A cave near High Falls
My Own Meanderings What I am pondering

A fresh start, a new term, and revived outlook as we all emerge from our caves again.

September 14, 2022
A cave near High Falls

High Falls in Rochester, NY-a trip home to see family with my wife.

Time has flown by me once again.

I feel like I am emerging from a cave once again. It seemed like only yesterday my wife, and I were married, and I last wrote about it here. We are now in a new school year and in person for the first time in over two years. This summer was filled with research, mentoring students, continuing my work with Indigenous communities, and embracing married life with all its peaks and valleys. Learning to live with someone else is tougher than I thought and both a relief and challenge. But it is working out so very well—we find laughter with each other all the time.

 I have found my footing in life and healed a lot over this time. I still struggle with being grumpy and surly-but I have seen why I react in certain ways sometimes. I explored and accepted my role within my own writing and the stories I must tell. I am not someone who seeks the spotlight. I have long been the guy who likes to be behind the scenes working with others. And my wife has taken to calling me folksy-and it fits.


Realizing my need and even love of building community helps underscore my new outlook to life. A colleague and friend said that in so many ways I was relatable and easy to get along with and

Pure Happiness.

Pure Happiness with Bixie.

approach—which was his way of saying folksy too. I see the world through my experiences and now must own that I reflect on things quietly and deeply sometimes. But for me, the joy comes in having someone (other than my dogs—shh, do not tell them this) to talk too. Sometimes my wife pushes back, often she is always encouraging me, and the questions she asks deepens my understanding and supplies a new perspective.

So, why is this all important? Because I am in a moment where life has become what I only secretly dreamt of so long ago. Life-work balance has become part of my life, not just a word that I secretly passed judgement on as a bit hokey (remember social media post-its).  I have learned it is ok to go away and recharge myself, be with my wife and dog (who is all grown up now—well mostly). After a long hard summer of research and mentoring, a self-assessment of my first years here in Toronto, we took a short trip, but much needed break in the woods and a tiny home—and it revived my lagging spirit for this new term.

There are moments in this life where it feels like yesterday, I moved to Toronto. I had a rocky start with teaching, with research, and writing most definitely felt missing—like it did in Oswego. But things changed. Mostly I changed my outlook and found the confidence to be me. School and classes started once again—now for over twenty years of teaching, I still get excited, nervous, and look forward to what the students will bring to class and teach me.


I am working with students as research assistants, tutorial assistants, and writing my behind off. I now carve out time to write every day. In this journey, I have been down a few paths mostly alone, but I have now embraced this new path-married life, work-life balance, and saying what I need too. We always have a path to choose. We always can reframe or change our outlook amid struggle or hardship. We always have deeper and more patient support during our real or imagined turmoil and grumps—and those people truly and often deeply love us. Take a deep breath, make that first step, and enjoy the life bursting around you. It will always be worth it—every single time.

A path into the woods, my sanctuary.

A path into the woods, my sanctuary.

So, what path will you explore today?



Kevin J. White
Toronto, CA