Archive for November, 2014


A life lived in fear is a life half lived.

November 27, 2014

I’m sitting here surrounded by a lifetime of collectibles. It started from a place where I was looking for the fourth leg of a three legged chair and for some reason I was convinced it might be at the bottom of the box all these things are in.

It was not.

What is in the box is countless pieces of memorabilia. TIcket stubs to events I’ve attended (concerts, festivals, derby bouts, plays, museums), postcards and birthday cards, metro maps and cemetery plans, stickers, photographs, letters, notes, my writings, brochures, art, festival bracelets and passes, all kinds of things that remind me of places I’ve been, people I’ve loved, music I’ve delighted in, times and moments and reminders that I have had copious and joyful adventures.
It all makes me smile.

I want more. I want adventures and sunrises and conversations with people I haven’t met yet. I don’t want to be tied to any one place, any one ideal, any one hat.

I had a conversation with someone I’ve come to respect and trust recently. We talked about the future, about the things I want to do and the best way for me to do those things. I keep coming back around to having skills that will pay me the money I need to do more than get by. I’ve long railed against the notion that I’m in it for the money. I’ve argued that I don’t need much, I can live with just getting by if it means that I’m doing good work with good people.

I’m tired of just getting by. I’ve done what’s easy for a very long time. I’ve stumbled into various scenarios and done pretty well, due in part to really good people taking a chance on me and just as equally due to my own ability to be awesome when it’s called for.

Those times when I felt best about what I was doing were those times when I proved myself capable, though not necessarily without help. There are relatively few people who are really good at something the first time they do it. It takes instruction and patience and a willingness to learn. And there are things I’ve done that I was really good at and others that I’m merely passable.

I think I’ve ground myself a rut of complacency when it comes to taking a step towards earning money because of this ideal I have about not needing stuff. Why would I need money when I don’t desire stuff? Money is for people who are caught up in owning things. Yeah, I need a little bit to pay rent, buy food, put gas in the truck, keep the lights on. Anything more than that and I’m just being greedy. Of course it’s nice to have a cushion, to have something tucked away in case of emergency dental, being out of commission, unforeseen car repair.
I’m not wholly convinced that my “I don’t require much in the way of money to be happy” while true on one level, on another might just be a form of that old and not so dear friend low self-esteem/captain self sabotage. Who’s to say that I don’t deserve to get paid a whack of cash for services rendered? I recently discovered when I made a half-assed attempt to start my own pathway/ambient festival lighting installation company that I severely undervalue myself. Not only did I have no idea what to charge, I found myself really uncomfortable with even suggesting what I might be worth. I think this is fairly common though. Why get paid what you’re worth when you can undervalue yourself and gain a reputation for working for free? And have the added bonus of being totally stressed when it’s time to pay rent and you have no money whatsoever!!! It gets old fast. So I’m coming to terms with the reality that I not only need money to get by, I want to do more than get by and I’ve got skills that could be improved upon and enable me to do things I dream of doing.

When I was younger, I had very little consideration of the future. It’s a place somewhere further along where I’ll have established myself as (insert some awesome thing here) and have (same again) and live (ahem…yes) and travel to (haven’t been there yet)….and so on and so forth. This lovely future perfect that I never really considered because at some point, it would show up. Or I would just get there. I don’t know when or how but in the meantime I’ll just keep trucking along my merry way and check out whatever adventure happens to come along. Which works just fine as a perspective until it doesn’t. And it kinda doesn’t anymore.
I don’t know if it’s any clearer for people who have kids. Yes, your future is right there, staring at you with tiny eyes that take in everything. But does that give the distant horizon any more focus than before? I have no idea. I don’t have kids. I can’t speak to that experience at all.

