I had planned to celebrate my one year of living in the arctic with a glass of wine but I was so busy working that the day flew by and I forgot about it until a week later. I can officially say that I have lived in the North for a whole year.
I just got off the phone with my Grandma, who lives in Toronto. She told me about the last family gathering that I missed and how wonderful it was. The joy it brought to her made me so happy that I cried silently while she spoke. She talked about my sister, whose twentieth birthday just passed, and the cruise my family is planning to take in March. I cannot believe I have lived without the people I love most for a whole year.
In the last year I have moved across the Country, moved in with my boyfriend, started a new job, switched jobs, opened the first Tim Hortons in the arctic, endured an awful breakup and lived on my own for the first time. I have met incredible people who have changed my life. I fell in love again and had my heart broken. I have gone on amazing skidoo trips, hung out in polar bear feeding grounds and experienced sun that lingers in the sky all night. I have seen snow ten months of the year and made snow angels in a bathing suit. I have taken a polar bear dip in the freezing cold waters of Frobisher Bay and danced under the glow of the Northern Lights.
If anyone had asked me where I would be in a year, I would never have said here, living this life, blessed with the people I have around me. I never knew I had this kind of independence in me or that I was strong enough to overcome the challenges that I have faced.
This life is so unpredictable and has taken me on a ride that I never expected. Sometimes there are things I wish I could take back or do differently but when I think about it, I am a completely different person than I was before this year. I wouldn't take back all of the lessons I've learned or the experiences that I've had. I've always believed that everything happens for a reason, so I'm learning to simply hold on for the ride.
Here's to another enlightening year in Nunavut.
With love from a snow covered Iqaluit