Friday, March 21, 2008

Life In Exile

I am writing this as I am having a stressed out week. Nothing specific has happened to stress me, work is much the same, and the people at work are much the same. Nothing has gone drastically wrong lately and camp has emptied out of much of the riff raff that crowed the place. So then why did I suddenly become stressed, because I woke up this week and knew that I was threes from going home and seeing the peoples I care about. The warm fussy memories that I stared this rotation with, keeping me in a sanguine mood mutated into a cold reminder of how far away I am and how long it will be until I can find my self in that same company.

I am coming up on two years of working in the North. I am currently at the half waypoint of my work rotation just having passed the 3-week mark of a six-week rotation. I will leave here on April 10th, and some time after I return to here my two year mark will be crossed, that being May 26. I first landed here on May 26 2006. I was a fish out of water, eager to learn and nervous about messing up.

When I first took this job some friends at university said that they would not take it, being that far way for that long was not worth it for them. They were neither as single nor as broke as me at the time. By the time I took this job I had $300 bucks to my name and few enough close friend back in Kelowna that leaving did not cost me that much. Also at the time I had few other leads on jobs so I jumped on this one. That was not a bad choice; it was one partly out of need and the fear that comes with it. I had no money, I was also tired of being broke. I had spent the last 6 years squeezing by barely able to afford my apartment and certainly not able to afford much else. So I took the job, moved out of my old shoebox and flew up north to work in gold exploration.

I choose to take the job, I have not chosen the life style. I have not made the choice to make exploration geology my profession. I made the choice to take a job at a time when I needed one. Now I start to face the cost of the money. Four or so years a go I had my first field job, it out Goldstream way near Revelstoke. I made an observation about this line of work during that time that still stands. They pay is good but the cost is high.

The pay is good but the cost is high. The cost comes from working six weeks at a time with two weeks off. It’s not living. When I first took this job, the pay was worth the cost, not much was left behind. Things change being away is something that carries a stronger meaning now and with that a higher cost. It is not longer enough to say I am not broke.

I stared out working up here very single with nothing to suggest that would change and this line of work makes changing that difficult. The very reason I am in the best financial situation of my life is same reason I have no life. Two weeks off after six out here is not living. Life happens, with out intent logic or planning I found my self-going out with the same woman more then once. In that context the idea of being away starts to mean something again. With each visit down south since September last year the cost of being away has increased. In the short term there is still good sense in continuing to work up here.

It’s the long term I have to keep in mind. I work with people for whom this self-imposed exile in the field is a choice. This is the life willing lived. I have not in full made that choice for my self. I have not chosen to accept this job, profession or as I am convinces, mental illness as the life I want to live

To resign my self to long months in the wilderness away from loved ones. I cannot in my heart say this is the life I want to live. It is not; it was never my plan to live this life full time. It was my idea to work this life in the short term to gain experience, to do something other then school. I had placed an arbitrary limit of two years of this work before moving on. The time is almost up. What's next?

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