It’s not that I want my future laid out in front of me so I can follow along like some weird fate karaoke song. I like the surprise. But there’s nothing wrong with stacking the deck a bit, to better enable a potential future that might be filled with delight.
I know I want to move. I was born to move. To travel, traverse, wander, amble, vagabond, voyage, explore, proceed in a peripatetic process. I love having a hidey hole, it’s delightful to be here in a tiny house in the forest surrounded by tiny lake and great neighbours like Totoro. I love having a space of my own where I can play the piano and write long winded blog posts that help my crazy active brain work itself out. I love having the leisure to spread out the experiences of my past and find joy in the moments I’ve shared. But I want more.
These feet are itchy, this brain is restless, these eyes want to see the world. These feet want to tango in cities I never dreamed I would dance. I want to dive beneath waves in every ocean, taking as a given that I am equipped with proper dive gear and suited appropriately. I don’t just want to go splashing around in the arctic, let’s not be silly. I want ink on my body to represent my connection to the entire world. I want to spend at least a couple of months every year surfing in the morning, eating fresh local food in the afternoon, dancing all evening and making sweet freaky love to someone who engages my mind just as righteously as my body all night long. And then I want to wake up and do it again. Somewhere different every year.
I was asked, where do I see myself in 10 years? I’ll be 48. Do I still want to be having months where I am struggling to pay rent? Where I am wondering if I can afford to get that tooth that’s rotting in the back of my mouth and likely making me sick with blood poisoning removed because I sure as hell don’t have enough to fix it? Where I am cruising the internets, checking out the cost of flights, of hotels, of surf trips and car rentals and knowing that I can’t afford any of it? Where I am living in someone else’s house, which is currently for sale and there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to stay once it’s sold?

Hell no. I don’t want any of that. I don’t want it now but even though I was asked the question when I was 28, I didn’t consider the consequences of the answer. When someone asked me (it was Jeff, he was sitting on Soo-z’s couch at the time) where I saw myself in 10 years, I said, “I’m going to be a lighting tech for Cirque du Soleil!” And that was it, that was the only amount of effort I put into that future perfect. Not true. I applied online with them, with my “I’ve never made a resume before but I have every confidence you’ll hire me because you’ll be able to tell how amazing I am from the other side of a computer screen so I won’t really make much effort at all….” and they came back with, ‘call us when you have more experience.’

Did I pursue a theatre tech diploma? Work my butt off gaining experience so I could flush out my resume and impress the hell out of them? Get way better at french so I could operate with ease within a bi-lingual company? Work on getting my rigging ticket?
In case you’re struggling with this, the answer to these questions is no. I did none of these things. I decided it was beyond my something. My desire? My ability? It totally wasn’t. So why didn’t I do it? I don’t know right now. I was too busy waiting for whatever thing was going to show up and be easy to come along, perhaps. Sure I was good at lighting, sure I really really liked it. But not enough to actually work at it. That makes me sound so freaking lazy. Maybe I am. I work hard when I need to, but if there’s nothing that needs doing? I’m happy to not do it. Is that lazy?

To be honest, at the time, I didn’t really consider all the ins and outs of what I might need to do to ensure success. Perhaps it’s this entitlement bullshit that I sometimes fall prey to. I’m good at it, I deserve it, you should give it to me. Why should you give it to me? Because I want it? How bad do I want it? Pretty bad. What do you mean I can’t have it now? That I might have to work and study and do some other stuff before I can have it? Pffff, that’s bullshit. I’ll find something else, something easier.

There’s the crux of it. If I had truly wanted it, I might have had to go to school for however long it takes to get a technical theatre diploma and get some other gigs under my belt, make myself really attractive. There was every possibility that I could have been a lighting tech for cirque du soleil by now. But I had this pigheaded notion that I deserved it then. I didn’t.

So now, I’m in a place where I still want the same things I wanted when I was 28. I want to travel, to do hands on practical work that makes me feel useful and is a broad enough skill set that I don’t have to do the same thing every day. I want to earn enough that I can travel, that I can afford to fix my teeth, that I can maybe buy a little place of my own to come home to after the adventures, maybe have a shop with power and tools and space to refurbish and fix up old buses and trucks into alternative powered caravans to carry the circus folk I befriend hither and yon.

Where do I see myself in 10 years? Having 5 years of working as a red seal heavy duty mechanic under my belt, working for good people at an ethical company that pays me well. Part of the way to owning a small property near water, preferably surf. Spending my spare time building gypsy caravans for travelers, writing, playing music, watching the sun set from my porch. Traveling two-three months out of every year. That’s just a general picture. I’ll work on getting it as detailed as possible in the next few days. Because now that I know where I want to be in 10 years, it’s just as important to work out all the points between then and today so I don’t end up in a place 12 years from now, writing a blog about I could’ve been a marine mechanic traveling the world with the sea shepherds but I decided it was too much work. Of course it’s fucking work! Does anything worth having come easily? (actually, I think there might be a few instances where that is true, but that does not lend itself to this narrative so I will not explore it in any depth tonight.) My future is my own to determine, I’m tired of being stressed, waiting for easy to show up in time to pay the rent.

