Upskilling for an Uncertain Future
from Canva photos
Since leaving the UAE in November 2022, we have split our time evenly between Mexico and Canada.
Five years out of the country meant that we were sheltered from what’s been building and is now boiling over.
I don’t have to tell you what you already know: inflation, a food and housing affordability crisis, violence, hatred, addiction, homelessness, war, and a planetary catastrophe.
It has been humbling. It has brought me to my knees.
The small Canadian city we live in used to feel safe and sleepy. Now there is the constant wail of sirens. Our first responder friends tell us that guns, overdoses, and human trafficking cases are off the charts. You won’t see this in the local papers, however. There are only rosy stories about whatever festivals or fundraisers are happening. Even the multiple shootings that took place this summer were not mentioned in the media.
Last week, I let the dogs out around 10 p.m. and noticed a dance of lights reflecting from the street. Neighbors were outside peering towards the light show. I took a peak and there were three cop cars and a fire truck. The first responders were in fentanyl garb, so I knew it was another overdose. The cousins who live across the street say the drama on this block is better than Netflix these days. Everyone is hustling drugs or stolen goods.
Two weeks ago, I stood at a crosswalk waiting to cross. An Audi swerved down the street, stopping dead in the center of the road. A truck pulled up behind, honking. The Audi continued to lurch along as I stood timidly on the sidewalk. Through the tinted windows, I made out a couple beating the living daylights out of each other. Fists, hair flying, teeth.
That was a first.
By the way, this is a normal neighbourhood in a small, blue-collar city, not some inner-city slum.
Dark Night of the Soul
At 48, I am in the midst of peri-menopause, so it is possible that I skew negative these days. I know what I’m sharing is not unique to this town, to my experience. But comparing 2018 to now?