My life is about to dramatically change in a matter of months and though I am fairly nervous, the excitement and happiness has definitely overridden my nerves. Soon I will be trading mountains for ocean, cold weather for hot. Some people probably think I am crazy. They thought I was crazy for moving up here to Northern Canada where it was supposed to be colder than home… jokes on them, most days of winter it was colder in Toronto than it was here. At least it seemed that way anyways. I may not have taken advantage of all the opportunities I could have while being here. I spent a few months a bit isolated and trying to be happy alone again, and that is fine. I am glad I did. Because right now I am feeling on top of the world and like nothing can bring me back down again.
Let’s get back to the part where people think I am crazy. I often get people asking when I am going to ‘settle down’, as if I am at an age where it is becoming less appropriate for me to want to wander around the world and do the things I want to do, instead of staying home and working a stable job and of course getting married and having 2.5 kids. The reality is, because of the fact that I do not want marriage and kids, my life is without timelines and deadlines. I do not need to find my forever partner, since I do not believe in forever anyways. I do not need to find a job to make sure I get maternity leave, because I will never need maternity leave. I do not have to find someone to be with by a certain age to make sure I have kids before my ‘eggs dry up’, because I do not want any of it. With that freedom, comes power. The power to live my life according to my own desires. And there is nothing more freeing than that.
So I choose to go where the wind takes me. I chose to come up here to the Yukon after visiting my friend Bryn, because I just wanted to get away from home and experience new things, while doing the one thing I love most, teaching. And it has worked out so well for me. I have been substitute teaching here since October and that alone has made my happier than I could even imagine. I may not have my own classroom, but working in the same two schools most of the time, I have created relationships with the students and fellow teachers, and I get to have students excited to see that I am teaching them for the day when they walk into the class in the morning. It’s the little things like that, that you just can’t ever really put into words how it makes you feel.
After being up here, surviving the winter, I am now ready to move on to something more my speed. I have missed the warmth and as much as I love mountains, I adore the ocean. I thrive in hot climates. I make the most of my time doing things I enjoy doing. I plan to buy a stand up paddle board before I leave and bring it with me. I can do that every day of my life, living right on the ocean side. I will buy a bike once I get there to ride around the island, who needs motorized vehicles anyways. These are the things I enjoy doing. I have a lazy side to me, which I think my last relationship brought out a little too much of in me. And now I am ready to get back to the active part of me that I know exists, when the activities are things I enjoy doing.
You know what is amazing about moving from place to place? I have lived in four vastly different places in my life, aside from my hometown, the other three were not exactly long periods of time. And because of that I get to experience new things whenever I want. Different events that happen in the areas I live, I have never experienced before, and get to experience for the first time. For example, last week I went to the Burning Away the Winter Blues event here in Whitehorse, where everyone gathered at the SS Klondike and walked in procession to the Robert Service Campground where there was a massive bonfire. They threw in a yeti effigy and people wrote down their winter blues to burn away in the fire. I had never experienced anything like it. And for many people there it was something they did every year, they probably weren’t as excited or intrigued as I was. But I was fascinated with such a cool concept, especially for someone in need of burning away some last bits of negativity holding on.
How lucky am I, that I get to continually experience new things in different cultures throughout my life. I get to feel the excitement of the new and unknown constantly. For some, the new and unknown is frightening, but I am starting to realize I thrive on change. Being stagnant makes me miserable. I love my family. I love my friends. But I love making new friends around the world. I love having relationships with people who have experienced life different than me, and that can show me life as they live in, where they are. I am lucky enough to have made some pretty great friends in all of the places I have lived. Many of whom I still keep in touch with; some more than others. And this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my old friends any less, but I just enjoy having a varied community of people whom I love and enjoy spending my life with.
It’s an incredible thing, being able to just go where you want to go. Do the things you want to do. No one stopping you from living your life exactly as you see fit. I think people nowadays get so caught up in comparing their lives to everyone else. “So and so got married, they’ve only been together a year, me and _____ have been together 5”. Not everyone has the same life path. Not everyone wants the same things. No one can tell you how to live your life. It’s up to you to decide what you want, and how you will get it. A good life doesn’t just happen, you make it happen. You cannot expect to just wake up and be happy. You have to find the things that make you happy.
I made a joke the other day on Facebook about how I look on my social media and everyone is getting married, having babies, really starting their careers, and meanwhile I am excited to once again be moving away to some other part of the planet. And I meant it in the way that it is fascinating that so many of my peers, as well as I, have different priorities in life. We thrive on different things. We have different goals. Different things that make us happy. And that is okay. If everyone wanted the same thing, life would be pretty mundane. That’s what make life so interesting. The different people you meet with the different ideas of what life is supposed to look like for them. I do not look down upon anyone who wants to get married and have kids, just because I do not. I may not understand the antiquated tradition of marriage, but if that is what makes my friends happy, I am happy for them. All I want for the people in my life is for them to be living the lives they choose, and that they are happy in their choices. They can get married, or travel the world, or have babies, or do all of it. There is no limit what you can do, as long as you are prepared to do what you can to make it happen.
Lucky for me, I have surrounded myself with the most supportive friends and family a girl can ask for. They are there for me in times of sorrow and happiness. And they support my crazy decisions to move to the North, or the ocean. I just wish I could bring them all with me sometimes, because even with technology the way it is these days, there’s nothing like face to face interactions with the people you love.