" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

April 19, 2010

The Cycle of a Dream

The other night I was lying in bed and I had what could be called an epiphany (a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.)

And, just like that, it was clear to me that I must leave the island. Not immediately, but soon.  I just had this insight that my personal development as an individual is at stake if I don`t. I can not remain this broke. I can not remain this inert, mentally.  It had been a particularly `trying`day at the Employment office and suddenly, almost laughing, I said out loud, "Is it any wonder that I`m bored out of my mind?"

I realized that I used to spend my days working in a large department at UBC surrounded by people - 55 professors, 30-40 staff, tons of undergraduates and 200 graduate students. A dynamic city within a city. What I loved about that job is that there was always something new to do, `new information to try and digest, something going on and lots of people to interact with. The people I worked with were very smart but not full of themselves, quick witted and very nice. We got a lot done and we could see our results when it came to new recruiting initiatives and new brochures and new events always happening. And, we even had fun doing it!

When I left that job, I knew that it was possible that I may never have another job that I was better suited for and yet it was time to leave.  Even when I went to BC Mental Health & Addiction Services and was based at Riverview Hospital, after leaving Computer Science, although it wasn`t the greatest fit for me because it too felt a little stagnant at times, I did get to experience an environment that was very fascinating in terms of being foreign.  Let`s face it,  how else would I have the opportunity to get into a forensic psychiatric hospital and have access to inside information about some of the most notorious patients there? (Don`t answer that!) And, once again, I had a great manager with a great sense of humour and we got along really well.

Now I spend 4.5 hours a day, four days a week in one room. My co-worker is super nice and she is totally suited to do what she does for a living and always seems to have the time for everyone. That`s great. That`s the way it should be in that job. I don`t have that. I can fake it. But, it`s killing me. Maybe you`ve noticed, if you know me, that I don`t suffer fools gladly. Understatement. I can only show someone how to attach a file to e-mail about 10,000 times and then I`m done so I think I`m reaching my quota.

Now I`m not saying any of these individuals are fools. I haven`t ever actually met a true fool. Okay, well maybe one or two.  But, I have met a lot of people where something went very wrong in their education and it`s not all attributable to learning disabilities.

I`m interacting with people who are computer illiterate and in general seem to have a literacy level around Grade 7 or 8. While I`m not blaming them for that, I also don`t need to be the person who helps them get past it.  I don`t see it as a priviledge to help them. I would see it differently if I felt that they were intent on helping themselves. What I see is a lot of people expecting someone else to do the work for them.

There are a lot of conspiracy theorists here. There are a lot of people who believe the world is out to get them and everyone is out to screw them over and you know, on Salt Spring, that might just be true because everyone who isn`t independently wealthy is obsessed with figuring how to make a buck and survive here. I don`t want to spend this much time thinking about money. If I did, I would have become a stock broker and then it would make sense to spend this much time thinking about money.

Most people I interact with can not write a cover letter or even the first sentence to get themselves started. They can not do this without significant spelling mistakes that are not fixable by using spell check. They do not know how to save, print, attach a file to an e-mail or any number of the most basic computer tasks.  Many of them did not complete high school. The scarier part is that many of them did.

I keep having this thought about not hiding your light under a bushell. I think it`s a reference from the Bible actually, (which is weird that I would know it) but basically it`s suggesting that it`s wrong to hide your light from the world and maybe more importantly from yourself.  

What I have come to see on Salt Spring is a lot of talent that is not being used to its full potential in people who have it and desperation in those who don`t.  I have no qualms saying I fit into the first category.

There`s only so much that I`m willing to give up in order to live on a beautiful Gulf Island and basically that trade-off has become so one-sided in what I have to give up that I would be an idiot not to recognize that, at this point in time, it`s not okay to be okay with that.

So that`s what I`ve been thinking lately. It might sound really negative but you know, in a way, it`s actually a sign of progress. I came. I participated in what I wanted to. Now, I know the lay of the land and I`m looking for a new horizon.

In the book, The Artist`s Way, there`s a part that speaks to the fact that anger can be good because it shows you where you need to make change and that`s exactly how I feel about Salt Spring.

It`s good to recognize when a dream has been attained and to look for what`s next.  There`s still too much of the world to see and too many new things to learn, interesting people to meet and I think I`ve seen enough to know for sure that I`m never going make any of that happen by stayin`on this rock.


No comments: