Il y a de cela un an, je prenais l’avion vers Montréal. Je retournais enfin chez moi. Sur le chemin du retour, à Doha, une vague de nostalgie s’est emparée de moi et j’ai écrit. En anglais cette fois, pour je ne sais quelle raison. Je n’ai pas retouché au texte: je ne l’avais pas publié jusqu’à aujourd’hui et je vous le rend maintenant dans sa forme brute.
December 19th, 2012 – Doha, Qatar (2h layover on my way back to Montréal)
So this is the end of the story. One sub-story that ends so that the main plot can resume its pace. It has been half a year in the skin of another you. A you different but so alike at the same time. You wonder if you’ll miss him or if you’ll miss the setting of the side-story more. You know you loved it, but was it more because of the setting or because of the characters? And does it even matter? You wonder. One thing is certain, it is over, and it feels like your putting the final dot to a great chapter of your life. It feels undeniably good to go back to the main part of the book, but you realize how much this small aparté will have shaped you for the rest of the story. Everything you learn, everything you discovered about the world and yourself… That, nothing nor nobody can take it away from you. If anything, time will be the worse possible thief. You know you’ll need to fight to keep your memories intact. It is that simple really. As soon as this story ends, it starts to sink into the depths of your memory and it will become more and more obscure until it is utterly hard to recall. You like to think that time will act as to distill your memories: extract the utmost best moments from the mass and carve them permanently in your head and heart. You won’t be able to remember everything even a week from now. Heck, you already are forgetting lots of details as you are writing this.
But as time passes by, those details will slowly become things that were important to you. Sadly enough, there is probably little to do to prevent those memories to vanish and simply blend into a whole, too beautiful and great to decorticate. Time will undeniably be what takes most of it away from you, and you feel sad and powerless. There is no use, though, in trying to prevent it, so you must accept it and move on. The show must go on and you must use what you learned in the future, that is the key to doing justice to the greatness of the last months.
December 19th, 2013 – Montréal, Canada
A year has passed since the end of my exchange. In that year, a lot of great things happened: winning the Financial Open, winning Royal Roads University International Undergraduate Case Competition, finishing third at the Rotterdam School of Management, RSM STAR Case competition, landing a summer internship at The Boston Consulting Group, signing a full-time offer at BCG and lots of other awesome stuff.
From time to time, I look at my blog or at my multiple thousands pictures from my exchange and I feel like it has been forever since I’ve said goodbye to Marco, Omar and Plamen, my roommates. I miss this life, I miss UTown, I miss the crazy thunderstorm in Singapore, I miss the overly expensive beer, I miss everything. But there is no going back, so I must keep moving forward and try as hard as I can to remember.
My only advice to those leaving soon: make the most of it. It goes by so very quickly.