I'm genuinely the luckiest person in the world. I am constantly giving thanks for the splendid, wonderful, and full life I have right now. Constantly pinching myself. Repeatedly being ok with how things are going where I'm going who I'm going with.
Exactly a year ago I was in the worst place. My marriage was officially over. I was in love with someone who said I was crazy and fabricated the whole thing. I was extremely poor and running out of the food I had stored. The house I lived in was infested with mold. And I hated myself through and through. There was a point where I was TWO DAYS from giving notice on my place and moving back to the island to live with my family. I honestly thought things wouldn't get better, that no one would love me, that I was the worst parent ever, and that I would never love myself and even if I did, what the fuck would it matter. The store wouldn't ever open. I wouldn't be able to deal with my debt. That all the shit I taught myself about myself via my shitty marriage, fat shame most of my life, the self-harm, the codependency, the anxiety/stress, the depression, it was who I was and nothing would ever change. Ever.
I wish I could say magic happened. Or that the universe FINALLY listened and gave me what I deserved + what I was working for. Or that I worked so hard good things happened. But all of that is bullshit. I really don't know what I'm doing (specifically). I really don't know what I did (exactly). And I really don't know where I'm going (probably). Before 2012 I had spent the past 20 years of my life lying to myself that everything was ok. That I was ok. If I just kept going and pretended nothing was wrong then nothing WAS wrong and I would be OK. There are major parts of my life I have blacked out on. Who really knows what happened or how I handled things if I even had the agency to do so. And how much of that has been a driver in all the mental health shit I've slogged through since 2012, really.
What 2012 to now (and the last year in particular) has taught me are a handful of life lessons that I will carry forward with me as I navigate situations, build and maintain relationships, and make good decisions about my life + my kid's life. Most importantly, I learned them by looking into myself, letting my guard down and opening up to my friends, and seeking professional help. Lots of feedback, lots of support, lots of different outlooks on who I was as a person and who I needed to be (and how to get there). I learned that I'm not an island and that I need my family ("real" and created) to heal, survive, and be stronger. My decision to come back to PG and be with my PG family and "follow my dreams" was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
This calendar year it has been my intention to be vulnerable. To go out of my comfort zone. To take risks. To do things that scare me. To choose a different path. To be my own person and figure out who that is. My overall hope is healing from the past shit and move into the future with new skills for coping. Over the past few weeks I've had a number of dreams where the lesson has been about me trying my old coping mechanisms and them failing and having to try new ones (which work). Cheesy I know, but one of them was a zombie apocalypse dream--fun!!--and they were telling. It's time to do new things and figure out new ways of being. The future is good. The present is wonderful. Keep going.
All of this is actually preamble for the big reveal of this blog post: I'm not applying for a PhD program + I'm not leaving PG anytime soon. (BOOM). Inside me for a long time has been this desire to feed the nerd beast inside me. I LOVE SCHOOL. I love research. I love writing. I love DISCOURSE. We all know my MA ended in shit (fuuuuck) and when I told people I wanted to pursue a PhD, lots of people were like, "but you said you would never!" But I was excited! I wanted to do the work (I still want to do the work) and I wanted to support communities to build food sovereignty! So this past semester I took two classes, maintained an A- GPA, and even published a paper. But I hated it. I skipped classes. I disdained everyone. Repeatedly I said I couldn't wait for it to be over. I struggled to make it a priority. And I learned my lesson: I can't "do everything" and if I want to do school I have to JUST do school. I'm good at it. I should give it my all. But I don't want to give it my all. Fuck the system, really. The industrial academic complex is too much for me and I see it as something that needs lots of work. I don't want to feel like I always have to fix it and I'm not prepared to spend all that time and energy on something that I can't change. And I'm not willing to change ME to fit. sorrynotsorry.
Part of my story is that I am always afraid to put down roots and I'm never willing to really be myself in a place. In this moment I really feel like I can be myself and Prince George is my place. I'm falling in love with the most amazing woman I've met in my entire life. I am building a business and community with the bestest friend a lady can ask for. I am taking better care of myself. I am being active. I am making good choices for myself. I'm having so much fun. I still don't know if I want to put down roots here and my swan song of "I will only live there for a year" will turn into at least a few more. I still want to be a farmer with my sisters and have land and baby animals to love and vegetables to grow. My decision to stay in PG means the long term projects I've wanted to work on here can and will happen, which is exciting. In the words of my sister, "the roots go down and the life comes up." I know it's cliche whatever, but I'm ready to put down some roots and grow my life in this place and with these people.