Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Life Changes

I am a couple of weeks from turning 30, and my life is at a crossroads. To put it mildly, I'm overwhelmed. ***I apologize in advance for the negative tone of this post. I just realized how many things I had been ignoring and suppressing so now it's coming up like word vomit*** I get angry when I get vulnerable, and currently I feel very insecure about my future and out of control.

I just completed my 2nd year teaching in Ottawa and this much I know:
- I'm over city living
- I need something different
- I feel completely disconnected from everyone and am seriously lacking any sense of community or sense of belonging
- There is nothing keeping me in Ottawa
- As a French teacher I can find work virtually everywhere - this in particular has made the options of where to move to endless
- Due to the fact I don't know what my exact plans are, I have been unable to communicate this to anyone and have been suffering in silence

I have always been a planner - a very type A person. To this point in my life I have attempted to map out and control the direction of my life. But despite my efforts, if you had asked 20 year old Britney where her life would be, this would not be it. I saw myself at 30 with a husband, a couple of kids and a house.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my life. I have a career that I love, hobbies I enjoy, pretty good physical health, and a stable and supportive family. However my very low tolerance for drama and stress has (this year in particular) forced me to cut many people out of my life. My work situation was similar; due to the fact that I was covering a one year maternity leave, I didn't see the point in investing time and energy into those relationships - as I knew I was leaving. I also know myself well enough and as an emotional person, I suppose to a certain extent I was looking to make my departure easier on myself at the end of the school year.

I am almost 30, and I honestly didn't see myself with such an unclear future. I have few romantic pursuits (I could go on a tangent about the waste of time that is online dating), very few friends I am motivated to see and hang out with, and in general am feeling very helpless at the state of the world and current events in the news. I am incredibly frustrated with the housing market. As a single woman who makes a pretty decent income; I can't afford anything. What pisses me off the most is that I feel I logically did things right: I went to school, I got a job in my field of study, and irritatingly the inflation of wages did not increase at the same rate as the housing bubble. The only way I'll be able to own a home is if I have a dual income (partner), win the lottery, find me a doctor, or buy a tiny home. Many days I just want to go off-grid, get myself a tiny house, and travel the world.

As the end of the year trip, my Grade 8 students got the opportunity to go to Quebec city. I came back from the Quebec trip with a sore throat, that quickly progressed to a head-cold, to a fever, to laryngitis. It has now been a week, and I am still battling the throat soreness and loss of voice. I quickly realized that my throat pain and illness is most likely related to stress and the pressure I am currently under to figure out what to do with my life in the next few weeks.

My initial plan months ago was to move to Prince Edward Island. I have traveled there on several occasions and to me it is the most beautiful place on the planet. I went through the hassle of getting a PEI teaching licence (Canada irritatingly requires a different provincial licence for each region you wish to teach in) only to discover that there is a housing crisis on the island and virtually nowhere to live. So I have work, but no housing. This sent me back to the drawing board.
The current state of education in Ontario is not ideal under Doug Ford, with massive cuts to Special Education funding and increases in class sizes so I don't particularly want to stay in this province.

My current thought is to move to British Columbia, which has presented it's own set of challenges and things to think about. I would have to go through the process of getting a BC teaching licence, which for whatever reason is far more laborious than the PEI one. Trying to choose a city is also up in the air. I have a few friends in various cities, as well as family on the West Coast so there are many options. Most school boards are hiring French teachers as well, which bodes well for me. But for whatever reason teachers in BC have the lowest wages in the country - which considering the high cost of living seems pretty counter-intuitive. BC is also quite a hike away from Ontario - a 8 hour plan trip one way, so transportation is also another factor.

I am travelling to British Columbia starting next week, so I am hoping that my time there will help bring some clarity and decisiveness to what I will be doing in September. Sending good vibes to everyone out there :) <3


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