What a wild rollercoaster ride this last year has been! Char and I have both been so busy with school and enjoying the little things as much as possible. This led to a break from twowildtides that we both felt we needed. We were both being pulled in so many different directions that we needed to take a step back. But here I am with an update on life and the future of twowildtides.
Life has taken so many twists and turns this past year especially for my path. I have kept my current journey relatively quiet and off of social media this past year. However, I moved to Ottawa to pursue my Bachelor of Education in the Junior/Intermediate Division which is Grade 4-10. Going back to school was a difficult decision that I toyed with for many months. However, sometimes you just have to take the plunge and go for it! I did. First and foremost I will always be an Actor but I’ve always enjoyed working with children and sharing my passion for the Arts + Athletics. I’m not sure where my career will take me but what I can tell you is that I love Theatre, I love telling stories, I love creating, I love acting and I love to teach. I feel the most myself, the most free, barefoot in a room of other artists – creating. My dream career will allow me to do all of those things simultaneously. That’s not too much to ask, right? (haha).
I moved into my shoebox sized, overpriced, questionably located apartment in Gatineau this past September. I made it my temporary home and it did have a cozy charm. I embarked on this new journey determined to incorporate the Arts in my teaching and work toward creating cross curricular lessons. Thankfully, I had the best placement in the entire world. I feel like I hit the jackpot with an incredible, diverse group of grade 4 students and an amazing Associate Teacher. Immediately, I was comfortable in this classroom, in this Middle School. My Associate Teacher taught me so much in such a short amount of time, helped me grow, gain confidence and gave me a lot of freedom.
I had an incredible highlight in November when I found out that my first play had been selected as a finalist to be workshopped in New Brunswick. A quick flight followed by a whirlwind weekend turned out to be a fabulous experience. My first play Tangent was workshopped and discussed. I heard my characters come to life for the first time. It was an incredible and terrifying opportunity. When your work is read aloud by other artists you really hear what’s working and what is definitely not. This weekend came at a time where I was feeling creatively disconnected and it was exactly what I needed. My play is still developing and changing. I submitted it to this workshopping opportunity on a whim and was thrilled to have been selected. Moral of the story: always apply, always send in your work even if you don’t have the qualifications and even if you think it’s sh*t. Chances are it’s a lot better than you think it is and anything you’re passionate about is worth a shot! After less than 48 hours in Saint John, NB it was back to Ottawa!
Throughout the Fall I had the opportunity to spend every Wednesday in the classroom. I felt ready and eager going into my December practicum. The first week went smoothly with many lesson learned and small victories. This practicum taught me so much about appreciating the small things, the little wins (that are actually HUGE) and finding the positives in every day. The Sunday before week #2 while at a matinee movie, my stomach started killing me. I tried to brush it off and thought it must just be one of my Chronic Illnesses acting up. I’m so accustomed to being in pain that it wasn’t a new symptom. By the time we got home, I was keeled over unable to move all afternoon. I literally needed help to walk but I kept brushing it off as Chronic Illness pain. My boyfriend repeatedly asked if we needed to go to the hospital. I insisted that I was fine. As I was curled up in bed that night, I looked at him and said watch it be my appendix. We both laughed thinking that was absurd. Nathan had to get up around 4:30am to drive to work. When he woke up in the morning – he asked again if I needed to be dropped off at the hospital. I said no. I didn’t sleep a wink. It hurt to roll over. Two hours after he left, I hobbled down to the car and drove myself to the hospital. I swear I’m the most stubborn person in the world.
Once I arrived at the hospital, I spent most of the day in the ER being called in and out. I had so many different tests including the most painful ultrasound of my life. Finally, the Doctor called me back in standing at his work station he looked at me and said it’s your appendix. Deep down I think I had known that fact all along. He proceeded to tell me that I would be admitted for emergency surgery. I remember saying “So I guess I’m not leaving tonight, eh?”. He said “No.” with a chuckle. The Nurse proceeded to hook me up to an IV and I dragged it behind me as I called Nathan’s friend to ask him to fill him in (Nate’s phone was broken). He hopped back in the car (which he had already packed because deep down I think he knew too) and arrived at the hospital just over 2 hours later. Shortly after he arrived I got a room upstairs and was officially admitted.
