Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Lessons to London

Two weeks back in the Bay, and as far out in left field as ever. I don’t know if it is to my advantage that I still feel displaced. Usually, when you return from a vacation, or time abroad, it takes you a couple of days to get back into your schedule. Yes, you pine for the experience, but life goes on again. It is inevitable.

My life isn’t going on….

Maybe it was because I was not vacationing; maybe it was because I went with the intent to stay, but I am not readjusting to my life. I am in limbo, and am moderately displaced. London was my independence, my career, and my ambition. Home is my safety net, in which I can hide from all challenges. This time though, the challenge is in being home. Honestly, I am OK with the displacement at the moment – that is what keeps me motivated to return. I am continually asked- why not teach in Thunder Bay? Ontario? Canada? Closer to home? etc etc etc. That is where people miss the point. If I am going to teach, I want the full experience. I want to live on my own, in a place completely separated from Thunder Bay, have the career, and the independence. God, I want my independence. I want to say that I can cope with change, experience what most people only dream of, and be the person that I thought I was.

I am still kicking myself for coming back here. I made the mistake of letting my emotions govern my head, in a moment of weakness. I should have just gone out and signed with another agency. But then, there was that substantial financial risk – I could still be sitting in London with moderate amounts of work. And stressing about it; so much stress! Instead, I disrupted my transition by returning here, which in retrospect I should not have done. Why? Because when I go back, I will have to start from emotional scratch again – right?

The past year has posed many challenges, and yet I am not sure I am any further ahead. Maybe in personal growth (if you want to look at it from a teacher’s perspective!! HA HA HA). It has been a year since I decided to loose my university weight. I still have a bit to go, but that has been moderately successful, yet an emotional rollercoaster ride. I can’t say that I’ve particularly enjoyed it (but that is a whole separate blog entry!). Then there was Banbury. Oh Banbury….what can be said about that? I wasn’t ready for Banbury – I made so many mistakes in deciding to go. Aside from taking a terrible contract, I emotionally wasn’t ready. So disassociated from my decision was I, that I rushed into a decision with no prior knowledge. Is that not the basis of teaching? Prior knowledge, scaffolding, etc. I know the buzz terms and yet, I do not live by them. So what brought me to Banbury – the realization that I was suddenly hitting an age in which I am supposed to have answers. Suddenly I needed to have my career, be moved out of my family home, have a direction, and have the future all figured out. Leap first…

I was far from ready for Banbury though. I was so scared about weight (sad, but true), money, my career decision, etc. Add all of the apprehension and uncertainty and Banbury was on route for a cataclysmic crash. Under the right circumstances (or mentality) I could have made the bad contract work out. I tried to change my life overnight (and still remain emotionally detached from it) and that does not happen.

And so back to Thunder Bay I went. And I was OK when I got here. I expected to have a crash when I returned, but I did not. I went on living, although still detached from my life. I did not really think too much about Banbury, and yet debated myself on a daily basis. And over time, as I numbed Banbury, I realized that I wanted to return to England and try again. Wait…no…it wasn’t nearly so romantic as it sounds. One day I woke up and realized that I needed to either sh*t or get off the pot (that is the expression, after all) and decided to stop debating myself, and go back to England. I wasn’t disassociated from this decision; I had every emotion possible.

And then came London. Moving is always a difficult task; for some reason it is harder when there is an ocean between you and home. That “home will always be there” mentality doesn’t really help. No matter how you try to convince yourself that “home is merely a plane ride away”, it is still an incredibly lonely experience. You have two options – either let that loneliness consume you, or force yourself to integrate with society. I let my loneliness consume me – initially. Sometimes you forget about that lag-time – you know what I mean; the time between continual upheaval and settling. Moving to London was a huge upheaval, and settling seemed like a distant illusion. Then arises the larger problem (and I did discuss this while in London) – integrating your home life with your present life. Two lives? No I’m not crazy (much).

When you try to establish a new life, completely separated from your familiarity, you begin to see your old life slipping away. You start to worry about your old life forgetting you. I had this plan that I could lessen the blow by staying well connected to home (technology, you see!). I don’t think that is a good solution though – by staying in constant contact with home you actually impede yourself from adapting to your new environment. Or integrating yourself with it. You begin to realize how far removed you are. It becomes harder to function, and eventually it gets harder to breathe. The only answer to all of this? Establish a happy median, in which you stay connected, but gradually lessen the connection.

I have been fortunate; I have had people who have come with me on this bumpy ride. Through the weight loss, Banbury, London, the Thunder Bay Fallout (that’s what we shall call it from here on). My Mom mainly, a couple of friends who have heard me ponder, breakdown, rise up, break back down, and remained fairly tolerant of my indecisiveness. I have made no secret of my commitment issues, but there comes a point that you have to commit to something. It is the same point at which you also realize that you need to move on with your life. So back to the original point of this entry – why am I not teaching closer to home? Because I want to experience life, and it is time for me to leave the safety net and establish my own independence. It is easier said than done, right? I just hope that as long as I maintain this displacement, I will continue with my desire to return.

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