepare for the 2024 new year celebrations.
Hope that I would be able to find a job here in Canada despite the economic situation.
And hope that I can finally find a place to settle down more long-term, get a car, and finally be able to travel around at least a little bit.