As you may already be aware I’ve taken up surfing. Usually down on the Oregon coast (Seaside, Cannon Beach) or out at Westport, WA. I’ll either borrow Kt’s sister’s surfboard or rent one from a local surf shop. I have my own full length wetsuit with a hood, gloves and boots. I’ve had a few surf lessons: my first two were in Costa Rica, and another with Kt in Australia. Other than that, I’ve just figured it out as I go. I just know how fun it is to catch a wave.
I’ve been fighting off a cold for the last two weeks or so. It’s prevented me from being able to train. I think without training I tend to lose my focus and drive. When I take time off work it makes me wonder what else I could be doing in my life (rather than a desk job). That inevitably leads to me feeling pretty unsettled, and sometimes frustrated that I can’t make immediate changes to the situation. There’s bills to pay: I can’t just surf and train every day. Not yet, anyway.
These last few days, I’ve been wondering what my passion really is. I’ve come around to the idea that it’s not what I’m doing right now. Working in an office isn’t my dream. I can’t waste years working on something that isn’t bringing happiness to my life. There are two financial roadblocks: paying off my car, and the credit card. Those two things need to be cleared before I can really seek out my dream: whatever it may be, and wherever it may take me. I have to be okay with my dream changing over time, but I won’t let go of it, and I have to chase it as if my life depended on it.
I’m thinking about film school. I’m thinking about Canada. I’m thinking about Hawaii. I’m thinking about Boston. I’m thinking about the kind of work I want to do, but more importantly the kind of life I want to live. All of this thinking is being blurred by the cold I’m fighting and the medicine that’s controlling symptoms.
This blog has always been about me, and a way for me to motivate myself. Now there’s another person in my life, and we have shared responsibilities and shared dreams together. She’s always encouraging me to ‘quit my job and do what I really love’. I’ve been stuck in a mindset, and this blog is evidence of it, that I have to figure out my life on my own. Kt is by my side, and she can get me out of my own way. She pointed out that I’ve been avoiding the obvious: I need to write. So here’s to the endless search for the perfect wave, and the relentless chase after the kind of life I want to live.
Last year I made a decision to pursue a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). I applied to an online MBA program. I had to get my Australian bachelor’s degree evaluated for United States equivalency. It turns out that because an Australian bachelor’s degree is a three year program, the US only recognizes it as 3 years of undergraduate study, and not equivalent to a US bachelor’s. So I won’t be able to start my MBA right away. It’s a setback, but it has inspired me. Somewhere along the line I figured out how to handle setbacks like this one.
I felt wounded and cheated at first, like my degree was meaningless. It didn’t help that a course advisor tried to question the value of my degree: ‘how is creative writing going to help you in business?’ I gave her a quick retort that it’s an essential skill. Storytelling is invaluable to managers and leaders to communicate their vision and engage their team. The course advisor also said, incorrectly, that ‘a liberal arts degree is more like a community college associates’.
Out of frustration I started to plot a new course to the MBA. I could go to a liberal arts college, and complete the fourth year to earn a US bachelor’s. I could put off further study for now, and concentrate on professional certificates. I could even start a whole new bachelor’s degree. Having to plot this new course made me reconsider my goal: how badly do I want an MBA? I know I want to study something, but not precisely what, or how the MBA translates to my future happiness. Another big question came up, of where I should pursue my studies: here in the US or abroad?
I found myself once again realizing that I can do anything I want, I just have to do it. I’m finding my drive again, to set things in motion to make serious advances in my life. A big part of that is surfing, and another is studying and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The third thing I’m going to do is write.
Inveniam viam aut faciam.
I will find a way or make one.
Mount Washington is the major skiing resort on Vancouver Island. We stayed there for three days over Christmas. I wore my cowboy boots every day. My boots and I have come a long way.
There’s wasn’t enough snowfall for the skiing runs to open, but the empty lot next to our chalet was perfect for sledding. The neighbours had even set up a track. I spent most of my time outside in the snow. Whenever I was inside, I was usually reading a novel I found in the kids bookshelf. It was an academic thriller: The Rule of Four. It’s about Princeton students solving the complex puzzles in and of an ancient text. Whenever I’m on holiday, I always manage to find a book and finish it in two or three days.
Christmas was great. Had the usual celebrations of presents and food. Even though I was the only one between ten and thirty, I still had fun and enjoyed the company of the family we don’t get to see very often. It didn’t really snow on the day, but I still count it as a white Christmas.
One night they put on fireworks. I went out on my own to catch them. As I’m walking through the snow towards the lodge, the fireworks started. So I cut through the trees, over a creek and between chalets. The bright red, green, yellow, and blue lit up the fog in the sky. The sound echoed out over the mountain side. Then silence for a moment, before the next one. I came up to the lodge and joined the crowd.
Afterwards, I made my way back, taking the long way around. I wandered through the village of mostly empty chalets. On one of the walking trails, there was a family sized snowball fight in progress. They stopped to let me pass, even though I insisted they wouldn’t hit me. As soon as I returned to the chalet, I wrote everything down in my diary immediately.
Today we’re headed down to Victoria to see the other cousins. It’s not long now before I make my way to Seattle!