*** Major disclaimer. Not only are the views expressed solely mine, I make a damnably large amount of pop culture references within this blog. I am not attempting to be clever and make inside jokes that no one but me will get (maybe?) but it should be known that I believe we are all composites of everything we have seen, read, experienced, etc and so, in my mind, every reference is integral to the narrative. However odd and rambly that narrative may seem. ***
It’s known, at least to me, sometimes but not always, that those things I find most annoying or idiotic in others are typically things that I could really stand to work on. A lot.
“I think that girl over there with the too tight pants is a slutty showoff who thinks she’s better than everyone else.” Ok, first of all, that girl that I’ve kinda decided I’m better than because I don’t go around thinking I’m better than everyone else just by the way I stand there? Is that the one? And honestly, if I had a butt like that? I would totally fucking wear those pants.
Sooooo, yeah. That’s just an example of a super judgey moment I had recently. Maybe yesterday. Yup. In the game of mindful consideration and not being queen of the dagger thoughts, I have a ways to go yet. Working on it. It’s not always so overtly cruel and actually, the changeover time from vitriol thought-spew to awareness that I’m being a jerk is getting much quicker.
But here’s the impetus behind this late night observation.
I hate the fact that as a species we seem to be rocking short sightedness like it’s a brand new hat we want everyone to know about. Yes, people don’t wear enough hats and perhaps souls don’t develop because people are easily distracted. But it could be argued that we’ve envisioned ourselves to be easily distracted. And by doing so have created a world filled with disposable technology, fast food, quick reads, substanceless films, top ten lists galore!!! (Not a fan of these lists and I’ll explain why another time) and pills for everything, including dogs with anxiety. How is that a genetically engineered benefit?
I honestly don’t think there is anything sustainable about this existence and I feel like that’s starting to be felt in many different places, by many different people, regardless of the frustration we might feel towards those in power not seeing it like this at all. Japan is still slaughtering dolphins and insists they will only be killing 333 whales in the name of science in the southern ocean whale sanctuary this year. The word sanctuary must mean something different in Japanese. I’m not trying to say that the actions of a few reflect an entire country, but I feel they do the citizens of that country an injustice. Just as Stephen Harper threatens all that is sane and healthy about living in Canada. There is no consideration for the state of the planet they will be leaving their children. They actually have children, these men in power, in love with power, with money, with petroleum fueled greed and they still have no consideration for the future, for their own children. I really don’t get it.
But this is not a political rant. This is not even an attempt to make sense of why the world is in the state it is. It will work out however it does. We blow up, we starve, we run out of water (fun fact. If you took all the water from the earth and formed it into a ball, it would take up 1/10th the size of the planet. For instance, an orange as compared to a pea. It may cover 70% of the surface, but there’s not as much of it as you think) we are obliterated by disease that was manufactured in a lab somewhere for a reason known only to a character in a stephen king novel, however we pedal to the metal on this mad max road warrior to nowhere mentality, it is what it is. And as much as I’d love to see a scenario play out like In the Days of the Comet by HG Wells where we pass through the tail, fall asleep and wake up unaware that we were ever war mongering insensitive douchebags, I don’t think it’s going to be so quick. And I don’t know that I agree with even that lack of awareness. It poses a curious question for me. Is it better to be a jackass, become aware that you’re a jackass, work and strive to be less of a jackass and benefit the world around you both with the example of how you can move away from jackassery and by just not being a jackass anymore? Or is it better to be a jackass, get hit with a comet, and wake up being a lovely person who doesn’t hesitate to help if that’s what’s needed. Sure, you’re now a good person who is really fun to be around but what’s to stop you from sliding back into the previous behavior since you’ve only had your pathways rerouted. The synaptic trails are still there. A little overgrown perhaps, but with a machete and some suggestibility….
But wow do I ever digress.
I previously put forth the possibility that it might be presumptuous of me to prepare a path into a post secondary education because of a propensity to part company with such plans.
