The ever-evolving

Well, I feel when I set out on my Sunshine Valley adventure I had a big intention for more blog posts. Sharing the experience more. About perhaps a tiny home, volunteer fire fighting, a dog. Its ironic. With all those intentions, I have begun a job that is very routine based., and makes it not possible for some of these other things to coexist. I am not in Sunshine valley at the moment, and instead am around a 30 minute drive away. Its an unexpected change with all the certainty and ‘2 feet in’ energy I had to begin with.

I mentioned in my last post I got a job on the pipeline being built. This by no means is my dream job, or even one I feel totally comfortable in. It to me, is the next piece in my Sunshine valley vision. There were some housing dynamics in Sunshine Valley which was taking time to solidify. There was reality of work struggles, living in such a small town, and perhaps being too early there for stable consistent work. I could perhaps have done electrical but it would have taken alot of driving out to other cities, something I was looking forward to not doing after leaving Vancouver, since I had to do it all the time for my job there.

So, its a strange unfolding of circumstances. I feel I have found a job that pays me pretty well, has alot of work, and in its simplest form, is fulfilling my desire for a place in Sunshine Valley faster then any other option I had available. That comes with its price. Not identifying to heavily with my job, the community, and culture. I do feel the grief and mourning of that, especially after spending so many years of my life making those my highest values. Working for MEC, vegan restaurants, local bakeries, small businesses. I felt I really embodied those values and culture. And to now be working for a big pipeline feels shocking to me at times, and something I couldent imagine years ago. But I recognize, it today, fulfills my goal, in the way I need, and I need to lean into that. Its exposing me to people and work and environments I would never have had familiarity or experience with. So im grateful for that. Its a step out of my comfort zone. Its a life experience, and having me confront alot of projections and expectations I had coming into it. Aswell it does give me the money to support businesses and projects I really value. With that mindset, the more money I have, the more people I can impact. Aswell, the more money I make, the more I pay in tax, and that also goes to help in ways im starting to value more.

The work isnt always easy. The days are 12 hours, and I work 26 days in a row. Again, to my innocent life balance before this, it feels unthinkable. But I find ive managed pretty well. I find ive been able to adapt, and the job realistically, is not very demanding (thank god). So its a challenge, even mentally, to accept and acknowledge I am working that many days in a row, even if its easy work, its still a time commitment, to always be available, and the pressure to constantly adapt your life to such a constraint. But, with it comes its benefits. The financial gain because of that, and the tangible feeling of moving closer to that Sunshine Valley vision. its ironic, that I am having to leave that place to get closer to it.

At the same time, with all this Sunshine Valley talk, I have started to wonder. Is it truly what I want? The smallness and privacy of it? I dont know. Ive wondered. If I zoom out and use the same money im making towards a down payment somewhere else? In Tsawwassen, on an island, in Vancouver? Thoughts to have. Or going back to school. And to go traveling. Whatever decision ends up happening in the future, this job is giving me the freedom to make that choice. This is obviously dependent on how long I stay in that job, and that sort of work life, but for now, it is an exchange of time for freedom. Sacrificing my freedom today for a freedom in the future. Very much so, more then anything before, does this really feel like delaying gratification. But I feel called. I feel ready. I feel I have the capacity and the mindset to do it, where in the past I wouldn’t have. So despite all these noble visions and intentions, I still wrestle at times with the reality of working on a pipeline. And the questions of integrity I ask myself with that. Ill be upfront about that. Is chasing that dream of freedom worth it, and what are the costs. I dont need to answer that question right now, or gain others approval for the choice I make, but recognize it does sit there in my subconscious.

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Blogging update

I’m writing at 4am but I dont have insomnia. I’m intentionally trying to keep myself up. Why? I begin a new job tomorrow which is nights. 6pm-6am. It’s a pump technician job in the Hope area. The pipeline is going through here and alot of creeks need to be protected and cared for during the process, so we are managing all that. Its long days, and long stretches of work. 26 days on and 7 off. Yikes. But the money is real good because of that.

