No, it’s not technically Canada Day. Well, not here anyway. As Andrew Smith already pointed out on Twitter, it is in part of the world already!
Tomorrow I’ll celebrate my third Canada Day as a permanent resident of this lovely nation (and my fourth in Canada, as I was visiting on July 1st of 2013). I must admit, I’m a little overwhelmed when I consider that. I still often think of myself as a newbie here (and in many ways I suppose I still am), but it won’t be too long before I can apply for citizenship (which I plan to do). Somewhere along the line, Canada (and Edmonton, specifically) became home.
I still get tripped up when I hear someone say “process”, but I usually remember to ask where the “washroom” is and no longer tilt my head when someone says “loonie” or “toonie”. I’m still getting used to the idea of being represented by an MLA instead of an assemblyman or a senator, but I’m 100% comfortable with the idea of going to the doctor whenever I need to and not worrying about how I’m gonna pay for it. (That last one still makes me deliriously happy, it just doesn’t feel weird anymore.) I think I’ve finally reached the tipping point–where Canadianisms seem more normal than not.
Perhaps the biggest indicator that I’ve acclimated is that this summer hasn’t completely wigged me out. That’s been the hardest thing to get used to. Everyone taunted me about the winters here, but I had exactly ZERO problems with winter. I don’t mind the extra dark. The longer cold months don’t bother me. And while Edmonton’s deep cold snaps are definitely longer than Wisconsin’s, the difference in temperature isn’t great enough that I notice.
The summers on the other hand, have been brutal. This much sunlight in a day is damn unnatural I tell you…or I would have told you just last year. I never had any idea what time it was, and that threw me off more than I ever expected. When you live your whole life of three-plus decades at one line of latitude, your body gets used to the rhythm of the year. My system had nothing to grasp onto when it was 11pm and the sky was still far from dark.
This year, it hasn’t bothered me. For the first time, I’ve kind of enjoyed it. I feel like I do have a (small, admittedly) grasp on what time it is based on the brightness of the sky. It’s neat!
It’s not only neat, it’s home. And tomorrow, I plan to celebrate the hell outta my home. We’ll eat Indian food (for a nation that’s so immigration-friendly, it’s the perfect way to celebrate–especially in Edmonton) and watch fireworks and I’ll spend every moment being happy and grateful I’m here.