April 13, 2010

Memories. Change. Life

The weather has warmed up.  The cherry blossoms have nearly finished blooming.  The song birds are up and chirping at 5:45 in the morning when I leave for yoga.  The air smells warm and a little damp, with underlying scents of compost and overturned dirt.  The bees are humming.  The worms are crawling and the warm breeze coming from the ocean is full of life.  The awakening of my senses brings back memories of what used to be my job for the past 6 summers.

I used to work for an environmental consulting company.  I was a forestry technician who spent the winter months describing forest types around British Columbia and the summer months hiking through the forests.  Those summer weeks away from home were wonderful.  (Granted, I would complain when I started missing my bed, LW and city life).  I would be up early, in the truck by 7 am, coffee in hand, co-worker with the map and off we would go to explore BC's back country roads.  We would work.  Hike up steep hills, bushwhack through thick brush and measure trees.  But we would also explore.  Stop and take in the view.  Snap photos.  Watch for bears.  Admire wild flowers.  Listen for bird calls.  Eat lunch outside.  Swat at bugs.  Fall down hills.  Fly in helicopters up to the alpine.

About 5 months ago I left my Forest Tech job to follow through with a GIS Tech position at another company that does not operate in BC's Forestry industry.  I'm glad I did.  Government funding for forestry has been slashed this year and people are getting laid off left, right and center.

Now I sit at a desk for most of the day creating maps in ArcMap.  I don't mind my job, I'm learning a lot and I work with people who make me laugh out loud every day.  But I miss the feeling of anticipation of getting ready for the bush.  I miss organizing the gear that we need, getting maps printed and my personal field gear oiled up and ready for the summer.

As I ponder the nature of my current profession and that of my past, I think I am done with Forestry.  Not necessarily out of choice but because my path seems to be taking a new direction.  I have changed and grown and no longer feel challenged or inspired by what I thought Forestry would offer me.  I have many ideas that are starting to take form, that are slowly growing and that I'm sure will come to fruition in the next year or so.

The whole thought of taking yet another career path, again, scares me.  It makes me nervous.  My mind changes continuously, day by day.  I have no idea where I'll be in 5 years, what I'll be doing.  But I take comfort in the fact that I know that what I have accomplished and done in the past gives me memories such as those when I walk out my front door and smell the air every morning.


thedancingj said...

Wow, your old job sounds AWESOME. I can see why you would miss it a bit. I relate to this post on a lot of levels. I've been thinking a LOT this week about careers transitions and the things that we lose and gain every time we change our lives. It IS kinda nerve-wracking at times! I think that the yoga actually helps me a lot... I feel like I can be a lot more comfortable with uncertainty these days. Interesting.

Yolk E said...

Yes, your old job does sound awesome. I can see it would be hard to find as much excitement and stimulation in a desk job, though it sounds like your new path is offering different opportunities.

I like what you say about taking comfort in your past accomplishments! The past can be such a source of strength. I suppose a lesson from yoga is that the future is always uncertain, but the present is here, and there is a "rightness" to it.

Juliana said...

It is so true that yoga makes these changes in our lives just a little easier to accept and deal with.

Tarts and Tattoos said...

...aside from the old job, she misses seeing me daily the most... I miss her too.