My life is in a state of flux, but I know it’s right for me and what I need right now. After 3 years of teaching and living in the subarctic, I’m leaving the north and I’m not sure where I’m going or what I’m doing next. I’ve been feeling stuck and unchallenged here for a while and I know it’s time for somewhere new. I’ll be in Montreal for 2 months finishing up a grad certificate in TESL at McGill that I started online and after that? What comes next depends on a few things, one idea is to move to the Maritimes which feels like home every time I go there and live there for a few months while taking a sabbatical from teaching in order to devote a few months solely to writing which is what I always had wanted to do and was what I had in mind to do when I first came to the north, to save up enough to take off a few months to write, if that doesn’t work out then I might take off to Europe and take a few months off to wander around there before looking for a new teaching job.
Teaching in the north has been such an amazing experience, I’ve learned so much about what I’m capable of when it comes to dealing with unexpected situations and extreme conditions and intense isolation and the loneliness of the north. I’ve met so many great people and had experiences I never imagined happening to me in my life, learning about two First Nations cultures, learning how to drive, learning how to hunt, seeing northern lights, witnessing a wildfire that caused a whole community to be evacuated and almost the whole region, getting a truck magically unstuck out of a snow filled ditch through sheer willpower, crazy wild nights on beaches by bonfires, partying in mining camps. I’ve overcome anxieties I used to have, fear of change and the unexpected, I’ve become less shy and more able to open myself up to people and new situations. I used to be scared of those things and now I still have anxieties but I face them full on and jump into those situations. I used to be scared of men, so much that my friends back home used to worry about me and think that something had happened to me and now I can walk into a room or bar full of rough mining men and know that I know how to handle myself. I learned to drive on dirt roads covered in unsalted ice and snow in an old truck without a working seatbelt that would never be legal to drive in the city.
But lately, I don’t feel like I can grow anymore here. I’ve been feeling like my life is on hold here. I’ve been putting off my dreams and goals – to write, to travel, to find someone I want to be with. I can’t really date while I’m here because there is no one around in such an isolated remote area to date and I want to experience being with another person who I connect with. I feel like it’s time to start pursuing those things that I’ve always wanted to do and kept saying I would. Now is the perfect time for it because I can afford to take the time, and I’m free, unburdened with an apartment or a job or a relationship, to go anywhere and make the life I want a reality. I’ve worked really hard the last 4 years to build up my career, to save money and pay off my student loans, to work on my writing and education, and to become a person who can decide to leave a job that isn’t fulfilling me anymore and pack up and go without knowing where I’m going and be open to that unknowing. Maybe I’ll end up in Halifax, maybe Newfoundland or Ireland, maybe across the world. I’m a little scared of the uncertainty but the feeling of having those possibilities is thrilling.