If I start next September (I’ve already applied to VIU Nanaimo but am considering NIU in Campbell River as well), when I’m 39, I’ll have my foundation year of heavy duty mechanics at 40. I can find someone to apprentice me and if I work really hard and log the hours, I could be a red seal by the time I’m 43. That gives me 5 years to work my ass off and save money and be in a place where I have the freedom to travel as much as I want. 2 months of the year in a completely different place from the one before. And since I’m going to live to be 111, that gives me plenty of time to check out most everywhere.

So what the hell am I afraid of?

I must admit I have mild panicky moments when I think, am I really meant to be a mechanic? But I write? And play piano? Surely my field of expertise lies there? But seriously, who’s going to say I can’t do both? No one.

So again, what the hell am I afraid of?

Oh my gosh, I just checked out the job openings section of Cirque du Soleil for the sake of nostalgia and kinda looked over the lighting tech jobs, which I am totally underqualified for due to lack to technical theatre diploma, copious experience etc. But then I scrolled a little further down and behold!! What do touring shows rely on? BIG TRUCKS!! And who fixes big trucks? HEAVY DUTY MECHANICS!!!!!



The mirror crack’d due to lack of foresight.

November 21, 2014

*** Major disclaimer. Not only are the views expressed solely mine, I make a damnably large amount of pop culture references within this blog. I am not attempting to be clever and make inside jokes that no one but me will get (maybe?) but it should be known that I believe we are all composites of everything we have seen, read, experienced, etc and so, in my mind, every reference is integral to the narrative. However odd and rambly that narrative may seem. ***

It’s known, at least to me, sometimes but not always, that those things I find most annoying or idiotic in others are typically things that I could really stand to work on. A lot.

“I think that girl over there with the too tight pants is a slutty showoff who thinks she’s better than everyone else.” Ok, first of all, that girl that I’ve kinda decided I’m better than because I don’t go around thinking I’m better than everyone else just by the way I stand there? Is that the one? And honestly, if I had a butt like that? I would totally fucking wear those pants.

Sooooo, yeah. That’s just an example of a super judgey moment I had recently. Maybe yesterday. Yup. In the game of mindful consideration and not being queen of the dagger thoughts, I have a ways to go yet. Working on it. It’s not always so overtly cruel and actually, the changeover time from vitriol thought-spew to awareness that I’m being a jerk is getting much quicker.

But here’s the impetus behind this late night observation.

I hate the fact that as a species we seem to be rocking short sightedness like it’s a brand new hat we want everyone to know about. Yes, people don’t wear enough hats and perhaps souls don’t develop because people are easily distracted. But it could be argued that we’ve envisioned ourselves to be easily distracted. And by doing so have created a world filled with disposable technology, fast food, quick reads, substanceless films, top ten lists galore!!! (Not a fan of these lists and I’ll explain why another time) and pills for everything, including dogs with anxiety. How is that a genetically engineered benefit?
I honestly don’t think there is anything sustainable about this existence and I feel like that’s starting to be felt in many different places, by many different people, regardless of the frustration we might feel towards those in power not seeing it like this at all. Japan is still slaughtering dolphins and insists they will only be killing 333 whales in the name of science in the southern ocean whale sanctuary this year. The word sanctuary must mean something different in Japanese. I’m not trying to say that the actions of a few reflect an entire country, but I feel they do the citizens of that country an injustice. Just as Stephen Harper threatens all that is sane and healthy about living in Canada. There is no consideration for the state of the planet they will be leaving their children. They actually have children, these men in power, in love with power, with money, with petroleum fueled greed and they still have no consideration for the future, for their own children. I really don’t get it.

