I just wanted to take this opportunity to update my blog and let those of you who follow it know what has been going on.
Without trying to get too personal, I will say life over the last two years has really tested my stoic reserve. I was working as a history teacher in England and having the time of my life. England is a country that I really grew to love because of its history, culture, people, and (believe it or not) weather. I do love a rainy day! I had money in the bank and a job that challenged me on every level. I can honestly say that I was enjoying the sometimes 60+ hour workweeks.
However, in 2015 I had to return to Canada in order to renew my visa, something that should have taken two weeks to process and allowed me another 3 – 5 years in England. I was committed to my job and I fully intended to spend the rest of my life working as an educator over there. But unfortunately this was not to be. Due to a minuscule error in the paperwork provided by my employer I was denied my work visa. I spent months trying to correct this situation in frantic 3am emails to my employer but after almost six months of back and forth the school I was working for informed me that they had found another candidate for my job as they couldn’t afford to hold out in the hope that I would return any longer.
I had lost my job, my flat, a significant amount of money, and found myself facing the prospect of having to try to find a teaching job in the extremely difficult Canadian teaching market. The friendships that I had made and the plans I had formed would now face significant strains and challenges. I can honestly say that 2015 was easily the most difficult year of my life thus far and if it wasn’t for my knowledge of Stoicism, I don’t think I would have made it out with the tranquility and peace that I feel about it now.
It was challenging, I’m not going to pretend that I’m anywhere near a Stoic sage. I had nights where I could not sleep, days where I could not eat, and days where I would stuff my face. I experienced a wide range of emotions from anger, jealousy, and resentment. I was bitter. I went through an extremely rough breakup with a country I was in love with and the most frustrating aspects of my situation were that I was needed; my intentions were good, and the reason for my application being denied were no fault of my own.
But Marcus Aurelius and the other Stoic thinkers were there for me. They reminded me that this is life and if I just surrounded myself in an ocean of negativity I would drown. They inspired me to write, and so I spent my free time working on the piece that would become “Stoicism and the Path to Tranquility,” an essay that I was extremely proud of because it came from a real genuine place within myself. I was elated when Stoicism Today agreed to post it on their fantastic blog.
Since 2016 I’ve been relatively silent, which has not been by design. I’ve written a little bit for the new and exciting PocketStoic application, which is amazing. I’m thrilled that the Stoic philosophy is in a place where an application like this can be created and downloaded by so many people. It’s also amazing to see the positive impact Stoicism has been having on people’s lives and the growth of Stoicism from a relatively unknown philosophy to a movement of people who are excited to meet and discuss the various aspects of this school of thought.
I hope to be much more active in 2017 as I’ve watched my twitter followers slowly climb and my blog traffic remain steady. I ask your forgiveness for not being more active. My excuse is that I’ve been trying to rebuild my life after the events I described above. I’ve started several pieces that I just never found the time to finish, but I’m aiming to change that (I still have a half written piece on the value of Stoicism for elite athletes that I think about from time to time).
I’m incredibly grateful to you if you come to my little blog and read anything I’ve written. I hope you have found as much value in Stoicism as I have and I hope I can share more of my thoughts about this fantastic and life changing philosophy with you in the future.
Until then, all the best,