transition zone: moving


side note: If you’re at McGill/ in Montreal, I urge you to try out the restaurant Lola Rosa. It’s a vegetarian restaurant. They have notes in their drawers, and their food is delicious!

Here’s what’s happening with me: I moved out of my apartment and out of Montreal, currently sitting at the dinning area of my friend’s place in Niagara Falls, and about to start my first full-time job (internship) in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Sorry I didn’t get have the chance to explain this to many people in person. But thanks to the wonders of technology, here’s my explanation:

Ever since I moved out of Niagara Falls and knew that my parents would eventually settle down in Alberta, I felt somewhat home-less. What I do NOT mean is that I find no rest or comfort anywhere (as a home is suppose to symbolize), but rather the opposite. I reasoned that if I can’t see those I love, then there is no difference whether I’m near or far, I still can’t see them. I started to not associate any specific physical location with those feelings of “home”. It’s a great feeling, because everywhere I go, I feel like I’m at home.

Praise the lord that someone took over my lease for the summer months! My tenant moved in late (by one week) so that I can have a place to stay, and paid for the entire summer’s rent before he moved in! The only downside is that I had to pack all my stuff and move out. Well, I guess I had to do that regardless. Moving inevitable means throwing out things that I no longer value or use. I couldn’t bring myself to throw stuff out and deem it as garbage. I kept on thinking about where my stuff will end up after I throw them out. I mean, I needed to throw some things out, like my sneakers with a fair-sized rip on the side and holes through the heels. But they weren’t beyond repair. I felt slightly helpless and powerless. My “garbage” had potential to be reused if they could be repaired, or recycled if such infrastructure existed, but I can’t and they don’t, so they’re trash.


The brave and beautiful Min-Jee, tackling my mess and trashing my trash.

Moving was fun. A huge fat “thanks” to everyone who helped out and took some of my stuff! It lifts a burden off me when I know that someone will appreciate my stuff. The night before moving day, I planned on staying up and packing some more. However, I stopped by Ecole de Danse Contemporaine to say goodbye to my dance teacher that night, and after going for frozen yogurt with a friend, I realized I forgot my keys at the dance studio. So that was fun. I slept at Taylor’s and went to pick up my keys in the morning. Everything happened so last minute. I only received my official offer of employment on the night that I forgot my keys. So on moving day, I was running around, sending papers to my work, still seeing some friends (since I honestly did not know if I would in school in the fall or not), and talking with my program advisor. Everything worked out smoothly despite the last-minute rush. Two of my friends were so generous as to let me store my stuff at their places, and I had more than enough help packing and moving! AND thanks a ton to Sadhvi for transporting my stuff. (Thanks again guys! Sorry if I got a little frustrated. I would have been screwed without your help! And thanks Sungwon for sticking around until the end!)


One of the few things I left for my tenant. I sculpted my face last year as a part of a portfolio for something I didn’t end up applying for. I didn’t want to keep it and no one wanted it. I hope at least my tenant found it funny more than creepy. Update: i got a msg from him asking what he should of with this.

I suppose I should explain myself: I’m moving out my apartment because I’ll be participating in a 7-month internship stating in late May. And I want to work because I feel like I need some time away from school to figure out what I want to do.

I was never sure that I wanted to go to university; I never found reasons for myself of why it would be a valuable experience. My argument for not going to university was that I did not think I belong there: I wanted to dance. But at that time, I had not had any dance training yet. I can understand why my parents might be a little doubtful about my plans for myself. They explained that sometimes you don’t know what you want until you’ve been exposed to it, and that university may very well expose me to something I haven’t thought of yet. For example, my father probably would not have so desired to come to North America if he had not had the opportunity to go to New Jersey on a business trip (fun fact: I’m named – in Chinese – after the state of New Jersey), and my mother said that before she was introduced to architecture in university, she wanted to become a singer. I’m not saying that what my parents chose were better or worse than what they might otherwise have chosen, but only that they needed to taste it (i.e. whatever they found was worth striving for) before some kind of passion and perseverance could be developed.