But this is not a political rant. This is not even an attempt to make sense of why the world is in the state it is. It will work out however it does. We blow up, we starve, we run out of water (fun fact. If you took all the water from the earth and formed it into a ball, it would take up 1/10th the size of the planet. For instance, an orange as compared to a pea. It may cover 70% of the surface, but there’s not as much of it as you think) we are obliterated by disease that was manufactured in a lab somewhere for a reason known only to a character in a stephen king novel, however we pedal to the metal on this mad max road warrior to nowhere mentality, it is what it is. And as much as I’d love to see a scenario play out like In the Days of the Comet by HG Wells where we pass through the tail, fall asleep and wake up unaware that we were ever war mongering insensitive douchebags, I don’t think it’s going to be so quick. And I don’t know that I agree with even that lack of awareness. It poses a curious question for me. Is it better to be a jackass, become aware that you’re a jackass, work and strive to be less of a jackass and benefit the world around you both with the example of how you can move away from jackassery and by just not being a jackass anymore? Or is it better to be a jackass, get hit with a comet,  and wake up being a lovely person who doesn’t hesitate to help if that’s what’s needed. Sure, you’re now a good person who is really fun to be around but what’s to stop you from sliding back into the previous behavior since you’ve only had your pathways rerouted. The synaptic trails are still there. A little overgrown perhaps, but with a machete and some suggestibility….

But wow do I ever digress.
I previously put forth the possibility that it might be presumptuous of me to prepare a path into a post secondary education because of a propensity to part company with such plans.

Consistently I have acknowledged that the fault lies not in my stars but in myself. And while I’m not so disgruntled by this bit of information that I’m planning to try and fix those stars by stabbing Julius Caesar right in his ides of march, I must examine why this behaviour appears to be without exception, so consistent. Short of getting hit upside the head with a comet, I don’t see it changing, which makes even the prospect of enrolling in a heavy duty mechanics course for next fall, by historical habit, folly. Which makes me a little sad. Because I really do feel a kinship to engines. I hear when they are in pain and more often than not, I am powerless to help because I just don’t know how. I rail against the dependence on petroleum but still I drive and do very little to make smaller my carbon footprint.

So how beneficial might it be to me and the world near and dear to me to study, understand the systems at play and be able to find alternatives. There are wiser peoples than me working on such things, it’s true. And the alternatives exist. Tesla car, anyone? Not just a cool wacky scientist anymore…or an awesome character in a Clive Barker novel, or a cool character in an Alan Moore graphic novel. No, now it’s a fancy and sweet looking electric sports car. Still somewhat cost prohibitive for the masses, maybe. I don’t actually know. I just presume that there is no earthy way I could afford it, even if I wanted one. To be honest, I’m not really a sports car kind of girl.

When I think of all the vehicles out there that are sad and lost and forgotten and left behind, it frustrates me to no end. Especially when they could be salvaged and turned into traveling or sedentary homes. And I really feel like it wouldn’t take a whole lot to do stuff like this. Some know-how, confidence in one’s abilities and reclamation of things not thought of as useful anymore. The idea that we need to create new stuff all the time is archaic, funnily enough. How many millions of cars roll off the assembly line every year and aren’t bought? I bet its a huge number. And we’re making them, too, as disposable as most everything else being created these days. It’s terribly short sighted.

So there it is. I find the shortsightedness we have as a species abhorrent, it burns me up, it makes me CRAZY!!! to imagine the waste we’re still producing even though we know it’s wasteful.
And that would suggest to me that because I’m having difficulty with it on a planet wide level, it bears looking at in myself.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about refusing to do stuff because I’ll play out the potential scenario in my head, decide it will end badly and save myself the trouble and heartache and waste of time it would take to actually live it. Like I’m so damn precognitive I know exactly how the story will end.

I don’t.

I must say though, when I was young I used to devour (with my eyes and my brain) murder mysteries. And it always made me crazy when the murderer didn’t get away with it, mostly because they didn’t have the foresight to imagine what would happen after the murder, when Hercule Poirot showed up and Scooby-Doo’d the Orient Express. And they would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for that meddling famous Belgian Sleut (honestly, Albert Finney was pretty good, but Peter Ustinov is forever ensconced in my mind as that most observant character).

I love knowing things. I love it. I love being the girl who knows things that you don’t know. Or stuff you do know, because if you give me half a chance, I’ll tell you all about it. I grew up on afterschool GI Joe, where it was drilled into me…”Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” They never said what the other half was, but I’m guessing it had something to do with liberal use of napalm. It was a war oriented show, after all.
At any rate, as I get older, I am becoming more selective about the things I know. I’ve come to understand that having a database of movie trivia might not be as practical as it once felt like it could be. Honestly, I’ll carry the memory of being called at 2am from a different province to be asked the name of the guy who played Mongo in blazing saddles (it was Alex Karras, also known as James Garner’s gay bodyguard in Victor, Victoria(i could write a whole blog about that movie, maybe I will one day) and the dad from the tv show Webster, which tried to cash in on the sassy adopted children formula after the success of different strokes and punky brewster. Who, by the way was a dream come true for a pippi longstocking fan who just wanted a treehouse, cool bedroom, mismatched socks, but could do without the idiot friend who thought she’d hide in an abandoned refrigerator while playing hide and seek. How was that fun for anyone, Cheri????)

