But with challenges come opportunities. A division of assets could mean an inheritance that I never expected to receive, a possibility that requires a lot of soul-searching. I feel like I've reached a point of no return in some ways, not able to return to the life I was living before I returned to my rural roots. I can't imagine living in a high rise and taking the train to a busy office job again; plus I have pets now! What about my permaculture dreams?
It is an interesting process to sort out priorities. And what of passions? Have I actually been following mine, or have I slipped into yet another routine - one that I am now being abruptly shaken out off?
I have to admit, coming back for "round two" of life in my hometown has not really strengthened my bonds with a birthplace I was desperate to escape as a teen. Sure, I can appreciate some of the benefits of a small town more than I used to - and proximity to family is nice, especially for holidays and special occasions - but most of my time has been gobbled up by my job, and spare time spent just trying to recoup my energies in solitude. My gardening adventures have been slow to develop; there is no room to advance at work; and out of the aforementioned 3.5 years I have spent here, my partner has managed to spend a scant couple of months with me. Are these all signs that we are struggling too hard for too little?
I moved back because my dad had passed away at the age of 69 from cancer that took his life very quickly. I wanted to be a support to my mom, as well as my brother who was suddenly running the farm on his own without a lot of help. I also did it for myself, as the farm - in spite of turbulent emotional times growing up - had always represented my most peaceful memories - the lingering dusk and sunsets over the prairies especially. And with no one living in our childhood home, I almost felt like the house was calling me, drawing me home for a break from that hectic city life I had become accustomed to. I found a job opening for something in my field (!), applied and interviewed via webcam, and started the day after I arrived.
It seemed it was all meant to be, and in spite of this current limbo, there are lots of reasons I don't feel it has been a waste of time or a wrong move. The fact is, sometimes things don't last forever - and shouldn't last forever. Jobs come and go; sometimes relationships too! And I probably have 20 years before I can officially retire, so I guess the game is not over yet. Perhaps this was a necessary chapter, a bridge between past and future that has allowed me closure that I wouldn't have obtained from a distance. I've had to be a driver again, although city driving is something I still avoid like the plague. I've been privileged to encounter friends of my grandmother's, as well as get to know my only niece while she is still young. And I've had lots of precious quiet time on my beloved farm before having to say goodbye.