In Words: Canada (2005 – 2010)

I have so much to say, but so little time to say it. My mind is neither here nor there, as I am in a huge transitional phase between Canada and Japan. I never expected to live in Edmonton for five years (less three months in the winter wonderland of Winnipeg). I never expected I’d end up in Japan. Then again, I never expected the Twins to play baseball outside. It has been a rollercoaster of human emotions, to say the least. Five years! Canada! Where to begin… well, it’s been some of the best years of my life. I feel like I’ve grown emotionally, spiritually, and I am an overall better person because of this change. You figure out a lot of shit in your late 20s and it’s extremely exciting to me to be able to go through this process. There is so much still left to sort out in this life, but I have realized that by taking your life one day at a time and focusing on the important things, life has a funny way of taking care of you.

I left my career as a Workstation Support Analyst for the opportunity to be an Assistant Language Teacher in Japan (more on that later). Leaving the cushy cubicle life was not an easy decision, however I did not have to think too much about it. I spent over three years coming and going from that little cubicle on the 1st floor of one of Edmonton’s oldest buildings. I fixed some computers, checked and sent a lot of emails, drank a daily coffee, and made a lot of great friends while doing this job. But, anyway, no career is forever. I enjoyed the corporate environment for what it was. I did not take myself or my job too seriously, however, I always did my best.

Canada, though. Wow. It definitely has a lot going for it and a lot of confusing/insecure aspects. Great healthcare (I don’t care what the newspapers say — what do they say, anyway?), hockey-obsessed (ehh…let them have hockey), Tim Hortons addiction, curling bonspiels (never did try curling!), loonies, toonies, Toonie Tuesdays, awkward banking system, mediocre customer service (damn you boom!), culturally diverse/confused, vast prairies, monumental mountains, expensive beer (even Molson – nasty!), world-class golf, breathtaking skiing, awesome people. This was my Canada. It’s impossible to wrap Canada up in any type of language. But I am proud to say I am Canadian. And I am happy to have called this country home for the past little while. I do not regret a second of it.

So, on to Japan. No idea what to expect. I will soon call Kudamatsu City home. Kudamatsu is a town of about 50,000 located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which is the southern most prefecture on Japan’s Honshu island (same island that hosts Tokyo and Osaka). I am beyond excited, with 25% of that excitement being downright nerves. I feel confident, though. I have been studying the language rather seriously for the past year, so am looking forward to communicating in this new tongue on a daily basis. Man, has learning a new language ever made me appreciate English! This is a huge reason why I am going over there to assist with teaching English. Empathy will be key to this position, along with an open mind. I will make the most of it and look forward to all the challenges and new opportunities!

With that, I bid a fond farewell to Canada and my life here — oh so bittersweet. It has been a trip. I know I will always have a home here and cannot wait to come back someday 🙂