Answering the why.

Author’s Notes:  For those whom I haven’t told yet, my career is taking me back to Asia.  I wrote the following on June 11.  For the purposes of surprise visits upon my return to Ontario, I decided to delay this entry.  I’m sneaky that way.  I may have also fibbed to a few people.  Obviously, I am not here on vacation.

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So it certainly is beginning to feel more real.  Now that I’ve officially graduated, the task of packing up my life in Victoria truly begins.  Vehicles took next to zero effort to sell, thankfully.  The tough part will be selling the odds and ends.  One of the advantages of having moved out to the west coast in the first place is that I was able to do away with a lot of things, minimalizing what I’ve owned.  This makes the process infinitely easier.

Here we go again…

I’ve spent the past couple of days washing up some clothes and loading suitcases.  I’ve been able to fit almost my entire wardrobe in two bags.  I feel as though that is a great accomplishment!  I then look at TheWife’s™ packing, and I am incredibly humbled.  A carry on and half a full-sized suit-case.  This realization is somewhat mitigated with the knowledge that I am twice the size as she.  I’ll take this as a victory.

So, the question may be circling some heads.  Why is he going back?  There are multiple reasons for this.  In all honesty, I knew this day would come again at some point.  As those closest to me know, I have the itch.  I like to wander.  As I’ve said before, I compare myself to a potted plant as opposed to a tree.  I have difficulty rooting myself to one place.  A second aspect to what has brought me to here relates to the whole mid-life crisis thang, and my general desire to experience more of Asia.  My trip to China will not be my last stop.  China is my refresher course.  Further on the docket are destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Holy Grail that is Nippon!  Let’s face it.  I am not getting any younger and my window to experience these countries the way I want to experience them is closing ever so slowly.  Third, is of course, timing.  Everything seemed to align to make this happen, with my getting laid-off from my employer and me completing my degree in close proximity.  What really sealed it, though, is a bit more complicated.

As I’ve gotten older, I have come to the conclusion that there is something horrendously wrong with the world and how it functions.  Many of us are still living in a world where we consciously or subconsciously believe that buying things makes us happy (although it is good to see that more people are spending on experiences than on things).  We accept the status quo of governments and businesses working in tandem to keep power in the hands of an increasingly select few.  The betterment of society as a whole is only used when it is convenient for corporate or governmental needs.  I, up until recently, worked in a company that, while I firmly believe was cleaner than most, worked in the very grey industry of internet advertising.  The excuse I heard most often was basically lemming theory (i.e. everyone else is doing it).  The majority of what we do, by extension, is corrupt somewhere down the line.  I, for one, want to participate as little as possible in these machinations.  I also believe that the best place to initiate change is with students.  I am now in a place educationally, and mentally, to start to plant my own seeds, in an effort to get the next generation to think more critically and hopefully come to similar conclusions so they can be a part of the change in which needs to come if society is to move forward.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
-Nelson Mandela

So, yeah.  Part of my decision is certainly self serving, but I’d like to think that it also has a greater purpose than just what I want for myself.

 

 

When focus keeps me away

“It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.” – Lester Burnham, American Beauty

It's a bit of a rare opportunity for me to be able to spend some time clacking away at my tiny keyboard and be able to drop some text to TheInterweb™.

I'm going to try and not sound disgruntled, but I make no promises.

Summer is winding down (although it feels like it ended weeks ago, if it had even started at all), it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that I'll be turning 39 soon. Part of me wants to be bitter about it, but at the same time, I'm not entirely sure I really care. This isn't being cynical, or a denial about aging. This also isn't the mantra of only being as old as you feel. While I can pinpoint certain possibilities that it is not, its still difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what it actually is. It could be that, despite my being of middle age, and the acknowledgement that there are no certainties about life span, I know that I still have at least a couple of tricks left. I still have the capability to surprise myself (not always a good thing, but generally leans to toward the positive).

A weak example, but applicable. On Saturday I made and committed to the action of a slight change of style. Since I departed from my pervious employer, I have been wearing nothing but street clothes, day in and day out. Hoodies, jeans, runners, and pop-culture T-Shirts. While observers might consider me upping my game to remove the hoodie and runners, and add a blazer and matching kicks insignificant, I personally consider it to be a bit of a big deal. Yes, the pop-culture Ts and the jeans are still intact, but part of that is because I do not have the means to change my wardrobe overnight. Plus, abandoning my sizeable T-Shirt collection would hurt my soul a little bit. I am not changing as a person. It's still the same engine, its just a bit of a cosmetic change.

So does this matter? This was an unprompted change. No one was forcing me, nor encouraging me. However, this small change alters the perception of me by others, and more importantly, the perception I have of myself. This is likely the first time I've really made a style change that wasn't forced or strongly encouraged. It means I have the capability to change more than just my physical location every couple of years. In a way, this could act as a bit of a catalyst. While I am hardly a mirror image, this introduction to change is rather Lester Burnham.

Distance is a shield.

“Daniel supposed he had a secret life. Most people did; it was hardly possible to live without one.”
P.D. James, Original Sin

Living on the west coast of Canada, I’ve become shielded from everything that goes on back home.  The true is also in reverse– people have no idea what I’m doing with myself here except working and being married (is that actually an action?).  For all anyone in Ontario knows, I could be an alcoholic recluse who spends his time writing bad poetry trying to reach the inebriated grandeur of Edger Allen Poe.  In some ways it’s comforting to know that what I do and who I am slowly becomes a mystery to my friends and family.  Again, this is a two way street.  When I come flying across the country, a sense of re-discovery takes hold as I get to catch up with those that I care about.

Edger Allen Poe

There’s news that I’ve been humming and hawing about putting up for display since I initiated the process in June.  As of last Thursday, I now have my full class 6 license.  For those outside the province of British Columbia, that means I can legally ride a motorcycle.  In all honesty, this process indirectly lead to me starting this web site.  A guy in his late 30’s getting his motorcycle license?  Can that feed any more into the MLC cliché?  I haven’t went out and bought a bike yet, but I’m casually looking.  Riding season can last 11 months of the year here as long as you bundle up.
It’s really a complete reversal on my opinion of motorcycles that I had for most of my life.  Actually, nix that.  It’s not that my opinion of them has changed, but more a realization that I’m mature enough now to be a lot more responsible about it.  Being responsible doesn’t negate the feeling and excitement though.  Riding is fun, and a much needed new experience for me.  TheWife™ is also cautiously excited as well.  She looks forward to going on joyrides of exploration on the island, as do I.  It’s also good to know that I’ve scratched another thing of my list of possible future regrets as I continue to take stock of the ones that I already have.