I have always been one of those people who defended Manitoba. After high school my fellow graduates scattered like panicked insects, heading far and wide…and mostly west. Western Canada drew these Manitobans with the promise of less taxes and more pay for labour jobs like heavy construction and drilling for oil. Some of my high school friends went to college or university in Alberta and B.C. All the while, I stayed in Manitoba and scoffed at their “grass is greener” mentality.
It`s beautiful here! I love summer! Look at the fall leaves! Cross-country skiing is awesome! I love to watch a thunderstorm rolling towards us across the prairies. You don`t even understand what it is to see the sky until you`ve stood in a canola field on a summer day. Ìf you`re not from the prairie… is one of my favourite children`s books by David Bouchard. Manitobans, read it. It will fill you with such nostalgia you will nearly cry.
Twenty years later I find myself daydreaming about moving west myself. I wrote this blog series because the main reaction I get when I tell my friends and colleagues about my plans to move to B.C. is, “What!? Why!?” And so, this is me…thinking out loud…explaining my flip-flop both to myself and my loved ones. And also building evidence of my teaching identity for prospective B.C. employers.
This decision seems sudden to people other than me and my husband. But when I think about it, this choice has been a long time in the making.
Ten years ago my parents went through a messy divorce and sold our family home; a home they had spent my entire life dreaming about, scrimping for and building by hand. When this home – their home - and their relationship left my life, it was the first time my sense of home was shaken. And if this seems sad, it is. If this seems sort of pathetic (since I was already a grown, married woman with a career and a house of her own) – I think it is. But I guess that`s where the first chink in the armor was struck.
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