A year, and a little bit, older
It’s that time of year again, well, with a few more days added on for good measure, that I celebrate getting that bit older.
This year has been a rollercoaster through the mist, with the underpinning oppression of the global pandemic on all our lives. The world has slowed down, and many things of last year remain unaccomplished.
In the last year, I can look back with smiles and joy at some moments, sadness at others, and frustration at more. I’m also in a massive state of flux with my move to Vancouver and all that entails.
Reading back my post from last year, perhaps the prescient nature of my prose comes through. At that point I had applied for the job at UBC, and was sitting with fingers and toes crossed about the possibilities. This feeling of excitement was tempered, as I was also sitting firmly pissed off and upset with a number of things in the background.
Most of those things have resolved themselves, simply because I’ve run away. This hasn’t been an easy choice, but it has given me fresh headspace and new opportunities to discover what I should love about work and life more generally, and to provide me with a mid-career and mid-life boost.
It is worth taking a pause to note that — I do not think I imagined how mentally and physically exhausting this move would be. There is a continual “have I sorted this out yet”, coupled with some fears about making & sustaining friendships, and the sense of loss of my past adventure.
I sit here typing away nervous, but excited for my future. The mid career move is filled with internal and external expectation, and I certainly left my last job when there was so much potential still in me there. Even writing that down fills me with a feeling of self-loss, what if I had stayed?
In these moments, I take a deep breath. It’ll be ok, in whatever form ok looks like. I can do this, and people are supportive and encouraging around me, with a healthy sense of realism.
I am also comforted to realise that I’m genuinely happier and more in control of my life right now. I have a firmer idea of my own expectations, especially with regards to a work-life balance.
This is hugely facilitated by the new environment I am settling within. I am excited to explore how I can give back and be considerate of these gifts, especially within the tensions and context of Canada and the lands on which we often sit.
For work and home, there are new ‘irons in the fire’. These are plentiful and varied, leaving space for new opportunity as well as for some to fail. Some include collaborations, personal friendships, and growing new aspects to my personality afforded by my change in circumstances.
I shall have to see what works, what does not, and keep on trying new things to keep life interesting. Hindsight and rose tinted glasses do not always go hand in hand, but I am reminded that we can’t succeed if we do not try.
This trying year has reminded me of the importance of friends and family. There is a strange feeling inside where I worry about taking these people for granted, I doubt that will change. I’ll try to continue to remember to say thank you, to listen more, and to pass the kindness and good cheer forward.
A non-exhaustive list of thank you and shutouts to those who have shared in my journey of the last year. Thank you Chris (& fam!!!), Jess, Sam, Dorin, James, Carol, Mariama, Finn, Chad, Christine, Bat, Amanda, Yasmine, Kath, Angus, Philippa, Martin, Fionn, Stella, Nick and Katie. Your collective support, camaraderie, physical and virtual adventures and more has buoyed me forwards.