Wow, I’m kinda all over the place tonight. I’ll blame the wine. Thanks wine.

I’m getting to the age where school doesn’t have much appeal for me, at least not the commitment of it. I do much schooling. Right this moment for instance, I’m enrolled online in a course on Marine Archaeology, Writing Fiction, The Art of Poetry, Exploring Oceans and have just finished courses on Electrical Engineering, Irish History, Solar Energy, Songwriting, Digital Sound Design and a bunch of others. Like I said, I like knowing things. And these courses, which are totally free online by the way and barely a drop in the bucket of what’s available out there, offer me the chance to know stuff without actually making any kind of long term overtures towards making a career, setting definitive goals, following through in any definable way, whatsoever. It’s really beautiful, what’s available. Going to school because that’s what you do and getting into massive debt because that’s part of it? A thing of the past with many things.
Seriously, I just searched mechanics on the edx site and found everything from robot mechanics to quantum mechanics to game design to aeronautical engineering all the way to how stuff moves.

So why would I spend how much money to go to actual school? Because ultimately I’m a hands on girl. If there’s any kind of double entendre to be found in that statement, please refer back to the wine blaming segment of this suddenly very very long seeming blog. Seriously, maybe I should split it into two parts, I’m rewriting the lord of the goddamn dancing flies over here.

My main concern at this point is not old patterns interfering with my focus, I have enough awareness of them to push through I think. It’s not even the actual cost of school and living and such, I feel confident that I could earn enough working to save towards schooling and earn enough after to pay off a loan within a reasonable amount of time.
My main cause of should I or shouldn’t I stems from a place of “I don’t know what my endgame is.” I have no idea what I want to see happen as a result of my going to school. If it’s just a case of doing the 10 month heavy duty mechanics foundation so I can say “I’m a heavy duty mechanic( to be honest, that’s pretty badass)” that seems silly.

I know I don’t really want to go work for mines or up north or any of the places that would pay me the really big bucks. I honestly have no interest in trading portions of my soul for the privilege of retiring early. The end does not justify the means for me. I want to use my power for good. Spiderman learned that the hard way. How many Uncle Ben’s have to be sacrificed to the altar of with great power comes great responsibility before we stop just doing stuff for the sake of because I can?

Yes, I have the aptitude to be a heavy duty mechanic.
Yes, I have the time to devote to study.
Yes, I have the brain focus required to do such work.
Yes, I have 4 schools (Campbell River, Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver) within a moderate distance of where I live to get the training.
Yes, I have infinite options (we’re talking all over the world as far as I can tell) to follow through on once I’ve done the first year foundation which counts towards at least some of the apprenticeship if in fact I want to spend the next four years working towards becoming a certified red seal heavy duty mechanic.
Yes, I would have to leave my tiny cabin at the end of the road for a time (at least 10 months) to get it done.

But once it’s done. Once I’ve done the 10 months. I have almost the equivalent of a first years’ apprenticeship under my belt and likely the skills to attract any number of companies who would sponsor my next three years if that’s the route I want to take. What then?

What’s the end game? I’m tired of being short sighted. No, I don’t know how the movie will play out, there could be any number of twists. I could end up a marine engineer on the fly, working on the Bob Barker for the Sea Shepherds. Or I could end up tracking down old vans and buses, fixing them up with my newly acquired welding/electrical/diesel to biodiesel skills like this amazing guy over here.

Ultimately, I want to do something with my life that makes sense. From my perspective, going back to school for heavy duty mechanics is a lovely idea, considering how I feel about engines and knowing that it will be a long time before we’re all driving electric cars. Or buses. Or transport trucks. Or gigantic tonka toys. And someone will be needed to fix those machines. Every firefly needs a Kaylee. I just feel as though I need to have some focus on the other side of the school so I can be sure I’m not just learning for the sake of learning, because I can’t think of anything better I should be doing.

