I sometimes wonder if I am absolutely nuts, I mean what kind of person sells everything to go on a gap year with little kids and simply doesn’t come back for ten years and thinks, ‘Everything will work out just fine?’ Oh I guess that would be me!
When we left Vancouver for the prospect of 320 days of sunshine per year in southern France and the idea of time currency (being near home to watch and help nurture our children into happy, healthy and well rounded people) we honestly did not know what the future would hold. We did not know if we would turn around after the first bump on the road, lose our life’s savings in France, or even if we could make a living in Europe to support ourselves. There were many ifs. We went on blind faith in our abilities to make things happen. No matter what, we had no choice but to survive and believe that everything would somehow work out. There were only two options; sink or swim. We let the universe take care of us, open paths and opportunities before us, guiding us in the right directions. And now I am asking the universe to do it for our family one more time to take us home to where it all began. Home to Canada.
The truth is, the Universe will always take care of you!Esther Hicks
So far so true!
Everything seems to be lining up. The sale of the house, cars sold and all the little bits and bobs like ducks in row. Getting down to two suitcases each once again proves more challenging with teenagers, however throwing out, giving stuff away is far easier with two extra sets of hands…
The airline tickets are purchased with Lufthansa, the kids are registered in their new schools in Nanaimo, the beautiful rental cottage on the other end is booked, deposit paid and rental agreements signed, sealed and delivered… We feel like we are making huge dents in our ‘to do’ lists.
Now it is time to find a career, not only a job but a place that will let me do my thing and make the world a better place in some small way. I want to grow deep roots into the community of Nanaimo and/or the surrounding towns, build relationships and remember how much I loved growing up in Duncan.
I want the grass to grow under my feet a little, and take some time to sit still and reflect on the journey we have just finished. Ten years is not nothing, and so much went on, I think I’ll need some time to really makes sense of it all. I am not saying this is the end of our adventures, just time to slow down, find daily routines, get comfortable in a place I want to call home for the long haul. And there is nothing better than looking out towards the pacific, the smell of salt water on the breeze to help with gathering insight.
The difference is slight between a good job and a career, but for someone like me, I really need to utilize all the things I have learned along the way on this messy, crazy adventure called life. There are aspects of skill you learn from years of experience, plugging away at the same job whereas schooling gives you a better understanding of the things that came before you. And of course survival means you would do anything in your power to make things happen, often excepting things that you would never have expected before on the path to success. Perhaps starting out lower on the totem pole and working your way up again, or taking a job that really doesn’t suit you, but at the time that was all there was. These work to survive skills always lead to the next thing, and often looking back they are the moments that real change occurs, real growth and tolerance in oneself. Pushing the boundaries of who you are. Some people are fine with being a spoke on the wheel, and like the routine of sameness while others insist on steering the vehicle. Personally I am more like the gear shift, a little thing that makes the ride better, yet sometimes I like to steer and other times I like the routine too. Adaptability for me is not a problem.
If I had a magic wand, I would create a job where I could still teach and/or help other people reach their full potential, but also create things, manage things and maybe even sell things along the way. I love being around people and am able to get others truly excited about life in general; being positive and excited about life myself can be highly infectious. I am also good at making thing profitable, seeing where and how to make money by stretching budgets and making things happen from sheer will and determination. I think outside of the box, combining different ideas to make something new and I am not afraid of going against the status quo. I would say innovative and creative, self-driven and highly motivated would describe me best!
I also have an uncanny ability to keep things super organized. At the height of the chaos last year I had up to 120 students, all different levels and needs, and kept everyone moving forward in an organized fashion while others were floundering transferring to distance teaching/learning. I thrived. I even loved the chaos and the change, technologies to try and programs to learn. Probably has something to do with the fact that change is such a normal state of being for our family, and comfort or easy are not our norm. Your normal might feel funny to the expat traveller who lives on the outskirts of routine. However, I always need goals to reach, mountains to climb but more importantly obstacles to overcome! I love a good challenge, thrive on stress and after I always feel like I have accomplished something.
Schooling is an interesting thing. Before I went back I was a ferocious reader, anything I could get my little hands on. Same with movies, I love watching stories play out before my eyes. I find I learn alot about all sorts of different kinds of people, from many different walks of life and I always find common ground and ways to relate. How they think, why they do the things they do, and really have a deep understanding of the human condition. I guess most of us get here with age, absorbing things along the way that makes us understand the world and our small part in it better. Perhaps this is a little bit of wisdom which comes with age… the psychology courses did help, but most of it seems like common sense. Especially being a parent and knowing how important it is to give them a soft place to fall at the end of each day.
I have called myself a lifelong learner, not only because I feel that I am listening to everything going on around me and learning from it, but also because going back to school feels like the more I know, the less I actually know and it is an endless journey of the things I feel I need to know next. Once I started this discovery of knowledge, how can I stop? I wish every single person on the planet had open access to information and education as I do now at my age. It would certainly level out the playing field. My only regrets in life is that I didn’t start having children and getting my education sooner. Only because they bring endless amounts of joy to my life.
Anyways that’s me! I have a CV on paper, but below I tried to record my very first video CV. I would love to hear what you think! I am open to suggestions! I plan to make this into a lesson for my Grade 9 English students.