So what brings me back to my much-neglected blog and back to the subject of the north? I am not just waxing poetic about my past adventures but planning the next one!
I have been debating both with myself and others for some time now, what the next move in my life should be. I have a great job right now, it's at a fantastic school here in BC. I teach science at an aboriginal school on a very successful Sto:lo Nation band reserve. I live in 'beautiful BC' and I know that some people would give anything to live here. However, despite all this awesomeness, I have been unhappy since I arrived.
I feel as if I am in a rat race. I do not want to stay here and it has, most times, felt like a gilded cage. It has been time to move on for some time and yet...to what? Do I go overseas? Go back to Northern Ontario where my daughter now resides with her father ( I DO miss her so much!) or do I go back to the place where my heart has called me since the first time I learned about it?
I won't keep you in suspense for too long. It has been a long debate and at times I was absolutely certain that the best move would be to go overseas and have another new and amazing cultural experience. It seemed that going north would just be repeating an experience I already had and what would I learn from that? I was afraid that going north would be too hard for my little son, as it had been for my daughter. She was bullied so much that we had to leave the north for her safety. Then there was the time that I was absolutely sure that going back to Ontario was the right move. I miss my daughter horribly and I miss the people and the weather of the north. I own a house there and have been unsuccessfully trying to sell it. When I got an offer on it I thought I would finally have enough money to move back. However, the house deal fell through and I can not afford to go there with so much debt. There were other moments/days/weeks where I thought it would be best to stay here. I have an already established job here, teaching science in a great school. I have all my 'stuff' here and my son has a great daycare and it is very pretty here. Why leave? Oh the agony of too many choices!
So the reason I restarted this blog was to hash through all this stuff since the people in my life are probably completely sick of hearing about it. Also, I have decided to go back north next year despite all the challenges (or perhaps BECAUSE of all the challenges) that this presents.
My biggest worry was my son. He will be 3 when we go there this coming August. I was worried about how the daycare would treat him since I am aware that there are some prejudices and racism against us Quallunaat up there with some people. I have since been assured that that will not likely be a problem, especially if I truly commit to being there with all my heart and embrace the community and get involved. Quallunaat that get involved in the community and take part in things are seen differently. One of the mistakes I made last time was to isolate myself when things got difficult. I tend to curl up in a ball when I face difficulties, a tendancy that made it difficult to overcome them more quickly.
I also worried about missing my daughter. I miss her horribly now but I think going there will afford me more opportunities to see her, not less. Since I will be making more money (and trips out are paid for by the board), I may be able to see her more often instead of less despite geography. Also, going overseas would have made it far less likely I would see her more than once a year so that was an option that probably wouldn't have worked out anyway. To see her more often I would have to move back to Ontario and as I have mentioned, that is not fiscally possible.
I still worry about how I will be able to face the challenges of teaching in the north again. It was very difficult and I don't know if I can do it. I'm afriad that I may have become 'soft' after working in the south for so long. Either that or I have gained more skills in dealing with student-teacher conflicts. I guess I will be finding out the hard way.
I have decided to blog about all of this, including the doubts and fears I have in the next few months, in order to either help myself or maybe even other people when they are making their own big life decisions. Mostly I need to figure it out for myself and just thinking things in my head has proven to be a less-than-ideal way to figure out the best path to take. Talking to other people about it is fraught with problems too, most people have an agenda and/or opinions. They try to advise the best way to go but it's hard to know what's truly best for someone else. Especially since you don't know how it's going to be for the other person.
Well...that's enough blogging for today. Until next time