Letting Go

Unbelievably, it was five years this week that I bought Haven. I’ll be here a couple more days and, if all goes well, I’ll be heading to Mérida on Wednesday.

I am just as sad as I am excited to leave. I don’t think I could convey just how incalculably in love I am with the place where I thought I might finally put down roots and how bereft and cheated I feel that I have to leave it. I thought it was difficult to leave Quebec for good, but I didn’t choose to be québécoise, and that is what makes all the difference.

I fought hard to make it possible to stay at Haven. I couldn’t leave with a clear conscience if I didn’t. I have no doubt that if it weren’t for the Internet situation, moving to Mexico would have been a passing fancy at best. I was very content with the vision I had for my future of summers (four to five months a year) at Haven, travel in the shoulder seasons, and winters (three to four months) somewhere hot. That would satisfy the two halves of me, the one that needs to go and the one that is content with quiet domesticity.

Excited as I am at the thought of a fresh start in Mexico, I have a lot of letting go to do. I don’t even know if I can do that. I still have in my mind that maybe five ten years from now, when I don’t need to work as much, I’ll be able to go spend those summers puttering around Haven after building a house on the property. I cling to this dream even as I know that my life has likely irrevocably moved away from my little bit of prairie. I’ll likely buy property in Mexico and find it too inconvenient and expensive to return to Saskatchewan. Or I might get an offer on Haven that is too good to turn down. And I have to remember that my beloved neighbours might not be around that much longer.

So I have to leave looking forward. My country has told me for decades now that what I want is unacceptable to it. It has made it very clear that if I am to thrive here, I have to toe the line and that I must live where they say if I want healthcare, driving privileges, affordable education, and Internet access. I am tired of fighting for my right to live as and where I want to in this country. It is time to let out a deep breath, brace myself for the challenge of dealing with another country’s red tape, and stop expending so much energy trying to change things in a country that sees no reason to change.

Today, I began packing in earnest, going so far as to take down pictures, wrap them up, and put them in the truck. I have begun dismantling the place I’ve called home for the last nine years even if I didn’t live there continuously. I know that if I don’t do that, I’ll never feel “at home” wherever I land in Mexico. I can’t bring everything with me, but when I shut the door Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, I want to drive away feeling that I’m not leaving much behind that is part of my story.

I’ve been getting a lot of comments and emails from folks saying how excited they are for me, so this post is my response to those missives. To be honest, I’m having a really hard time getting motivated to pack up. I just want to sit by the fire with my friends and enjoy coffee while looking over my beloved hills. I am very excited about going to Mexico and have no regrets, but being home is as hard as I expected it would be and I’m giving myself time to grieve.

High winds in northern sky will carry you away
You know you have to leave here
You wish that you could stay
There’s four directions on this map
But you’re only going one way
Due South ……. (that’s the way I’m going)
Due South…….
Saddle up my travelling shoes
I’m bound to walk away these blues
Due South…….

22 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. Just stopping by to leave you a note that your in my thoughts. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you.

  2. Yes, even a good change requires grieving what you are leaving. I’m glad you are letting yourself do that.

  3. I understand the fear of letting go – it’s not easy to uproot what is familiar and known. We are creatures of habit… That being said, I am envious of you for taking that jump.

    • I’ve never had a problem uprooting myself and leaving the familiar before, but I’ve also never had a proper home with a community of people who love me before.

  4. The bottom line issue isn’t just internet. Canada is a very expensive country. You have to make a lot of money to just get by. Even a minimum wage of $15 an hour means just that, minimum. We loved our trip there but even traveling there was difficult with the price of fuel, food and liquor. We couldn’t imagine having to pay utilities, taxes, etc.

    So many Americans/Canadians are leaving their countries for places such as Mexico because what they had hoped and dreamed for isn’t happening. Here in Mexico, as long as their pensions hold out (there are no guarantees) they can live a decent life.

    I wish you well on your trip down. Chin up, new adventure, a great life in Merida and you’ll be posting soon about how much you love your new home.

    • Chris, you are very right. I am struggling with the knowledge that I am going from a country where my income is barely above the poverty line to one where I will unquestionably be wealthy. I wonder what that will do to my values. Thank you for your good wishes.

  5. It is a hard break to have to make. we have hurt somewhere inside every time we have moved. However, the adventure of the trip down and the excitement of setting up a new life in Mexico will soon fill the void!

    • It’s really different with Haven because it’s truly the first fixed home I’ve ever had. I think I will always look north in the heat of summer and dream of my beloved prairies.

  6. I am excited for your new life and the new adventures you will encounter as a resident of Mexico. I’m sure you will do well as level headed as you are. Thank you for taking us along.

  7. Well, your post has left me in tears!
    I am sad you are leaving Canada, and Haven but I entirely agree with you re the wifi situation.
    We are driving south of Richmond, Virginia on our way home from the south. I have great inexpensive cellular coverage here on my ipad I could never get in Canada.
    Hope all,goes well on your drive to Merida…..

    • Norma, you are in one of my favourite parts of the US — because that’s where my best friend lives! You’re right that you couldn’t get that kind of internet in Canada, at least not at whatever price you’re paying!

  8. Leaving a place you love is hard and I am sorry you are feeling that. But I do look forward to your trip to Mexico and all the new adventures you will have there and on a better day you will, too.

  9. A dear friend and mentor used to tell me that God has three responses to our prayers: yes, not yet, and I have something better in store for you. After many years of vagabondry (should be a word!) we thought we would settle in Nanaimo, BC, but it is not to be. I’ve discovered over the years that what I want is not always best for me, but when I get what I need, it’s often what I wanted all along. Our next journey takes us to Ajijic in November, and we hope to meet you in Merida in 2018. Buen viaje!

    • I completely agree with your friend. I am going to write a post about your comment because it so applies to my own life. 🙂 I hope to have a room for you in Mérida when you come that way!

  10. As long as we are here in Haven, you will always have a bed and food. You will always be welcome in our home. If we have to move – we’ll always have a couch for you to crash on. You might have to share it with KC but…

    • And this is why we love small town Canada. When we were in Terrace, BC it was exactly the same thing as you guys have there. We had friends and neighbors who were always ready to share a meal or help with a project and it was all reciprocal. It just worked!

      • My first experience with small town Canada was much more negative. I’m happy I have some wonderful neighbours at Haven!

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