So. Stuff happened since I last checked in. Like, a lot of stuff. Enough to change my "About" section. Last time I was here, I was a professional driver working for a large fodd service corporation here in Ottawa and living a pretty decent life. I was reasonably content with the way my transition plan was working out. The job was ok, not inspiring, but it paid the bills, I had hella good benefits, and was up to 3 weeks vacation. Things were....fine.
As I progressed through transition, I came to view it as a series of plateus, or, to use video games as an analogy, a series of levels and skill trees. I noticed that after a few steps along the journey, after I would achieve a particular milestone I would find myself asking "Ok, what's next?" Maybe this is something that everyone does, but for some reason, I didn't. The lesson that I learned was that if you ask unto Allah1 silly questions like that, She will answer you, likely in a way you didn't expect. She has a sense of humour like that.
Not long after I made my last entry here though, some stuff happened. Ok, a lot of stuff happened. I'm no longer with the large food service company. I, through a series of events, have found myself back at school. I'm currently at Algonquin College here in Ottawa in the Architectural Technology program. I could have moved on to a different driving job with another company. That would have been the easy route. Safe, predictable, but ultimately it would have been doing the same job with a different name on the door. Actually, when I was temping this summer, it was literally that. Same equipment, same highway, different company. I was tired of it. I was tired of the late nights. I was tired of not seeing my daughter and my friends. I was tired of driving by another wreck on the highway. I was tired of being 5 hours away from home and not being able to stop and enjoy it. I was done.
I'm now two weeks into my program, and I love it. There's a ton of work. It's not hard work, not like I was used to, but there's a lot of volume. It's also a different kind of work, where I get to call on different sets of skills than I have for the past ten years. Work where I get to develop new skills and engage new areas of my brain. For the first time in a long time, I'm having fun doing work. I haven't experienced this since...yeah.
One thing I always thought about when I was at my old job was the structure and the routine. Checking the hour meters on the reefers became a symbol for the job itself. When my life seemed like it was falling apart around me when my marriage ended, there was the job. Check the reefer hours. When the relationship with my post-marriage partner ended and I was devastated, the job was there. Check the reefer hours. The job had become a constant in my life. Then, one day, it wasn't. Looking back, I remember saying at one point "Well, if my life is going to blow up, lets blow it all up and build it right."
The saying goes "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it." It's funny, because I wanted this, but when I wished for it, I had no idea how to get here. Yet, here I am. Level up. Lets do this.
1 Or the deity of your choosing.