My life has been a bit surreal the past three years – leaving a full time job to become a TEFL teacher, traveling around Europe while teaching and then moving to teach in China. It’s been amazing, and yes also a bit selfish. I will admit it. It has been very nice to think about myself and my welfare. I had not forgotten that my family has been back in Canada dealing with everyday stuff and yes I have been stressed out at times because of the family matters that I was away from, but it was so nice to really think of myself for a few years.
Well, I am now back in Canada, living with my elderly parents, who are not very healthy. The real world for me has come crashing back. I will start a new full time job next week and I will be staying with my parents until some time after Christmas once I have managed to get enough savings up to move out on my own.
Living with sick elderly parents is challenging. They are both fiercely independent and, even though my dad had a heart attack in the summer, are not happy that I want to do as much as I can for them. And I really do want to do as much as I can for them. Making sure they take their medication. Wanting to do things for them, and them basically saying sit down and we can do it. I want to do everything for them and I know I can’t.
It’s scary and a bit sad to see how much my parents have aged over the past three years. But I am a realist. No one lives forever, and I know that probably sooner than later, the time will come to have to say good bye, for now, to my parents. I am incredibly grateful to have been given this chance to come back and live with them and be able to help out when I can. And although I want to continue to travel, and I know I will, right now I am here for my parents and am back to the “real world”.
I am anxious to re-start my life here and see old friends and make some new ones.