Eight months ago we started on the adventure of a lifetime, a move overseas to a foreign land.  We packed up kids, dogs, cat, everything we knew as “home” and started out.  It was my intention to blog about our adventures overseas, but to date I haven’t had the energy, nor positive wittiness to pull off one word.  I have tried many times, but every word seemed forced and contrite, and that is not how I write.  I felt like I was lying to myself to make this seem like the adventure I had envisioned…..and in my writing, I just can’t do that.

After much reflection on this, I have decided to write something……will it be good?  Probably not, but it is from my heart, it is a small insight into our lives, far away from home.

We have been given an opportunity, one which few people will be offered, for this I am grateful;  for at the end of all of this we certainly won’t be the same people we were when we started this journey, and that alone is exciting and terrifying.

We live in a beautiful country, rich in history, with the opportunity to travel to some of the most important historical locations.  It is a learning experience, the one you can’t get in schools, the one, when you look back upon it, you can say, “I was there, I know how it smells, how it sounds, how I felt.”  It is powerful, sad and an experience that makes you very grateful of our Canadian roots.

We also live in a country where no one thinks “out of the box”, men rule the household, women are seen as second class citizens, and foreigners are not regarded kindly.  Now, you may think this is my opinion, but I have spoke with many of it’s residents, and this is the consensus among even the locals.

All that aside, I try and go about my business, with my families best interests always at the forefront of my thoughts.  For thirteen years, I have been mum….I have been the one the kids come to, I have been the one who has advocated for them, and I find myself in the position where all my input regarding the children has been taken away from me.  Oh, I can moan and complain about their situation, but there is realistically  not a thing I can do about it, remember I am a female number one, and a passionate mother number two….not a good combination when dealing with people who are in a box and refuse to look outside of it. As a military mum, who is accustomed to making the tough decisions, I am left feeling very disempowered, that one of my main purposes in life has been stolen from me, that my opinion on the welfare of our family no longer matters.  My hubby has taken on the role as the “diplomat” with the children’s school, which frustrates me to no end. We can be as diplomatic as we want, but what this place needs is a shake up, and kick in the rear end into the 21 st century, a reminder that they are free, and able to make their own decisions.  This alas is not forthcoming.

My hubby, God bless him, is consistently trying to get me to involve myself in the “spouses club,” but I don’t do the coffee circuit, bless you ladies who do, but I am not one of those people who enjoy this.  There was a point in my life where I would have dreamed of having all the time in the world on my hands, but that time has come and gone.  I search desperately for something useful, purposeful, something I can contribute to with a meaningful outcome.  I want to be a presence of change, of hope of perserverance…maybe I want too much, maybe I should be happy with coffee?  Maybe, but I don’t think so.

I know I sound selfish and ungrateful, but when you are used to going at 100 km/hour to nothing….something eventually is going to give.  We experienced this when dh came back from Afghanistan, he had no idea what his role was or where he fit in, in our family….this was a huge transition phase but, we figured it out.  I find  myself in the same position here, only I have no job to return to, and I am only a woman….I feel my options are very limited, and my hands are tied.  Perhaps I am not looking in the right spots (if anyone knows of any..please let me know!)

Oh Canada how I miss you…….You are the land of opportunity where anyone can do anything……where one squeaky voice can be the voice of change, where men and women are equal, where I felt comfortable sending my children to school.  You are the land of smiling faces, manners, the place where neighbours help and watch out for each other, and free thinking is celebrated.

Maybe I am too old for this adventure, or maybe I just care to damn much.  I am not sure.  What I am sure of, is that my children will leave this country in three years with their Canadian values in tact.  I always tell them,”give people your best Canadian smile,” for that one small thing, that real smile, the genuine sparkle, the impish look of the future; makes people stop and wonder.   Maybe that is my purpose….to make sure our kids never lose that, to make sure that they always look to the future not inside a box, but as the world being their canvas, ready to be painted with their story…..