My last update was about me moving to Sunshine Valley. Work up there was abit more challenging then expected to find, and this job will pay me significantly more thrn my options in Sunshine Valley. So for the time being I have moved my 5th wheel out of Sunshine Valley to South of Hope. It’s a big change but I’m really looking forward to it. With the money I make here I feel a vision of getting property or a tiny home becomes a lot more feasible. No time to spend my money, and not many places up here to spend it on. It’s a big project this pipeline. There are so many people and companies working on it. Biggest project in Western Canada and is a federal one, so they are being over safe and careful. We were learning today that if birds nest are near where they need to work they shut down that part of the project. Apperently they also have more archeologists on site then any project before. There was a time I had mixed feelings about pipelines, but seeing from the inside alot of the environmentalism and indigenous outreach they have has really made me open to see how the experience goes for me.

But my lifestyle will be changing for next bit while I give it a shot. I feel friends wanted to visit me or Sunshine Valley, but I dont have much free time these days with a work life like that. I’m excited for the money to invest in what I dream of, but acknowledge alot of my social community life goes on pause. It feels like a version of fasting. A temporary extreme for a desired effect.

Besides that, excited to give it all a try. Stayed up till 4am so far to prepare my body for tomorrow. Some diet Pepsi helped. Well, the journey continues. A month ago I never would have imagined to have left Sunshine Valley and be having this job. With my excitement for a dog and a volunteer firefighter job all put on hold. But it feels right. And synchronicity big time. A person I met in the sauna helped me get this job. And a place to move my rv. Very divine guidance is what it feels like. Incredible luck and turn of events. So. Walk the path and see where it leads.

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Off the Grid

So did my first week in Sunshine Valley. To start with I have been living in a 5th wheel.

I feel through my twenties I heard alot of people romanticizing about living off the grid. How it was some sort of environmental acheivement to do so, or atleast I interpreted it that way.

This first week I have been living off the grid, and have to admit its been an adjustment, and at points a struggle.

I think off the grid works when you have alot of good systems and tools in place to make it work. I realize though, it is a learning curve, and a way of life that requires money to build an infustrcture that can sustain it.

The 5th wheel I am using right now runs on batteries. Those can operate the fridge, freezer, heating, lights. But batteries need to be charged. The batteries dont give power to outlets so its not possible to watch tv, run my laptop charger off that batteries, until you buy an inverter, which makes battery power equal to modern plugs, but everything costs money, and a new product to have.

Refilling water for the rv is a daily ritual almost on its own. And then emptying the water that is being used. All these things that modern world cities seem to do for you. You dont have to refill propane tanks for heat in the city, the pipes bring you water, and the powerlines electricity. A real change of lifestyle from that standpoint.

Besides the challenges, living in Sunshine Valley has been very beautiful. The mountains surrounding me make me feel like im Colorado, or the Rockies. Lakes and rivers are pretty common within minutes, and the quietness of the region has been great. I am falling asleep at 9pm up there. Its really nice and relaxing.

We shall see how things evolve, I dont particularily want to be living off the grid by winter. So, we go with the flow and see where time takes us.

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Goodbye Vancouver

Ive lived on and off from Vancouver since graduating highschool, with few trips abroad for years. Ive lived in many homes, met many people, worked many jobs, and had many experiences in this city.

Ive left places many times. Every trip must end and there usually is some closure piece of writing ive wrote when leaving.

For those who dont know, I am moving to a town in BC called Sunshine Valley, by Hope and Manning Park.

Im not entirely sure what to write to feel a sense of closure.

Ive thought many times while living in Vancouver thats its a beautiful city, but I get this sense its a perfect tourist city. Im looking forward to coming here as a guest. I feel coming here every 3 weeks and traveling the city and nature for a day or two to be fairly similar to my life already. Ive put alot of effort these past few weeks to see and do alot of things here, but just find that during my day to day existence here, it was pretty routine. Work, drive home, exercise, have some nice dinner, etc. The coffee shop mornings, and the vegetarian restaurant deliveries were really sweet, and something im really going to miss when leaving. My mom living blocks away, and my dad, sister, and grandma all under an hour away.

I think about Vancouver, how I feel it is pushing alot of middle-class people away. Here I am, going to a place a few hours away, where a whole new world exists.

Im looking forward to the small town. I grew up in one, but even this one im going to is much smaller. Im looking really forward to knowing my neighbors, waving at people who drive by. My grandma tells me stories of that when she was a kid in Vancouver, and I just dont find that in this city, and im really craving it.

