Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Non-settler going to Settle in Belize...Part III

Post England
Well, here I was, thyroid still slightly wonky and living at my parents house. On top of that, I was seeing a really great guy, we’ll call him SmartBoy, in the months after I decided to leave. We clicked, but the timing was wrong. We had planned to meet in Toronto in a few months. Unfortunately, he decided to date someone else a couple of weeks after I left.

SmartBoy managed to send me a romantic message on Valentines Day. Then the next day emailed me saying that he shouldn’t have sent me that message since he was involved.

Moving back to Canada was weird. I had lived in Manchester for 10 years. It took me about 2 years to get used to living there. I had culture shock again, plus I was living in a small town, living at my parents house, a wee bit heartbroken, plus all the friends I had made as a young adult were over there.

It took me awhile to get used to life here again. I worked at the 7-11 on night shifts, and worked part-time at a Curves to start with. Then I got a job as a coordinator for the Southern Alberta Summer Games.

After the Summer Games, I worked in Calgary (about an 1.5 hour drive from MediumSizedTown). The commute was brutal. I wanted to move to Medicine Hat. There’s a high British population, as there is a military base that trains British Soldiers. It’s called BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield). It’s at, surprise, surprise, CFB Suffield.

Medicine Hat was where I was living when I met my ex-husband, aka LBS.

I got a job at a computer firm. I didn’t like the job much, but my social life made up for it. I still had people I knew here, and the night-life was great.

I am not a slag, but I am not a prude. I met men that I had flings with. Besides getting over SmartBoy and a 10 year marriage, I was enjoying my freedom.  I was out every weekend and broke every payday. But I was having a blast.

I was flinging with a soldier from Liverpool, when one night right before he left he decided to be an arsehole.  I’ll not go into to details, but I was assaulted and my whole world changed in that time.

I had a hard time coping with work after that. I went on EI medical leave, and on EI and my RRSP’s, I went back to school for 2 years to become a Massage Therapist. After the EI ran out, I worked a bar job out at the base. Good wage, crap tips. The hours were great though. 6 p.m.-midnight.

Also, during this time I went to counselling to recover from the assault and other baggage.

I love being a Massage Therapist, and set up my own business after I completed college. I made the mistake of staying in Medicine Hat. It’s a saturated market. Plus, unfortunately, even though I am a great Massage Therapist, people do not always think big girls are great RMT’s. I am strong like a woman named Olga, and can do all types of massage.

That is another reason to get the fat off.

In November of 2007, my brother had a heart attack. It happened to be my birthday.  He was without oxygen for a considerable amount of time. We were scared that he would be brain damaged permanently. So I got in the car and drove to Winnipeg to be with him. My parents flew up from their winter home in Palm Springs.

When I arrived, we were told not to expect much. They expected him to be brain damaged for life. But he recovered and was almost 100% within 4 months of the heart attack.

Now, obesity is my problem. Not my brother’s. He had an arrhythmia, and was on some medication he wasn’t supposed to be on and his heart stopped. He had a defibrillator put in and everything seemed fine.

In the late spring of 2008, he had a mini-stroke. He was recovering well when on Aug 24 of 2008 he died (we hope) in his sleep. He was living on his own at this time and did not have the kids with him at the time; we are thankful that the kids didn’t have to see him like that. He was 43. His defibrillator didn’t go off and didn’t save his life.

So, our family has been coming to terms with his death since then. He was a community activist, well loved by everyone, a great dad, and he was a mover and shaker in the provincial government. He had just been made an Assistant Deputy Minister of community initiatives in the department of science, technology, energy and mines in the Manitoba government.

Before my brother had passed, I had saved up for a trip back to the U.K. to visit my friends. Their lives had moved on. It was great seeing them, but it wasn’t home any longer.

Last year, I closed down my Massage Clinic and moved into a two bedroom house (I had a 1 bed flat before that). This way I could treat clients out of my house. I still had the bar job, too. I looked for another job and in April of 2009 I got a clerical job out at the base covering someone’s maternity leave.

I really do sometimes wish that I hadn’t left the U.K., but you can’t go back. You can only go forward. And I am very grateful to have been in Canada. I got to be with him before he passed away. That is worth more than any other regrets.

So now we’re up to speed!! Am I ready to live life to the fullest soon? You bet. Am I ready for a good change in my life? Oooh baby, yes!!

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