When I transition through phases in life, I tend to find myself sort of mentally overwhelmed, and my response to it is that I find one thing to focus on, to just get somewhere, then I can take a look at the larger picture from a better place.
I’m onto a “me” phase out of necessity. Things are in the works, big change is afoot for this here writer.
Coming up on July 1st, I’m officially un(der)employed.
Happy Canadian independence (repatriation, if yer picky) day, indeed.
The Canadian system allows us to earn about 25% of our working salary on top of unemployment benefits, legally and without financial penalty. It makes life much, much easier — puts the food on the table when benefits only cover my basic costs of living, not even food.
I’m lucky, I’ve got that 25% worktime on my hands. My present/former employers do love me and I get work when I need it / they have it. So, you know, I eat. I like this.
Do I want to go back there full-time long-term?
Well, I’m faced with knowing I’ve given the last 10 years of my life to an industry that is at the mercy of international currencies, cultural trends, taxation policies, and government legislation.
Time and time again, I’ve gotten the ax. It’s unpredictable.
“Well, why do it,” you ask? Working in film is a lifestyle choice. The people are hip, fun, cool. The jobs are plentiful in variety and come in waves. It’s creative but structured. It’s an industry you work in because you’re a fan — anything you can do to be a part of film? Yeah, diggit. You contributed. You’re a part of art immortal, a member of a creation team.
But I’m too old for this shit.
Being Canadian, there’s lots of great options available. As a worker in a long-tenured position, I can return to school — which I’d have to pay for — and receive unemployment benefits for up to 2 years. I’ll be looking into some options in the coming weeks, but sort of know what I’d like to pursue.
What a time of change, though.
Never coulda seen this coming last year. What a wild ride the last three months have been. I already know some of what’s coming for the next three, too, and it’s just more of a wild ride.
When I lost my job, my attitude was “Well, I can’t change that, but I can be open to what this time brings.”
I see some people resisting the change life’s thrown at them of late, acting from a place of fear instead of empowerment. I ain’t judging. I’ve been there before.
There’s a certain salty confidence one gains from hard times. Lord knows I done seen mine.
I’ve never been as confident in myself as I am now, but I’m also at an absolute loss to tell you what my life will entail. I know aspects of it, sure — writing, speaking, doing comedy, losing weight, looking for clients, et al… but where it’ll lead? Who knows.
It’s the mystery that makes it fun. It’s the intrigue that makes my eyes sparkle with curiosity. I’ve loved the weird detours I’ve had so far, and can’t wait for whatever unexpected discoveries come my way.
As long as I’m eating month to month? Well, hey, man. Let’s see.
If you’ve never read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, it’s one of those books that’s in that crowd everyone should read in college — Siddhartha, Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, etc. It’s a book about a young shepherd boy who dreams of achieving his goal one night, and sets off in search of treasures in far away lands. It’s a fable, and it’s a wonderful little novella.
Along the way he is frequently told “Maktub,” which apparently translates from the Arabic to mean “It is written.”
Beautiful thought but I’m not so sure I agree. I can’t believe the strangeness I’ve endured year in, year out is written.
Life seems like a game of celestial pick-up sticks to me, my friends. Throw what you can, get what you can, and see what you can make of it.
Perhaps, though, life is written. Perhaps I just need to have a sly smile and know my life will take me the right places, because I know myself and I know my dreams. Perhaps, in that way, it really is written.
Life really is a gorgeous mystery sometimes. It’s nice to believe in the mystical, to think there’s some cosmic puppeteer helping to orchestrate incredible happenings of rich experiences, if you’re willing to play the role and follow the program.
The last time my life began moving in strange and mythical ways, I landed my ass in the Yukon for a year — living in the land of the Midnight Sun, reading dead writers, learning about writing, and experiencing my dream of seeing Northern Lights night after night.
There’s a lot to be said for sitting back and telling life to take the wheel for a while. Who knows where it feels like goin’?
It ain’t the destination, it’s the journey. If you’re always fucking with the navigation and the “right” way to go, there’s some amazing unexpected happenings you’re liable to miss.
Chill, Winston. Enjoy the ride. Have a destination in mind but be open to detours. It’s the best way to travel.