My penultimate week in Sarnia has wound to a close. Much as I find myself surprised to say this, I'm actually going to miss Sarnia. As mentioned in the first part of Chronicles of Sarnia, I was not keen to move here. Nor was I much a fan when I first arrived. Despite the fact that I'm ready to move on in the next stage of my life, the notion of leaving Sarnia is not wholly positive.
Everyone who has talked to me over the course of the past few months knows that I love my job. I'm so incredibly lucky to have such great colleagues and fantastic students. I'm in the process of saying goodbye to people already even though there is still a week left in my contract. I have said goodbye to schools before, and they have been difficult, but much like when I didn't have my contract renewed in Shawinigan in 2013, this departure is going to be difficult. I know that I'll never have an experience like this again - and that reflection in particular makes me both content and disappointed.
As well, I've been quite fortuante to have met so many great new friends here. Over the five months I have spent in Sarnia, I've met people I've really connected with. The circumstances were similar when I left Ottawa and Québec and I know it's going to be a challenge adapting. Meeting people with similar values and interests is never easy, but when you moved somewhere new it can be impossible. Through a combination of luck and hard work, I have met people in Sarnia whom I consider to be lifelong friends. Which is good because I have a reason to come back!
It should also be no surprise that I'm going to miss is Lake Huron. I've enjoyed walking the beaches, swimming, and staring out at the ships on the horizon. I've always been enamoured with the ocean, and the proximity to Lake Huron, my favourite great lake, makes me feel like I'm on vacation, even when I stand in the cold wind as waves pull chunks of ice into shore.
Ultimately, it'd be wonderful if I could pick up my school, my friends, and Lake Huron and move them all to Kitchener, but until that's possible I will have to move on. I will simultaneously look forward and look back. But that's nothing new.