Being so close to nature where im moving is going to be a blessing. To not have traffic, loudness of the roads and streets, busyness of the world. Its going to be so much quieter, peaceful.

Im looking forward to having a dog, perhaps a tiny home, and just feeling much more rooted in where I live. Vancouver had this feeling of never feeling in one place. Be it homes being torn, the everchanging dynamics of living with roommates, or even just the significant costs of living alone.

I really wonder if there will be a mass migration of young middle aged people from Vancouver to smaller towns. Now that im leaving, I dont know why I didnt consider it earlier. It just seems so challenging in subtle ways to thrive here. I feel most people I know comfortably survive. Perhaps thats all we need, but I find this chance for something new to be really exciting…

I may come back to the city eventually, I still yearn for parts of it that I wont have where im moving. Ive wanted to learn Krav Maga, Salsa dance. The biking in the city is so fun. The beachlife, the trendy restaurants, the incredible people that are here. The tech industry. Not all of this will be where im going. But I feel so much more ready and wanting of what I dont have here.

Even purely from a writing perspective. The solitude is so necessary. Something about reading in these small towns sounds very romantic. And with wifi, electricity, all the plumbing, etc. It feels so easy to transport to these places further from the city. I wonder how many people have actually given it a shot. I dont find many people who have, that regret it. I hope I can inspire my friends, and just share my experience, and open their eyes to whats out there. I found I stayed in the city cause I was there, not cause it fit my needs better than other places.

Its been on and off for 14 years here. And now that im leaving it feels really aligned and ready. Really natural. And its hard for me to imagine staying longer.

Im excited to have my friends come visit me. To see what else is out there. To question, what does keep us here.

I dont know what else to say. I plan to post updates and pictures, to host visitors, and come back to the city to visit too. Im excited to have hiking trails within 5-10 minutes of where I live. To have mountains as my backdrop. To go fishing in the lake. To go to the ski mountain that is the next town over. To visit the city when I want, and then return to my sanctuary of nature. My dream is to have a sauna, hot tub, cold plunge area, and really enjoy those perks of having space and time.

There is a volunteer fire fighting team in Sunshine Valley. Im excited to join it and get these intimate experiences with community that are different from the city. People there have snowmobiles and ATVs and itll be a really adventurous time for myself. I also feel lucky, to be going to this town so early. Not everyone I know has heard of it. The population there is probably smaller than some companies people work for. But I feel really ready for this leap.

Until my next update, which should be when im there.

Queen Elizabeth Park
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So sunny inside

Its another day after a fresh amount of snow has dropped. The mountains appear crisp. Blue skys. Kids outside, people taking their dogs for a walk. And with all this, i feel perfectly content at home.

Vancouver is a very outdoor city. The mountains. The forest. Rock climbers, mountain bikers, stand up paddle boarders. Trail runners, triathlon enthusiasts, skiers, people snowshoeing. So many various outdoor sports and activities. I hear thats why people come here. To experience nature, to see it. Yet i feel heavily entrenched in a work mode that seems to overshadow my desire for the outdoors. I think thats crucial. Its a prison when you desire the outdoors but have no possibility to see it. I think that is the difference between liking what your doing and not liking it.

Its ironic in ways to live in such an outdoor city and to be so immersed in indoor things. To be fair it is work stuff that i am passionate about, with hopes it will actually give me more time to go outside one day, but the contradiction of it is very apparent. To live in such an outdoorsy city, and for it to have this right if passage, to myself atleast, doing all these steps and processes till i feel ready and fully present to be there. Those forces feel very real and are very much so giving me the mindset and pace to move through this all and do what feels right. I just reflect to the days i worked at MEC, when i traveled so freely and leisurely, and to how much has changed since then.

This feels very much like the craftsman. Working in a workspace, learning. Understanding. While the world outside of me is busy, flowing, im solitary, focused. Its a healthy contradiction. Time spent in anything will take hours and work. So its worth it to really do it. I dont feel a sense of FOMO about the outdoors. I really dont want to stop what im doing and do that. I feel im actually being responsible for my future. Trying my best to be accountable, to be clear with what my goals are and what my purpose of doing this is. Some sense of financial security, of understanding a craft and meticulously learning and understanding it. That feels really gratifying to me right now. It can feel exciting, beneficial, and always so much to learn and understand. So despite the sunshine and snow outside, im good inside. In my own world, doing what i want to do and seeing where the world will take me for it. Just exploring those places and finding whats on the other side.