Consistently I have acknowledged that the fault lies not in my stars but in myself. And while I’m not so disgruntled by this bit of information that I’m planning to try and fix those stars by stabbing Julius Caesar right in his ides of march, I must examine why this behaviour appears to be without exception, so consistent. Short of getting hit upside the head with a comet, I don’t see it changing, which makes even the prospect of enrolling in a heavy duty mechanics course for next fall, by historical habit, folly. Which makes me a little sad. Because I really do feel a kinship to engines. I hear when they are in pain and more often than not, I am powerless to help because I just don’t know how. I rail against the dependence on petroleum but still I drive and do very little to make smaller my carbon footprint.
So how beneficial might it be to me and the world near and dear to me to study, understand the systems at play and be able to find alternatives. There are wiser peoples than me working on such things, it’s true. And the alternatives exist. Tesla car, anyone? Not just a cool wacky scientist anymore…or an awesome character in a Clive Barker novel, or a cool character in an Alan Moore graphic novel. No, now it’s a fancy and sweet looking electric sports car. Still somewhat cost prohibitive for the masses, maybe. I don’t actually know. I just presume that there is no earthy way I could afford it, even if I wanted one. To be honest, I’m not really a sports car kind of girl.
When I think of all the vehicles out there that are sad and lost and forgotten and left behind, it frustrates me to no end. Especially when they could be salvaged and turned into traveling or sedentary homes. And I really feel like it wouldn’t take a whole lot to do stuff like this. Some know-how, confidence in one’s abilities and reclamation of things not thought of as useful anymore. The idea that we need to create new stuff all the time is archaic, funnily enough. How many millions of cars roll off the assembly line every year and aren’t bought? I bet its a huge number. And we’re making them, too, as disposable as most everything else being created these days. It’s terribly short sighted.
So there it is. I find the shortsightedness we have as a species abhorrent, it burns me up, it makes me CRAZY!!! to imagine the waste we’re still producing even though we know it’s wasteful.
And that would suggest to me that because I’m having difficulty with it on a planet wide level, it bears looking at in myself.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about refusing to do stuff because I’ll play out the potential scenario in my head, decide it will end badly and save myself the trouble and heartache and waste of time it would take to actually live it. Like I’m so damn precognitive I know exactly how the story will end.
I must say though, when I was young I used to devour (with my eyes and my brain) murder mysteries. And it always made me crazy when the murderer didn’t get away with it, mostly because they didn’t have the foresight to imagine what would happen after the murder, when Hercule Poirot showed up and Scooby-Doo’d the Orient Express. And they would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for that meddling famous Belgian Sleut (honestly, Albert Finney was pretty good, but Peter Ustinov is forever ensconced in my mind as that most observant character).
I love knowing things. I love it. I love being the girl who knows things that you don’t know. Or stuff you do know, because if you give me half a chance, I’ll tell you all about it. I grew up on afterschool GI Joe, where it was drilled into me…”Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” They never said what the other half was, but I’m guessing it had something to do with liberal use of napalm. It was a war oriented show, after all.
At any rate, as I get older, I am becoming more selective about the things I know. I’ve come to understand that having a database of movie trivia might not be as practical as it once felt like it could be. Honestly, I’ll carry the memory of being called at 2am from a different province to be asked the name of the guy who played Mongo in blazing saddles (it was Alex Karras, also known as James Garner’s gay bodyguard in Victor, Victoria(i could write a whole blog about that movie, maybe I will one day) and the dad from the tv show Webster, which tried to cash in on the sassy adopted children formula after the success of different strokes and punky brewster. Who, by the way was a dream come true for a pippi longstocking fan who just wanted a treehouse, cool bedroom, mismatched socks, but could do without the idiot friend who thought she’d hide in an abandoned refrigerator while playing hide and seek. How was that fun for anyone, Cheri????)
Wow, I’m kinda all over the place tonight. I’ll blame the wine. Thanks wine.
