Thursday, January 23, 2014

Things that have been on my mind


I guess its a bit redundant to call a blog post that, anything written here is by default stuff that has crossed my mind, however today is about stuff that has been festering.  But first the news.

Before Christmas, I was contacted by two agents who had found my resume online and had gained enough interest in me to call.  One was for a Calgary based oil company, the other a Burnaby office of an engineering firm.  From a purely technical perspective I was quite well qualified for them.  On Monday of this week an email was received from informing that the position had been filled.  This was not a huge surprise or disappointment.  The Burnaby opportunity went better, I was called in for an interview.  Dressing sharp and showing up the encouraged ten minutes early I gave it my best shot.  It could have gone better, I had woken up sometime after 3am and tossed and turned the rest of the night.  For that long hour I acted rested and alert.

Now for the things that have been on my mind.  Which I hope I can extract because that opening paragraph distracted me.   Vancouver, do I want to live here.  Yes it is beautiful, I have friends here, and things are generally pretty good. Yet I want some things this place can't offer.  Proper white winters with satisfying cold snaps, a home closer to the wilds, a chance for silence and dark skies.  Yet I know this countries towns and cities so poorly that I cannot think of a goldilocks town that has the right size and climate.  I have a small sampling of places that clearly not right.

Ambition and I get along like oil and water, if you don't shake us we separate.  I am not a natural go getter,  money is a convenient tool but its not hungered for, the same is for status or stuff.  Knowledge is a different matter, and during my undergrad most classmates, friends and instructors thought I would likely go into academics.  It nearly happened a couple times, certainly my interest in less practical science and facts favored it, but my fidgety restless brain had enough and by the end of undergrad wanted a new thing.

It is not only that I lack ambitious plans, or for that matter a plan, it is also that when saddled with the extra responsibility I buckle.  Those few times when I have ran with a full plate at full speed always left asking, when can I stop.  Those sprints have even been fun at times, but never have I said I wanted to keep running,.I lack the tools to keep sane at full speed.

Yet treading water as I am now is also doing me no favours.  After the emotional roller coaster that was disappearance and convalescence of my cat I started to try to take looking for work seriously.  This was quickly met with the expected discovery that jobs matching my currently advertised skill set and experience were few and far between.  A situation made worse by most of advertised jobs being far more IT oriented than I had and business applying for, add in the feeling that my last job with it's endless mouse clicking had made me dumber did not encourage me.  In that ecochamber of my brain it did not take long for the message to mutate from there few jobs, to there are no jobs for me.   Periodic bad moods have followed.  By my estimation this tuesday was one of the worst, it was slightly better than how I felt after three weeks in the Yukon back in 2011.

Since at least 2008, when I got laid off from my first serious gig, I have been asking how do I get from here to there.  Initially here, was defined as someone who was good at finding shiny minerals in heavy green rock, looking at a compass to make sure the drill was pointing the right way, and occasionally entrusted with the authority to stop the drill.  There was a nebulous collection of environmental science jobs that looked like they could work with my degree and were not looking for shiny minerals. After some stops and starts I got as far as not looking for the shiny myself, I just drew treasure maps pointing to the shiny.  The Burnaby job was one of those targets.  Yet some of the jobs I believe I want sit as a intellectual compulsion, that I feel I should want then because it is something I could have done when I first graduated, there is no real interest, a feeling I have had since 2009.

So where does that leave me now.  Not in a terrible spot, but not in a great spot either.  I still can't conceive of what most job descriptions I read entail in terms of the work done, and so I can't be sure how to tailor my resume to get attention. At least I do know one thing, the current distribution of my resume is able to get me interviews for jobs it was written for, which makes it a technical success.

 How I define here differs with each there I am trying to reach, only I don't know where I want to end up.  In a break with tradition I have developed a low simmering anger.  Too much of my reading has been about the ruined economy folks my age and younger are facing. Still more of my reading the damage being done or planned to be done through the oil industry and its endless rape.  That shit cake gets a thin icing of hope as read about the reemergence of bicycle culture and other green solutions that are not simply green paint.

And now I have spent the most productive hours of my day ranting  about my state of mind rather than trying to improve my situation. Typical, but considering how low I have been in recent weeks, a good investment.

1 comment:

Ien in the Kootenays said...

I rather like the values expressed here. Look where ambition and the hunt for status has got humanity. Clearing your own mind this way is a good thing.