Its been a nice holidays to finally have the time and space to execute on these projects. To have the interest, discipline, passion, and curiosity for it all. I do feel grateful to be in that place. Life seems to simplify alot during that. So i trust my journey with it. Ill need to move on to new projects and ideas soon. So its apart of the journey to do my best. To learn my boundaries. To protect what i enjoy. And to make the best decisions i can while in the process. All apart of the experience. Onto new things when they present themselves, but for now focusing on the task infront of me.

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End of the year

Its coming up to the last few days of the year. The goals we set at the beginning are coming to an end. The holidays are being enjoyed and are a time to relax for many people. Soon people will go back to school, work, and start the entire process all over again.

Im coming into this years end abit more uninspired then most. I feel like the end of the year has this fresh start energy that alot of people experience. But with omicron, and just life events, the holidays and year end feels more happening then rejoicing.

These can be global themes. There is covid burnout for people. There is the darkness, the coldness, the challenges even nature prevents. There is global pandemics continuing and just overall lack of hope for many in culture. It can appear to be a fairly unceremonious time when all these highlight events come to their day. Yet they are these arbitrary milestones (new years, christmas) which are special in its own sense, but are not true deeply felt lasting change. Its very possible for nothing significant to happen on these days. For it to be more X’s on the calender and to just be counting the days to the next arbitrary milestone (canada day, thanksgiving, etc.)

These battles and experiences can be hard and difficult, but its not a given that every year, at this time of year, will everything be perfect, be easy, be as expected or as you hoped. There is the possibility for disappointment at any and every stage of life. The year end may be insignificant in some ways. What power do we give that day? Can we still find our purpose, our vision of what we want, and use this next year as the breeding ground for those visions. Let that be a hope and a potential. To see the opportunity ahead, before it arrives. To see the fruit when all your doing is planting seeds. Many aspects of life follows this timeline process. Our disconnection from nature has separated us from this. We want things to be fast, quick, like the butterfly. But great accomplishments and visions take time. The redwoods, the mountains, timelines of lifetimes, of centuries. Starting to think bigger then just each year. Each goal. It will take vision to go beyond that. To see the true ending, to see what is really possible. Give yourself space, and empathy. You wont always see the entire picture, have the emotional capacity, or the stamina to make your dreams come true. But give yourself time, motivation is cyclical. Not linear. The sun returns, the year rebegins. Recount the cycles. Remember the visions. Everything is in a process moving at its appropriate speed. Just give it time and space, all will be well. The year ends as it is supposed to, and say very little of the year ahead. Ive had optimistic, ambitious visions for years. Things out of control come into play. Welcome the unknown. Its humbling. Its powerful, more so then all our most fueled sense of control. The unknown is the master. It can end your plan, and force you to a new one. Be patient. Be grateful. Be listening. Know when we are being led anew, and recognize when we have to let control go and accept life as it comes.

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Emotional intelligence

I lately have been lucky with my writing. I tend to have an idea brewing in my head before I actually hit the paper, and it makes it very clear and easy to flow out a post. My intention today is to test that. I normally would wait longer before writing but am trying to push myself to see how I do on my toes and what comes up as I write.

I was hovering around this topic today. I recall hearing about EQ many years ago, but realizing I didnt have much clear definition of what it is. Im not hear necessarily to define or explain it, as much as im going to share my experience google imaging it, which may end up leading to the same result.

One aspect of low EQ can be said to be easily argumentative. Although I dont always think of myself this way, I have seen patterns of this brewing inside me as of late. Some short temper or impatience.

There was a time in my life where I was really intaking alot of personal development resources. I remember that during that time I felt so considerate, so explanatory and civil and patient. I find nowadays im starting to see a people pleasing side in that approach (atleast the way I did it) and have begun to shift to another side, where im saying less, being more outspoken.

Can EQ waiver like this? Can someone who felt higher on those ideals suddenly backslide? I feel that somewhat. How we grow complacent, fatigued from trying, and tend to backtrack on the progress and approaches we once had.

