Springtime is quickly approaching rural Alaska. Tickets for the Kuskokwim Ice Classic are being sold and bets placed for the exact date and time of the breakup of ice on the river. It’s a time of year that brings longer hours of sunlight and long walks through the village. This year it also brings a tinge of sadness.
We have made the decision to leave Alaska at the end of this school year. I’m actually tearing up writing this, and it won’t have been the first time I’ve cried. But this sadness alone isn’t enough to change my mind. Life happens in cycles, and this one is just coming to an end for us.
We are leaving for a multitude of reasons, so it can be difficult to name any single reason. Our original plan was to only come for two years. Then that changed to five. And now, we have realized that three was our ‘goldilocks just right’. Just about five years ago, Nathan and I took our pre marriage counciling class. When asked about what we saw for our future we excitedly listed our dreams and schemes (none of which included Alaska- and yet…). The priest stopped us and said, ‘You guys are planners.’ He didn’t mean it as a compliment. At the time I didn’t see how it was a negative, but now, I can’t imagine how different our lives would be without being able to let go of our carefully made plans and trust that if we put in the work, God will lead us where we need to be.
Living in Napaskiak has really taught me to let go of so much that was holding me back before. You can’t plan everything in life, and it’s more enjoyable to roll with the punches- because otherwise you just fall down. We are leaving this place, but we will be vastly different (and hopefully better!) people for having lived here.
We don’t know where we will end up after this. We are shipping everything back to my parents’ house where the things we didn’t take to Alaska are stored. Nathan is going on interviews, but no job offer has been made yet. It’s still early for schools to be hiring, so we are trying to relax and trust that we will find a way. It was terrifying to take the step to move 4,000 miles to Alaska, but it seems equally difficult to try and find our footing back in the lower 48. Prayers and good vibes for this next cycle in our lives are greatly appreciated!
Now comes the cleaning, and the packing, and the selling, and the shipping! Here we go!