Discovering, unlearning, learning and relearning again
Marking my 8 months in Montreal, I decided to do take stock of my life. How has life been different for me in a whole new environment? Life has not been worse but it has not been a bed of roses either. There have been challenges to take on which are negligible to the eyes of assumptions that the grass on the other side is greener.
Previous Vs Current Lifestyle
In Singapore – Things to be taken care of include ironing of my own clothing and cleaning up my room.
In Montreal – Things to be taken care of include laundry, ironing of my own clothing, preparing daily meals, cleaning up the apartment and grocery shopping.
In Singapore – Most meals were taken outside at food centers; restaurants, once or twice a week; home cooked meal, once or twice a week.
In Montreal – Most meals are taken at home or at least packed from home; restaurants, maybe once a week or once in two weeks.
Clothing, Shoes, Bags etc.
In Singapore – A colourful wardrobe which had a piece of outfit for a different occasion; usually equipped with a dainty handbag for work, shopping or partying.
In Montreal – Probably just 30% of what I have in Singapore. For winter, minimal variety of clothing was needed and bag pack is my best friend.
In Singapore – Have to admit that retail therapy works from time to time; Had the purchasing power to buy what I wanted.
In Montreal – Much more stringent with spending as I am not working; compare prices at different places to ensure that I get a good bargain!
In Singapore – Since I had internet connection on my mobile phone, I was always on the go with whatsapp, facebook, gmail etc.
In Montreal – Spend half the time on the social media apps as I only have WiFi at home.
Meet up with Friends
In Singapore – Catch ups were usually done at cafes, restaurants, bars or clubs.
In Montreal – Choices vary from house parties, outdoor picnics to cheap & good coffees at Tim Hortons. Not forgetting that I get to meet friends from all over the world and learning about new cultures all the time.
In Singapore – During a work week, I catch about 5 to 6 hours of sleep on average; weekends, if lucky, I get about 7 hours of sleep
In Montreal – An average of 7 hours of sleep during weekdays; weekends (excluding the busy ones), I am able to clock in 8 to 10 hours of undisturbed sleep.
Familiarity and Stability
In Singapore – Aside from the stress from work, I have my family ,friends, a network of people comfortably built up. Also, I had the location at the tips of my finger; If I needed to get something, I know where to shop for it
In Montreal – Started from ground zero as I only knew Dan when I first arrived in Montreal; had to build up the relationship with Dan’s family, make new friends, discover the transportation and the city itself, learn French in hope of a better future.
Freedom, Independence and Personal Time
In Singapore – Life revolved around work with the remaining little time for family, friends and self. Led a sheltered and dependent life. Easily succumbed to the pressure of a material city, pursuing things which I thought were important; losing myself in the process.
In Montreal – I have to take care of myself, both physically and emotionally. My schedule runs according to how I would like it to be. I have the time to think, reflect, explore, read, learn and write. I am also given the space and opportunity to change my mindset and perspective of life.
When things hit the low of a cycle, it is easy for one to dip into a state of depression and make oneself a victim of circumstances. It doesn’t help when people rub in unintentionally on how well they are doing but yet they find it insufficient. However, it does make me appreciate the supportive partner that I have, showing me the intrinsic beauty of life. As much as being a drama queen is a tempting role, I do consciously realise that it does not help change the situation in any ways. I may have lost certain things in the past but I have gained other things along the way. I do not deny that material luxury provides a certain degree of comfort. However, I do need to acknowledge that the opportunity to live life all over again, discovering the unfound treasures of love, time and space, is something priceless yet having nothing to brag about.
Signing off with love,