single mom

Leaps and Bounds

In only two short weeks, I am embarking on a whole new journey in my life.

I’m going back to school, as a single mom. Leaving my son with my parents.

And guess what? I am scared shitless.

If you haven’t read Standing Up, you might want to do so to fully understand my situation. I shared my displeasure at being called a bad mom for trying to make my life, and in turn my son’s life, a Hell of a lot better, but I also gave some insight into the fear I hold in my heart as I stare into the unknown. It’s daunting, to say the least.

If it was simply a matter of leaving Finn with my parents, it would be a simple matter. I’d see him on weekends, he’d come visit me every couple of weeks and all would be well. But, there’s a lot more to the picture than just that.

You see, I actually have a life here. I’m involved in my community, and I love this community. If I was willing to give up my dreams and settle, I’d never leave here… and sometimes, that’s really tempting. This community is one in a million. A year ago, we were celebrated by the Lieutenant Governor for the province’s Community Spirit Award. As an active member of the community and also several of the community’s organizations, I received this award. It was the third time I received an award of this honour.

When I accepted my seat in school, I also had to accept that this meant a lot of sacrifices, beginning with being separated from Finn for 5 days a week. I also had to give up my position as Secretary and elected member of the St. Ann’s Bay Health Group Society – but not just that. In addition to my position as secretary, I also cooked lunch for seniors every Wednesday. I founded and ran a youth group. I also created a wellness program focusing on easy ways to make your life healthier and happier. All of that went into the box of things I had to leave behind.

Devin and I, testing out our new turnouts!

Next, my position as Medical First Responder on the North Shore & District Fire Department, where I am a third generation member (AND I get to drive a firetruck – how cool is that?) along with my kid brother. We gear up next to my dad, uncle, cousins and neighbours. I’m the head of the Ways and Means committee, aka fundraiser, and a member of the Fire Department executive committee. I also took care of renting the fire hall.

After that is my involvement with the church – which, sadly, was the easiest for me to give up as my minister just retired. This woman shaped my faith and watched and helped me grow.

A lot of my identity is engrained in my involvement here in the community. I’m a volunteer, a fundraiser, a role model… am I really ready to give it all up? It’s a hard question for me to face, and even harder for me to answer. Why? Because the answer is yes… and no.

I’m not ready to give up my identity. Even if I move away, I’m still a volunteer fire fighter. I’m still a Medical First Responder – I have Health Care Professional training that I will carry with me everywhere, up and down the highway, across the province. I might not be Secretary of the SABHGS any more, but I’m still involved – I’m turning that wellness program I spent hours on into a blog and newsletter for the winter. These things make me, well, me!

There are times when taking baby steps was all I could do to get by, but right now I need to throw myself into my future. Get out there and make things happen, because the truth is… no one else can do that for me. So here I go, with my Big Girl Shoes on!

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