farewell to manitoba

You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. ~ Unknown

I was standing in the middle of our kitchen in my pajamas when my husband came running through the door. I could tell from the way his eyes danced that he had a sense of bewilderment bursting to come out. His eyes were sparkling in anticipation of a new adventure and his upper lip quivered ever so slightly with pure shock and trepidation. He whispered to me "Do you want to move to New Brunswick?". I hugged him with all my might and we shared a moment of surprise, happiness, and slight fear for the unknown. As we embraced, I thought about one of those inspirational quotes you see on Pinterest - "If we were meant to stay in one place we’d have roots instead of feet". And just like that we decided to accept this gift of a transfer and take on this new experience.

We moved to Manitoba 7.5 years ago and knew nothing about this province. We knew no one. We had never stepped foot in Manitoba until we packed up our belongings, got in our car, and drove here in the middle of March 2007. Like many east coasters, our main purpose for moving west was for secure, long term employment that would grant us the freedom to live the lifestyle we dreamed of, but what we discovered was so much more. Manitoba taught us that we are one unit, we can work together through difficult times and take on big scary life changing situations head on. Manitoba taught us that we love exploring and adventures and granted us so many unique amazing Manitoba opportunities, many of which I have shared on this blog. Manitoba provided us with some of the best, most loving friendships we have ever experienced, friends that we will have for life no matter where life takes us. We bought our first home in Manitoba. We got engaged and married while being Manitobans. I changed careers while living in Manitoba. We paid off our student loans while living in Manitoba. Manitoba has been very, very, very good to us, and I will forever be grateful and consider Manitoba to be part of me, and part of my identity. In the words of Winnie the Pooh (who was named after the great city of Winnipeg!), "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard".

So now as I sit here on the brink of changing my life again and moving to yet another province, I am full of emotions. It’s a mixed bag of sadness to leave behind all these wonderful Manitoba memories, a happiness to be closer to family in Nova Scotia, and a curiosity to begin exploring our soon-to-be new province of New Brunswick. I came to Manitoba not knowing what to expect, and now I am leaving a huge piece of my heart and my life, and some of the best years I‘ve ever experienced. Manitoba will forever hold a special spot in my soul. My heart is chocked full of good memories and love. I am so glad that I lived here, and I am proud to call myself a Manitoban. Even though I am mournful to leave Manitoba behind, I am reminded of yet another inspirational Pinterest quote - “Inside us all, patiently waiting, sits a tiny little adventurous bird”. I know in my heart it is time for this little gray bird to spread her wings and fly on to new, exciting adventures. Thank you Manitoba, for everything.  I will always love you.

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