|I <3 tundra walks|
Hello October, where did you come from? This is a real question I asked my calendar today as I turned the page and looked at a new month before me. September passed by quickly and without pause. I was busy in college, student teaching was tiring, my first years of teaching have tested and exhausted me, but nothing compares to this year’s workload. I made sure to give myself time today to slow down and take a break from work to reflect on this past month.
|My first sock-eye salmon!|
Without boring anyone with specifics, I’ll just say that my days are spent working from sun up to sun down, and then even later. Between teaching, ensuring my Sp.Ed. paperwork is done "just right”, completing classwork, logging on for class, and squeezing in after school projects to meet internship requirements, my days fly by. I can’t complain too much because the days really do pass me by and suddenly I get a 2 day “break”. However, I want a few more hours each day; just a little bit more time to spend with Sam, to walk with Caitlin and Emily, to plan my wedding, or to read a book. Granted, if the days keep going by so quickly, June 29th will be here before I know it and I will get a break in the chaos when I graduate from my program.
|Flying over my house!|
In trying to find a work-school-life balance, I have put aside time each day, even if not as much as I’d like, for me- or we-time. September brought blueberry picking adventures, fishing, long walks, game nights, and day trips to visit friends in Newhalen. It was also the month that Sam and I got to meet our fur baby, Cessna, and to watch her begin to grow. I got to help process a moose with community members and make my first monthly site visit to Igiugig. I traveled to Naknek with the cross country team where I got to visit with coworkers and cheer on all the runners from the district. I have gotten to love on my friend’s little babes and experience as other close friends grow their own tiny humans (p.s. what a crazy miracle that is!). Amidst all the work, September brought with it some great memories.
As I talked on the phone with Shawnee this afternoon, we caught up on all that happened in the month since we had last talked. We discussed the wedding of a close friend that I had been unable to attend and the wedding of my cousin which is another event I was not able to make. They both wed on the same weekend, and Sam or Caitlin could tell you that this was a difficult weekend for me. I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend part of it wallowing in bed. My dad tells me I’m making big kid decisions in not blowing through my savings to attend all of these celebrations. But Dad, I don’t want to make big kid decisions…
Though I love life in Alaska, I have always faced feelings of longing to be home. Yet at the same time, I have built a home for myself here in Alaska. Sam and I have no clue where our next chapter in life will take us or when our next move will be, but we make sure to keep talking about it together. In working towards our future, those dreaded adult decisions have to be made. Decisions such as not attending two other important weddings this fall or even traveling home for Christmas break. Traveling between my village and the east coast is not pocket change, and this year I have had to make hard decisions in order to work towards a financially stable future (dang you adulthood!). I have to keep reassuring myself that I am making these choices not just based on finances, but also my health. Weekend trips to different time zones are physically and mentally exhausting, as are the 2 week long winter trips in which I am constantly driving to visit people. This year I need to do what is best for me, even if I don’t love the choices I have to make in order to do so. Future Paige will thank me when she starts the spring semester well rested.
|This morning's Six Mile sunrise<3|
Before hanging up, Shawnee and I once again promised that we wouldn’t let so much time pass before our next phone call. What I value most in a friendship is when weeks or months can pass by without in depth conversations, but when you do get time to catch up, it is as if no time has passed. These are the relationships that help me get through the hard parts of my Alaskan adventure.
Some other things that help are visitors! I am so excited for the arrival of this year’s first set of visitors who are set to fly in next week. The parents of our close friend Ryan are flying to Alaska as I type this. It seems like yesterday that we were sitting in Pam and Ken’s living room helping them to set up their travel plans. They will spend a week with friends who live in one of LPSD’s southern villages before flying to Nondalton next weekend. I hope the weather cooperates during their visit and that we are able to enjoy lots of adventures while they are here! In order for that to happen though, I need to get back to work...
P.S. For anyone looking for an adventure.. I have a lakefront apartment with a killer view, and a guest room that is ready for guests!