I want to look in the mirror and see someone who isn’t short sighted and useless and silly for the wrong reasons. I would even be okay with looking amazing in tight pants now and again. That seems less urgent though. But just as attainable.


The pattern is alive and well. Around and around.

November 13, 2014

I have the most vague idea of the kind of life I want to be living and it’s starting to get silly. It would be one thing if I was perfectly happy to bumble along, into whatever job, house, adventure comes along. I’ve been pretty good at that so far. Actually, when I consider it, I’ve been amazing at that so far.  And for most of my existence, I’m really enjoying myself. It would be insane for me to suggest that the who knows what I’m going to be doing/kind of house I’m going to be living in/i’ll be working as/colour legwarmers I’ll wear today (right this second, they are red) perspective has not been working for me because it really has.
I’ve had great jobs, working for awesome people.
I’ve lived in tiny cabins and buses and big houses and apartments in Paris and the beach.
I’ve been places and seen things and experienced music and laughter and joy regularly.
I have a delightful and extensive collection of leg warmers and long socks.

That’s great. But perspective is a super interesting thing. Depending on where you’re standing, it looks way different. And lately, I’m craving something a little different. Which is exciting. But I’ve suddenly been overcome with fear.
My fear is that I’m experiencing that thing that happens every few years or so, where I decide it’s time to be responsible, without having a clear understanding of what I’d like to be responsible for. This is not a new thing for me. Typically, I decide I’m going to go to school and I enroll, I get excited, I start planning accordingly and then I get a job or an offer to go hang out in Paris or move to the kootenays suddenly. That’s the pattern.
I get freaked out that I don’t have money or something creative or interesting going on, I decide I’m going to improve my situation and the most likely option to do that is schooling. So I enroll, but find last minute reprieve with a delightful distraction and bam! No follow through, at least on the school thing. And thankful for it because I’ve spent years convincing myself I do not have the temperament for school. Which might not be true but more on that in a second.

I lived on the coast and planned to go to school. I moved to Paris. I came back and had nothing going on so I put myself on the list for an electrician course. I got a job with my uncle fixing boats and when my name came up I opted out. I started to burn out a bit fixing boats for rich people and started to look at schooling for marine foundations, tickets, certificates to work anywhere in the world. I  moved to the kootenays for a time. Feeling as though I didn’t have enough going on work-wise, I started to think about school. And almost immediately moved back to the coast.

Dang, old habits, hey?

So guess what I’m doing right now? I’m in a 6 week intro to trades course, which ideally helps one focus on whatever trajectory they’d like their life to be headed and facilitates this with the acquisition of various certificates that make one more attractive to potential employers, assertiveness training (which, holy wow, I could use a whole damn semester of just that!) how to make resumes, goal setting, etc. But the main focus is on where do you want to be? And since there are only 5 trades offered at the campus here, I had pretty much settled on automotive. Mostly because engines make sense, I have some background. I think since there are so many cars, there will always be some work.
But then they sent me on a work placement, as part of the course. I spent a couple of days with some awesome mechanics, at the city and LaFarge, the mine on Texada Island. Heavy duty mechanics. We’re not messing around here. Working on trucks that have wheels that are about 3 feet taller than I am. The biggest tonka toys I’ve ever seen. So. goddamn. awesome. But still just a happy little v8, not rocket surgery by any means. Totally graspable reality. Ok, maybe not technically a little v8, but you get it.

Without exception, everyone I talked to told me that to start with automotive would be a good first step on an uphill climb. Whereas to start with heavy duty mechanical, I’m already at the top of the rainbow and can then slide down it into whatever grease soaked whirling machinery pot of golden diesel fueled joy I like, whether it be transport trucks, buses, boats, cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers, chainsaws, angry cats.

There may have been no official mention of rainbows or angry cats. But I understand subtext.

So, being faced with the end of the course I’m in and as part of the deal on completion, I did an assessment test today not for automotive service tech, which they offer in Powell River, but for heavy duty mechanic, which they do not. The closest places for such things are Campbell River, Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver.

I passed. With flying colours. (rainbow colours, perhaps?)

So now comes the swirling vortex of mind fuck anxiety as I struggle with the knowledge that I have what it takes to get into school to be a heavy duty mechanic. Which, to be honest, I kinda already had. But confirmation is nice. Plus there are all kinds of grants for women going into trades that the government has deemed important (such as any that would benefit the oil and gas industry) so the cost of schooling isn’t even as intimidating as it could be. There is no guarantee that I would be eligible for such things, but hope keeps the dream alive.

