One year. It’s a slice of time we use in adages or celebrate in a Scots poem singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’. That person that occupied earth the last time it passed this very spot in space is now a memory 365 days old. Maybe you can still easily relate to who you were when the planet was a year younger, or maybe that person is such a stranger to you now that you believe time itself is playing tricks on you. The subjectivity of a year is based strictly on how you lived your life during it. It can feel dreadfully long or pass you by without you even noticing. It can swallow you whole and ravage every fibre of your being or it can be as empty as space itself (which, actually, contains the whole observable universe). Yet we are still so unaccustomed to the foolery of a year.
UnCanadian wasn’t originally intended to document (both explicitly and implicitly) a year that would easily become one of the most intense periods of change in my life. That’s because it wasn’t supposed to be so volatile – although, as I’ve learned, big life changes tend to crop up as soon as you’ve gotten comfortable and when you least expect them. I didn’t intend on charting a whole new course a mere three months after launching the blog. Letting go of the original UnCanadian script was me starting over again and fighting through many of the fears I had developed along the way. I rearranged my goals with haste and the blog turned inward. Though I’m not a perfect human today, I am one thousand times better and happier than I was when I abandoned the trip, and that’s something.
As I moved forward and found a more adaptive self, I began to gather everything that meant anything to me in my life. This great collaboration produced more life-changing results in April when I was offered a position as a Graduate Student in the Masters of Social Work Program at the University of Toronto. This is an opportunity not yet quantifiable but definitively mind-blowing in that it will turn my passions into a lifelong career. The decision warrants the humility one feels when multiple people whom you love and respect aggressively fight for your goals – my references, mentors and unwavering supporters have helped make it possible, and the offer means so much more than two years at school; it means I get to do something I love because other people think I’ll be good at it. What, I ask, could be a greater blessing?
What happened almost immediately after I learned of my acceptance can only be explained as life handing me an all-you-can-eat platter of awesome, for that same fateful rainy night in mid-April wasn’t yet finished with surprises. Through a social engagement with an old friend befallen from a recent post on UnCanadian I became privy to an opportunity to re-establish a connection with a community I had long since left. My old job at camp was reopening and I was asked to return as Program Director for Scouts Canada’s largest day and residential summer program in Ontario, hosted on the Woodland Trails property an hour North of Toronto. Under this position I will be overseeing all program delivery while seizing the unique opportunity to mentor and manage a staff of young adults that execute activities like rock climbing, archery, mountain biking and more. The proposition is, as you can probably tell, ridiculously exiting to me.
As I move forward so there are other consequences to the making and unravelling of these plans. My time is about to be completely usurped by the constant goings-on of camp life, not to mention the fact that I will be removed from my city life in July and August, returning on weekends only. What will follow thereafter can only be described as the normal typhoon of grad school academia that catastrophically transforms one’s existence into the advent of late-night essay crunches, caffeine-fueled marathon study sessions and overly dedicated practicum placements. This will be my new reality to which I am willingly subjecting myself because deep down inside I am really in love with the act of learning and the act of challenging oneself outside of a comfort zone, but in doing so I have had to make some other decisions. Embracing this tidal wave of change means I must be willing to commence other parts of my life. My job at March of Dimes has its numbered days – seven weeks until I say goodbye to the organization that motivated me to push further and find a new path, to which I am grateful for.
Also, most notably on this forum, UnCanadian has reached the end of its short history as a blog. The truth is that its relevancy to me will fade in the coming weeks and I am giving it a respectful burial. I could not have foreseen the purpose of UnCanadian on the day it launched last year, but indeed it became a support to me when I most desperately needed it. I will be turning my focus onto micro-blogging via Twitter and Facebook (maybe even Instagram if I can wrap my head around it) in an effort to increase networking as I step forward as a Social Worker In-Training.
I bid thee farewell, interwebs, as I move forward with this next big endeavour. Much love from the most UnCanadian Canadian.