I’m getting to the age where school doesn’t have much appeal for me, at least not the commitment of it. I do much schooling. Right this moment for instance, I’m enrolled online in a course on Marine Archaeology, Writing Fiction, The Art of Poetry, Exploring Oceans and have just finished courses on Electrical Engineering, Irish History, Solar Energy, Songwriting, Digital Sound Design and a bunch of others. Like I said, I like knowing things. And these courses, which are totally free online by the way and barely a drop in the bucket of what’s available out there, offer me the chance to know stuff without actually making any kind of long term overtures towards making a career, setting definitive goals, following through in any definable way, whatsoever. It’s really beautiful, what’s available. Going to school because that’s what you do and getting into massive debt because that’s part of it? A thing of the past with many things.
Seriously, I just searched mechanics on the edx site and found everything from robot mechanics to quantum mechanics to game design to aeronautical engineering all the way to how stuff moves.
So why would I spend how much money to go to actual school? Because ultimately I’m a hands on girl. If there’s any kind of double entendre to be found in that statement, please refer back to the wine blaming segment of this suddenly very very long seeming blog. Seriously, maybe I should split it into two parts, I’m rewriting the lord of the goddamn dancing flies over here.
My main concern at this point is not old patterns interfering with my focus, I have enough awareness of them to push through I think. It’s not even the actual cost of school and living and such, I feel confident that I could earn enough working to save towards schooling and earn enough after to pay off a loan within a reasonable amount of time.
My main cause of should I or shouldn’t I stems from a place of “I don’t know what my endgame is.” I have no idea what I want to see happen as a result of my going to school. If it’s just a case of doing the 10 month heavy duty mechanics foundation so I can say “I’m a heavy duty mechanic( to be honest, that’s pretty badass)” that seems silly.
I know I don’t really want to go work for mines or up north or any of the places that would pay me the really big bucks. I honestly have no interest in trading portions of my soul for the privilege of retiring early. The end does not justify the means for me. I want to use my power for good. Spiderman learned that the hard way. How many Uncle Ben’s have to be sacrificed to the altar of with great power comes great responsibility before we stop just doing stuff for the sake of because I can?
Yes, I have the aptitude to be a heavy duty mechanic.
Yes, I have the time to devote to study.
Yes, I have the brain focus required to do such work.
Yes, I have 4 schools (Campbell River, Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver) within a moderate distance of where I live to get the training.
Yes, I have infinite options (we’re talking all over the world as far as I can tell) to follow through on once I’ve done the first year foundation which counts towards at least some of the apprenticeship if in fact I want to spend the next four years working towards becoming a certified red seal heavy duty mechanic.
Yes, I would have to leave my tiny cabin at the end of the road for a time (at least 10 months) to get it done.
But once it’s done. Once I’ve done the 10 months. I have almost the equivalent of a first years’ apprenticeship under my belt and likely the skills to attract any number of companies who would sponsor my next three years if that’s the route I want to take. What then?
What’s the end game? I’m tired of being short sighted. No, I don’t know how the movie will play out, there could be any number of twists. I could end up a marine engineer on the fly, working on the Bob Barker for the Sea Shepherds. Or I could end up tracking down old vans and buses, fixing them up with my newly acquired welding/electrical/diesel to biodiesel skills like this amazing guy over here.
Ultimately, I want to do something with my life that makes sense. From my perspective, going back to school for heavy duty mechanics is a lovely idea, considering how I feel about engines and knowing that it will be a long time before we’re all driving electric cars. Or buses. Or transport trucks. Or gigantic tonka toys. And someone will be needed to fix those machines. Every firefly needs a Kaylee. I just feel as though I need to have some focus on the other side of the school so I can be sure I’m not just learning for the sake of learning, because I can’t think of anything better I should be doing.
I want to look in the mirror and see someone who isn’t short sighted and useless and silly for the wrong reasons. I would even be okay with looking amazing in tight pants now and again. That seems less urgent though. But just as attainable.