She had just turned 18 years old when she packed her bags and boarded a Greyhound bus for the 12 hour trip that October. No specific plans, only a friend with a place to stay and visions of an amazing, grown up life. Running from a life she had created but no longer wanted, she truly believed she had the power to build more for herself on this adventure. She imagined a strength that would blossom as soon as she set foot in the next province, a truly foreign place to her. As the bus rolled forward and she gazed out the window, into the clouds, she saw faces and places that she was sure to encounter. She pictured all of the wonderful new people that would become a part of her life, the terrific office job that she would be hired for, the nights out and even her stylish, shared apartment. As the city grew closer and the bus seemed to grow colder, the anticipation seemed ready to explode within her. This season was a never her favorite, but the deep snow that lined the streets and the ice sparkling in the air as they drove into the city was suddenly beautiful and held a certain air of magic and promise.
During that time, nearly a year, her experience appeared to be quite the opposite of those images she had during that long bus ride. The fun people and good times were only mirrored images of her past life. There were no fresh personalities, no high profile career begun, and the apartment, just like those she spent time in back home. The few people that she met were angry, troubled souls, most of whom had no aspirations of a future anywhere close to that which she dreamed for herself. The bitter cold and blowing snow, more like ice inside the bones, worse than anything she’d ever experienced. She felt more alone than she had previously thought possible.
She felt the only thing she achieved in this “Life Changing Big City Move” was crying more tears, feeling bigger hurts and having dreams turn to dust. She was more broken and lost then when she stepped foot on that Greyhound bus. The grown up girl that she thought she was had been reduced to a bitter soul once again searching.
All of these years later she realizes that she had gained much more life knowledge than she could comprehend back in that time. She experienced all of the things that she had hoped to, they were simply wearing faces that she hadn’t expected. Some of those people she still looks back on and remembers them as teachers, some positive, some negative. All lessons, marks on her soul. Experiences that truly shaped her heart, helping her become the woman she is today.
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