Thursday, 6 February 2014

Rebeca in Haiti V: Homeward-bound

Hmm... I didn't do that well at keeping up my blog, did I? In my defence, I do microblog every day.

I'm writing from Canada at the moment, during an official snow day, and with about 40cm of snow piled up at my doorstep. I've been "home" for about a month and somehow, my mind is still in Haiti. It has been quite a change to come back, and not just weather-wise -- which seems to be all that people want to comment on. Yes, I get it, Canada is so very very cold and Haiti is so very very warm.... Ha   Ha   Ha.

Anyways, the hardest thing to let go, has not the weather or the people, but the sense that I was doing something meaningful and interesting. Yes, I was only an intern there but I rarely felt that way. At the beginning of the new fiscal year in October, the staff was cut down considerably but the workload stayed the same.  This gave the interns (there were two of us) the opportunity to take on tasks that were beyond out of our respective experience and areas of expertise. However, I really enjoyed it. Of course, sometimes I could feel like I was being a little bit overworked... but I always felt like I could say no to a task. I did say no a couple of times. It was challenging. It was stimulating, I was learning a lot, and I felt valued. In the end, I am confident that I managed to make a contribution to the office where I was placed.

The novelty of being back has worn off now (sorry, friends and family). I often catch myself being restless, anxious and feeling as though I've gone backwards in my nascent career. Following a required 
debrief workshop from the Centre of Intercultural Effectiveness, I know that those feelings are normal symptoms of "reverse culture shock" but knowing it doesn't make me feel any better... 

I am employed, which is lucky, in the customer service dept. at WV. The work environment is great and sometimes I can't believe how nice and helpful everyone is. This makes me see myself staying there for a while, even if it's not part of my ~career path~. I do only work part time and in the evenings so ideally, I will be able to get a second 9 to 5 job that is more aligned to the type of work I want to do.

To be honest, I have no idea what the future holds, which is scarier than it is exciting. I am a planner and I have so many plans at this moment that I might as well have no plans. You feel me?

My default strategy to cope with uncertainty and stress is to leave. Going through the process of settling in a new place is always the same and so familiar to me, it gives me a great sense of security. I have thought about going away to do my masters or finding a job abroad but I don't think it's such a good idea at this time. 

I have a lot of things to deal with, fears to conquer, and money to save. I also need to learn how to drive! In order to do so, I am choosing, for maybe the first time in a while, to stay put in Toronto... 

Less of this

Canadian flag in France

A little more of this
OK I promise to stay put in Canada, at least. Moving to Montreal would be pretty cool. 

P.S. sorrynotsorry for all the introspective bull

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