Gratitude for Being Home
Week 86 – November 7, 2021 – Flying During the Pandemic
It feels so good to be back home. I never thought I would find myself saying that. I resisted for several years and now that I’m back home, I can wholeheartedly say that I am in the right place at the right time. It’s been a challenging few years on my pedagogical journey. A lot of internal work was required to get my dissertation done (4-years ago) and that work continues. My mom passed in 2018 and not being employed at that time was a blessing. I took care of her in her last 20-days. It was the least that I could do. I got to know her better as a person, but also had the privilege of watching her transform as she faced death with courage, strength, and clarity.
After my mom’s passing, I accepted a job in Prince George. It was a term contract, so it was tough to make a “full commitment” to the institution. My family stayed on the Sunshine Coast and I struggled with the move and my identity while grieving the lost of the most important person in my life. Calling Prince George “home” seemed like betrayal, to my kid, my identity, and my marriage. As it turned out, my marriage ended after the first year and returning back to Prince George was bitter sweet. I was away from my kid for another year, I was angry and disillusioned about my marriage, and I was on another term contract. Commitment was lacking on my end of things and all I wanted to do was take my kid… and I was not sure what to do next.
My work was challenging and so was my mental health. I felt disconnected. There was a strike at the university in 2019, then the pandemic in 2020. I was separated from my kid more than ever. I felt trapped and alone. Not only did I have to pivot in my work with remote learning, I had to pivot in my life. On Mother’s Day, I returned back to the Sunshine Coast to live in my house, with my kid and estranged husband, for 15 months. Separating from my husband was confirmed, being with my kid was essential, and saying goodbye to the ocean and coastal life was needed. Even though I did not realize that I was subjecting myself to a toxic relationship that I had to walk away from, I also spent many hours contemplating what’s important to me.
When I finally left the Sunshine Coast to officially live in Prince George with my kid in August 2021, I was tired, exhausted, and liberated. Now that I am away from that life and my two feet planted in Prince George (with my kid), I can make the commitment to this community. I still have a term contract and who knows what that will bring in the future, but was feels so wonderful is the ability to make choices for me, to listen to my heart and spirit to truly understand what’s important to me, and to have friends and family standing beside me and holding me or lifting me up during the good times and bad. The journey was treacherous and the journey continues.
The journey is not over. That said, I am more clear, more happy, and more certain about what path I need to take and I can feel good about it. I know my purpose and I am living 100% aligned to that purpose. I was in Vancouver last week for the week to observe Teacher Candidates living in the Lower Mainland. I had the opportunity to visit with family and friends, but also see Teacher Candidates in action. They were amazing!!! Flying back to Prince George was a good feeling. I am returning back to my kid, I am returning back to community, and I was returning home. Feels good.