Sunday, March 09, 2008

Let me go...

Dear Inuvik,

I’m torn. For the first time, I’m seriously considering leaving you. And never coming back. All those other times, through the years, I was only half-heartedly threatening to go. You and I both know that all those other times don’t really count. They were probably because of a bad day, week, or month. I was probably feeling too cold in my freezing apartment, and the darkness was getting to me. But, once the sky was blazing blue and beautiful, my spirits would be lifted. I have always loved your wide open, eternally big sky, the profound hush of snow, the overnight transformation into lushness, the purple fireweed that grow with abandon along the roadside.

And, you know, the people I’ve met through you are some of the best people I’ve had the privilege to call my friends. These are the people who have seen me at my most vulnerable moments and stood by me, who have been here unconditionally. Even though living here has meant a revolving door of new faces, I know that I’ll always have my “Inuvik parents” and “Inuvik big sisters” when I need them. As I work to de-clutter my living space in preparation for my eventual move, I realize that the people I’ve met here will never be “de-cluttered” from my life. They are keepers, forever. Somehow, my eccentricities have “fit” here in a way they never had elsewhere. For this reason alone, my one-to-two-year stint up here has somehow stretched into five fruitful years.

It’s different this time though. Even as my heart weighs me down, wishing for me to stay with you, I know that I need to go. Yes, I could be happy here for another five years, but then what? Something out there is calling me, has been calling me for a while. This leap will be frightening, but it’s also the most exhilarating thing I’ve contemplated in a long while. Coming to you five years ago was a huge leap for me back then too, and I think I’m finally ready for the next one. I’m finally ready to take a leap even though I don’t know if I’ll be all right.

I’m writing to you now to urge you to let me go. Please let me keep you in my fond memories, but don’t hold on to me so tightly with your wild beauty, with the struggles and triumphs of your youth, with the stories of your land and your elders. Please allow me to leap…. You won’t be there to cushion my fall, but have faith that in my years here, you’ve taught me enough that I’m fully-equipped to make that jump and land in future contentment.


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