(Me about 1 year ago on Long Beach, Tofino, BC)
I am so looking forward to moving day! Jan 8!
Only in the past few weeks, since the purchase of our new home went through, have I started to feel settled in Victoria. Remember when I wrote about looking before you leap, leap and learn how to land? Well until we had our housing situation locked down, Victoria wasn’t a permanent home. It is scary to see rent skyrocketing, even in just the six months we have been here. There is a unit listed in our building – smaller than our 500 sq foot one bedroom – for $1800/month.
It’s crazy. Renters are more vulnerable than ever before.
We are so, so lucky to have been able to buy a home, and bring our cost of living back down and stabilize it at a reasonable level. With that sigh of relief, I finally lifted my head up and looked around at this place we have landed. Victoria. We live here now!
My friends, this is a really amazing city! I am a country mouse, I will always fondly remember and miss the ocean, the expansive unaltered beaches, the rainforest, the prolific, wild, powerful omnipresence of wildlife.
Ukee became a part of me. So did the hospital. It was tough to say goodbye, in no small part because I was leaving a part of my identity behind. My life on the coast defined me as a person, through my choices, sacrifices, and values.
But let’s be real here: I knew two years ago that we would probably need to move on. As much as I loved my hospital job, it was part time and the math on a part time pension does not work out in our favour. Not only that, but there wasn’t much opportunity to develop professionally, only a distance-learning university, which made little sense to invest in at the time, knowing that eventually, our housing would de-stabilize, and our entire future really depended upon getting out of the ballooning rental market and into a mortgage. THEN I could think about school.
And now we’re here! I suddenly have access to a couple of colleges snd an excellent university. Which brings me to the next delicious, heart-fluttering question: WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?
I have been given an opportunity to reinvent myself. Ukee Kate is a part of my story, and Psychic Kate will always be me, don’t worry. I’ll be doing sessions even after I retire from the general workforce. Sessions on Sundays is my church.
Now, what about the other six days?
I still work for the health authority, and my job is OK. It has a lot in common with the job I left in Toronto, ten years ago. It’s an office, the work is necessary and important. I am truly grateful for it. Not only did the transfer increase my income, but my schedule is potentially a lot more flexible, as this job needs staff from 5am – midnight.
The main thing I have in common with my new colleagues is that many of us came to work there while in a transition in life. New graduates or current students, quite a few people going through breakups, more than a few veterans of the west coast, people who lived and worked in Tofino for a year or two.
This is a really small island, folks. Not geographically, it takes 8 hours to drive from tip to tip, and four hours to drive side to side. But the community is pretty much continuous, which is comforting.
So, what do I DO?
I think that’s my big question for the next year. I mean, technically, I could probably stay in my current job the rest of my working career, but I think doing do would be doing myself a disservice. One of my Tofino Hospital friends said that staying where I am long term wouldn’t be working to my full potential.
So what DO I DOOOOOO?
This is a luxurious question!
Maybe you can help me out – if you have any thoughts or advice, please feel free to share them here in the comments, or email me if you prefer.
One of the potential directions I am thinking of is social work. I don’t think front-line social work would be the best fit for me, just like primary care nursing was not a good fit, but you can do a lot with a degree in social work. Even more with a masters.
I may start out with taking a single course and seeing how that goes. I have no interest in taking out student loans, so any continuing education would be part-time. I was originally looking at healthcare administration, but social work would also prepare me for an administration position, and open up job opportunities not just in hospitals but in government, in care homes, in corrections, and in outreach programs. A close friend of mine is becoming a parole officer! I don’t think that’s for me, but it does go to show you that there is satisfyingly work to be done all over the place.
I feel like I want to better arm myself to not just make a better living, but to have more of a positive impact over my lifetime.
I also found a counsellor who has multiple BAs and IS actually a social worker, so I’m hoping consulting with him will help me with my next steps.
Who knows where life is taking me next? Victoria will become a part of me too. I wonder who I will become?