We waited together for a while before they came to take me to the OR. A couple hours later I was back in my room. The Doctors and Nurses were so kind and even hunted down a Jello cup for me the next morning. I was up walking relatively quickly trying to show them that I was ready to get out of there. By noon the next morning I was discharged. We went home and I slept like a baby. The recovery was quite painful as they had pumped me full of CO2 during the surgery. Let me tell you feeling gas bubbles in your shoulders and ribcage really sucks. After the first few days I started to feel a little better. It took longer than I anticipated to feel 100% and I still have to remind myself to be gentle with my body. Due to where the 3 incisions are my belly looks a little different than it used to and I’m still learning to accept those changes. Our bodies are so strong and the tasks that they can accomplish are incredible. I’m still working on being thankful for my body and all that it has/continues to do for me. It’s easy to get caught up on how your body looks or what you dislike but I (try to) remind myself that this body has also helped me win gold medals, complete the Salkantay trek in Peru and has taken me across 6 continents. At the end of the day those are the things that are important but sometimes they’re hard to see.
Luckily I had healed up enough that I was able to make it back for my last few days of Practicum. It felt so good to get out of the house and move around. I was really grateful for that time with the students. On the last day of Practicum I hopped on a plane to BC for a warmer, rainy Christmas. I got to spend the holiday season with my BF’s family and friends which was a lovely experience. We got to explore Vancouver Island a little bit and even made a quick day trip to Vancouver to see my cousin. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I really missed my parents, family and friends (because I did & still very much do) but I was grateful to be welcomed in to new traditions and experiences.
After a fun, busy Christmas break in British Columbia, it was back to school. I had one course second semester that I absolutely loved. It was so refreshing to have a course that I looked forward to and I genuinely wanted to learn as much as possible. The course was First Nations, Inuit & Metis Education. I learned so much and felt grateful to have the opportunity to engage with the subject matter. I was also frustrated at how little I truly knew before the course – a mixture of the lack of Education that I had in public school on these topics but a large portion also fell on my shoulders. I realized very quickly that I need to continue to actively seek out opportunities to interact and learn from/with these communities. This course ignited something in me and I’ve made a commitment to continue to educate myself while also finding ways to Indigenize my classroom.
Second semester also allowed me to have even more time in the classroom as I was making up time lost from my appendix surgery. I cherished those days because I felt like they were teaching me so much, plus, I loved learning from/with the students. As COVID-19 currently sweeps the country and the planet, our everyday activities have come to a halt (rightfully so). I’m so grateful to those that are working on the front lines of this pandemic. THANK YOU. I also feel incredibly grateful that I’m able to stay home. However, these cancellations brought abrupt endings to many of our plans and it’s okay to grieve those missed opportunities. I’m feeling really sad that I won’t have the chance to say good-bye to my first class, to the grade 4’s that taught me so much about life, empathy and privilege. I won’t get that closure and neither will the students. I’m sad that I didn’t get to say good-bye to my Associate Teacher, to other Staff Members, to my peers and the amazing friends that I’ve made this year. We’re all living in this weird limbo land together.
All of that wordiness to say that I’ve had a bumpy year. It has had many twists and turns. We only scratched the surface in this article but I wanted to give you all an update. I’m grateful that I’m able to stay home. To those of you following the rules and staying home, and for those risking their lives every day to put food on our tables, delivering necessary products, working in health care settings: THANK YOU! This wild year has taught me so many lessons and I have had so many beautiful experiences. I’m grateful to have had the privilege of entering my second degree this past September. I’m grateful to be safely inside as I write this with food in the fridge, a safe bed to sleep in and the ability to FaceTime and connect virtually with so many family members and friends.
Moving forward twowildtides will be a place for our thoughts, experiences and things that are important to us. We won’t be following the rigour of a schedule but rather we will publish when we’re feeling inspired. Thank you for sticking around through all of our ups and downs. We look forward to connecting virtually with you through the blog. Sending big air hugs!
Congratulations if you made it all the way through that article! Love you all!