Since I began my studies two years ago, I’ve definitely changed a lot in my way of thinking and in my interactions with people. Being in the university environment — having to live alone, making decisions about what I want to learn and how I want to use my time — along with its stresses and the questions that it provokes, has grown me a lot. Being in university has been an invaluable experience.

I’m taking a semester off because I have the opportunity to do so. It’s great timing, really. I feel like I’m sitting on a wealth of resources (Montreal being a center of the arts, and McGill, a top university) but am unable to access it because I’m of my uncertainty of what I want. I’m investing so much time and energy (not to mention money) to be at university and in Montreal. If I use this time off well, I – and also everyone I will interact with – will benefit so much more from my remaining time at university.

Dance is another major reason for wanting to take time away from school. I tried to do dance and school at the same time. I took 4 classes instead of 5 at school so I can have more time to commit to my >8 hours/week of dance classes. I improved a lot, but there are many days when I feel like I could not give 100% of my energy when practicing, most often due to being sleep deprived. Sure, dance class is exposing me to technique, but it makes me so upset with myself, and anxious as well when I can’t fully commit myself. I know I’m able to get it, and that’s what frustrates me when I can’t. One of the biggest lessons I learned this year is to have patience, even with myself. Change takes time, and progress without time is likely unsustainable. It may even be counter-productive. I have no idea how working full-time and dancing will be like, but I’ll find out. I’m looking forward to improving my technique though, and having more control over my movements.

My game plan to figuring out what I want is a little blurry still (so please offer some suggestions!). There are a few things I think I would enjoy and be good at, but could learn and explore by myself: photoshop, graphic design, programming (no idea what language or type).

In addition to that, it’ll be the first time in over 6 or 7 years that I’ll be living with both my parents! I’m excited to have someone else cook for me! I realized I don’t know my parents as well as I ought to, especially my father. I use to go out on dates with my mom every week, and I want to do that again, but with my father as well. The opportunity to live with my parents won’t come by that often after I graduate from university. I’m really grateful and looking forward to these few months coming up!

The thought of eventually having to leave wherever I’m at makes me approach relationships so much differently. I’m more willing to open up, and bolder to tell people how I feel. Realizing that time is limited can be a great motivator: every moment becomes special. (Haha I sound so cheesy) It’s amazing just to reflect on how my life has been enriched by so many wonderful people: all the knowledge they’ve shared, and how much they confided in me. That’s another good thing about distance: it reveals and strengthens relationships.

My first day of work is the 27th of May. I have to be on site by 6 a.m., and it takes a 1- hour bus ride to get there. It should be fun. It’ll definitely teach me some discipline if I want to do everything I set out to do.

I can’t talk much about the internship because I don’t know much about it yet. It’ll probably be in the next update. Thanks for reading! Hope it made sense. Keep in touch kiddies! Send me an update once in a while

me hugging my room

me hugging my room



– Chelsea


8 thoughts on “transition zone: moving

  1. I love reading through your inner train of thought like this; it’s going to be an amazing adventure and sharing it through this blog makes me feel like I’m almost going with you! Such a great idea~

    Best of luck for now (and I’m glad moving went smoothly)!

  2. Hey Chelsea!! I’m excited for what’s coming up next for you 🙂 I think my next post on my blog may give you some insight on balancing work/study with dance! Keep us updated with your blog and I’m sure all your friends here in Montreal (me included, obviously :P) will miss you and laughter ❤

  3. aww Chels, miss you already. go forth! you are so brave! looking forward to hear about whatever is in store for you. love you. xoxo

  4. Chelsea!! Wow, I just read this, and since last seeing you, I feel like you’ve matured so much. Even though your thoughts are fuzzy, you seem to have really found direction. I’m excited for you!

    • i want to give you a hug 🙂 p.s. looking back, it was living and getting to know you and listening to your stories about your crazy brother that made me realize there are different/better/more adventurous ways to live life. so ya, thanks for being alive 🙂 miss you a ton!

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