I’m struggling to find a way to express myself. Or maybe that just it. I’m struggling. I have spent this past week trying desperately to be positive, to move forwards, but I’m struggling. I feel as if I have suddenly lost a protective shield that I wasn’t fully aware I possessed, and I am now alone, squinting my eyes at the sun, confused and raw.

I have spent over a week searching for a general practitioner, simply the starting point for setting up a medical team, but have been bounced from practice to practice, all assuring me that the other will be a much better fit.

I feel like a stranger in this city, an attachment to existing lives, feeling so small as those who love me rush to take care of me, unwittingly thrusting me into their shadow.

I miss my independence. I miss knowing the city I live in. I miss my furniture that has yet to arrive. I miss my doctors. And I miss my friends. I miss feeling like I belong.

Lying in bed at night, I have found myself questioning if I made the right decision. And I have no answer, but allowing myself some time.

Moving back to the city I grew up in has involved a fair bit of explanation, largely revolving around what my plans are for the upcoming year. As I listen to others react to my chosen future program I am often surprised to feel a flash of anger, coming from beneath the support stockings that they cannot see. Behind my eyes covered by darkly tinted contact lenses, with my purse, stuffed with braces, electrolytes, and medications, weighing heavy at my side.

Because really, what choice did I have? My decision was to sink or swim. I chose to thrash out against the waves. What kind of a choice is that? And what about it bears discussion? I am simply trying to survive, to carve out a life for myself, my present self.

And yet, as quickly as that anger comes, it fades away. Because as true as that all might be, it doesn’t quite acknowledge the entirety of the situation.

Right now, I’m fighting against the waves. Right now, I’m struggling to stay afloat. Right now, I am simply trying to survive.

But at some point I chose which direction to swim towards. I chose to come to Ottawa. I chose a specific subject that I wanted to study. And I knew that it would be hard. I left the comfort and safety of one area to brave something new, to gain possibilities and potential. I shed my protective shield as it was heavy and I needed to move, to live.

It may have been a limited choice, but really, what choices aren’t?

And so I will keep fighting, keeping carving through the waters. I made a choice, and I will work to give it it’s best chance to not only survive, but to thrive.

To give myself my best chance to not only survive, but to thrive.