Monday, June 16, 2014

Wannabe No more

I'm doing it. All of it. And it feels great.

What am I talking about? Well, this story starts many years ago, when I bought my first real computer. The internet was new then, and we all had an online alias for email and chat rooms. Mine was Bohemian Wannabe. At that time I was still in the Army, a young mother, and doing the best I could to make it all work. I didn't regret my choices, but I knew I wanted to do more, to travel, and have adventures. 

Life went by, my children grew I acquired education and a career. I did what I thought I should, and much of what I did was good. I volunteered, I dedicated my career to working in nonprofit, I attained goals, both lofty and realistic. At the time, it seemed like I was doing the right things. Again, I don't regret my choices. 

Somewhere in all of that I became a Burner. And then about 5 years back, I started working the event. From that point on, my life began to change. First and formost my kids were growing up fast. Second, when I joined the Gayte Crew, I acquired an unruly disfunctional family of people. Like all families we have our issues, but the comraderie I've found among them, rivals that of which I experienced in the Army. We are thick as thieves, and a loyal bunch. 

So now this is my life. I'm in California for the summer, to spend time with my kids and work as much as I can, raising money to fund the rest of my year and pay down my debt. I'm tantalizingly close to being out of debt. I hope to work at Burning Man for most of the season, about 6 weeks on playa. Come fall, I'll return to Canada for the deep freeze, and next year I'll probably do it all again. Opportunities for new adventures keep falling at my feet, and with some good planning and hard work, I think I'll get to make the most of a lot of them.  

Way back when, when I was the Bohemian Wannabe, I think this is the life I had in mind, and right now I feel lucky as heck to have it. I have good people in my life, and love, and a reasonable hope for good things to come. No need to stop the ride. I don't wanna get off. As for being a wannabe, well some times we have to be careful what we wish for. And other times, it pays to want something more. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Proletariat Life

Yes, it's an unusual life I lead. I travel a lot. I've done a lot. I've learned not nearly enough.

My latest in Nomadic endeavors brought me back to my home in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the help of ever faithful friends, work quickly materialized for me, and now I'm living a lifestyle that I never would have expected. Skills long ignored are suddenly the core of my occupation as I embrace re-entry to the service world.

I have two regular gigs. The first one is on the Ferry, as a concessionaire. I pour wine, open beer, enthuse tourists, and empathize with commuters. It's not a bad gig. I realize that views I see as part of my routine, represent life long dreams for some who board my vessel. It's not hard work. I like bringing a little relief to commuters and fulfilling expectation for tourists, and the tips aren't bad either.

My second job reaches way back to the very beginning of my work history when I worked for First Street Foods in Benicia. I'm working as a prep cook. Mostly I cut and store a lot of vegetables, but I also make sauces, dressings and marinades. It's good steady work that provides method into my routine. I work with a cast of characters out of an Anthony Bourdain book, but it works for me. I'm comfortable in a kitchen. 

When I get off work I'm often tired and maybe a little sore from being on my feet, but I'm not upset. I don't feel misused, or helpless. I just go home, get ready for another day, and go to bed. I like it. It's simple. 

And yes, I'm not making a ton of money, but I know now that I can do so much more with so much less. I drive less and I buy less, and I feel like I'm living so much more. 

I don't regret years spent pursuing education and a career, but I've gotta say, there's a lot to be said for being a proletariat. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Bunny Menace

I admit it. I got tired of it all. I got tired of polishing my resume, constant competition and the overwealming requirement to be awesome and amazing. Everywhere I worked in my career excelled, and I thrilled my employers with great feats. I've been called a force of nature and a miracle worker, but the problem with labels like these is it sets the bar too high at the get go. When going into a new situation with an extraordinary performance level, it tends to leave you know where to go. 

This is what I have learned: I love to work. I love to be efficient, and creative, and innovtive. But, I always wear myself out when I come in too hot, and then my employer is disappointed that that amazing level of high performance I am capable of is not sustainable for 100% of the time. 

It's hard to balance, but at the age and this stage in life I'm finally beginning to understand that slow and steady wins the race. No wonder I dislike rabbits so much.