But does hope keep the monsters living under my bedhead at bay?

Here I am, freshly moved to a new place, open to whatever adventure and delight might be in store for this firegypsy and her  black fox princess friend, having found some work and some friends and a tiny house at the end of the road. The reclusive writers’ dream. A small blue cabin to write a rock opera, some novels, plot and scheme my summertime festival pathway lighting path, hula hoop in the living room, listen to the sound of the stars whirling overhead in a dance so cosmic even stars call it that.

But no matter where I move to, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not enough, I just keep bringing it with me, like a sign on my back I can just see out of the corner of my eye. A sign that says, what are you doing with your life? And how long can floating sustain you before you start to sink, or get tired of treading water? Some days I feel like a ghost, haunting my own existence. I don’t want it to take something drastic or dire to shift my sensibilities from one of restless inactivity to engaged proactivity.
I’m also tired of being in a position where I’m on the verge of selling my lasers or whatever I can in order to make rent. I’m tired of not being able to go to the dentist because I can’t afford it. I’m scared of getting really sick and having no financial backup because I never learned how to save money.
At this point, regardless of
a) how much it sucks to even consider leaving here when I’ve only just found it, or
b) how much I know myself and understand my track record when it comes to enrolling in school, or
c) my puzzlement at choosing to be good at something that might result in my working where it can get cold, cramped, bloody, uncomfortable, awkward, hard, wet, smelly, toxic, dangerous, etc.
d) my brain insisting that there are far better warmer, drier, cleaner occupations we would be equally good at
e) being unsure of how my being a heavy duty mechanic would benefit the world at large

I’m seriously considering it.

Which suggests two things. Either I’m determined to challenge the habit of schooling and bailing, end up with some skills and a broadening of the knowledge of engines I already have to put myself into a position where I could find an apprenticeship and earn some money to enable dentist visits and healthy teeth to last the next 73 years(because when I’m 111, I likely won’t care as much about my teeth) or I’m setting myself up for the next great adventure curveball life seems to send along whenever I try to school myself.

However, there could be many benefits to my starting a heavy duty mechanic education. (I say starting because at this point, since I’m not already working for someone who would sponsor and apprentice me, I’ll start with the foundation course somewhere. It’s kind of the equivalent of a first year apprenticeship, slightly fewer bankable hours because it’s all school with a little bit of work placement maybe.)
Having a basic education in mechanics is never a bad thing. Understanding engines and mechanical systems could work for me anywhere in the world. Comprehending how engines run with various fuels might enable me to tweak those systems to run on less conventional fuels (“she drives an electric campervan? How is that possible? She did it herself? How fucking sexy is that? So sexy. And she can play the ukulele? Damn.”  It’s true, I’m all about the she’s so sexy fine accolades.) . I know the government has created incentives to get people into trades because they want pipeline workers and I struggle with, where would I end up working if I got into a trade such as this? But sea shepherds need boat mechanics just as readily as yacht owners do.

Ok, this is a crazy moment. This is almost exactly the plot of the movie I sketched in death by never. Was it called that? I think so. It was. Holy fuck.

I wrote my own story 2 months ago, before I enrolled in the course, forgot I wrote my own story, started living it, started to write it again, remembered I wrote it, now I don’t know what to do. I’m caught in a self-referential loop.
Have I manifested the potential future I wrote about because it’s a path that’s right for me? (does that mean I’ve also manifested a sweet love interest who plans to save the world from a more human perspective? I will befriend the robots, he will aid the humans, we could bridge the skynet gap!!! I’M LIVING IN A SCI-FI ROMANCE!!!! MY LIFE IS AWESOME!! Playing out this story suddenly seems like the best idea ever.) Am I going to keep coming back to this school and bail reality until I break the pattern? If that’s so, I should make sure this is actually the thing I want to go to school for. Because while it’s all hunky and dory to get an education for the sake of learning, if I don’t have at least some semblance of a focused plan for what I’d like it to look like on the other side, it’s kinda pointless. Even if it’s moving to Tasmania and building small sheds with solar powered ac to keep tasmanian devils cool so they wouldn’t be so angry all the time.

Come to think of it, I’d really like to visit New Zealand and Tasmania. Hear that random adventure travel gods? I’m thinking about school…

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