Another indication of low EQ is emotional outbursts, as well as blaming others. I was beginning to recognize this in myself. Almost righteous blaming, as well as bottled up resentment coming to the surface. Seeing these signs of low EQ were pretty confronting to me, they seem to contradict so many philosophies I once really went the extra mile to try and uphold. I find lately, maybe with covid, maybe with just burnout, or fatigue, the sense of being less sharp with these habits, more susceptible to unfiltered responses. More leniency to being more impatient. These have liberated a sort of new expression of expression, of repressed emotions, of unconscious reactions. There is some sense of gratitude for such a release, but at the same time, must all liberation or freedom be contradictory to values you upheld, and in many ways still believe in today. I find that notion really troubling to come to terms with. Alot of identity with being aware, being caring, and thoughtful. Not intending to do so to a fault, but to some degree of caring integrity and community harmony. But is there harmony with suppression, with repressed emotions, with hard times and just unachieved self-care. Maybe these are side effects to those rhythms and times in life. Perhaps high EQ is what we strive for, rather then something we constantly are. Maybe those are the point, its not a product, its a goal. Goals are not necessarily always hit, but are strived for. Are acknowledging and honest when they are unmet. I think that is the principle of this. These signs are more outer manifestations of being not at rest and peace inside. When we are calm inside, our actions are calm outside.

EQ. Something that was on our radar at one time. Overlooked. Considered a business term perhaps. But I see it really describes a framework I can view myself through right now. Interesting how it all comes back around.

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Rejuvinate

For weeks and months ive been looking forward to these holidays. To finally relax, have time to learn things on the internet. To not hurt my back, to wake up when my body wants. To not have so much pressure to complete something in one day. These have been minor stresses which have really accumulated over the weeks. The opportunity to now have more freedom and ease is something i really value and cherish.

It has brought up abit of guilt for me. Spending my first few hours really focused and clear and then loosing abit of momentum and clarity afterwards. I acknowledge it can feel like too much and can sometimes be daunting. Being able to articulate and predict what are reasonable goals and aspirations. And will me just having no structure and just wildly learning lead me there? Im not sure. It feels easy now, but i acknowledge it doesnt totally fall into my bigger vision or framework. And is what im learning truly turning into new actionable steps. Atleast my previous goals had real vision. Yet those visions feel less clear, and the instant reward of new projects feel exciting. So im giving myself a few days off the leash. My reward was to read. Im reading online. Its not a book. Its not leisurely. But i feel i am meeting my vision. I do feel good about that. I acknowledge it takes time and energy for things to transpire. Im just giving myself breathing room to go with change and allow my body to replenish and heal as it needs. Right now, just time to myself and clarity is really nice. So im embracing that. Rejuvination takes different forms in different circumstances. When we need to be private it takes this form. Learning. Discovering. Time alone. Not alot of inner work but alot of outer discovery. Embrace. See where the journey and path takes you. Itll be a good ride and just trust the journey to show you the way. Rejuvination, its a unique time. Allow that time to come to pass.

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The Pianist

I watched this movie the other day. Its about a Jewish living in Poland during WW2. It makes me feel very sad when i watch these films. The contrast to my life today is too extreme. The amount of destruction, killing, heartlessness. I find it gut wrenching to imagine such a world, and yet many people have lived it. I think of how crazy it must have been, for parents. To endure such pain, and have such few hopes or options. I dont think we live enough from awareness of how those times must have been. I find lately im more acute of this. Seeing the nice coffee shops, my shelves of food, the cars, electricity, and just the safety. Its made me more grateful for what i have today. My long day at work, could still be worse. My sleep deprivation, in all its unfairness and frustration, is still manageable. Inconvenient. Its a new perspective to humble myself. I start to wonder, chasing job titles, things, it feels so out-of context. Is this important in a world where these have taken place? Dont you see how lucky you are today. Why feel unhappy your not in some fancier this or that. I feel like im pulling at the thread of fabric. Starting to see the world as it really is. Its funny, i find i have to give up doing ‘well’ in this system to then learn why its all a game. A societal game and ranking and rules etc. That we all play and abide by.

Anyways. The movie has had an impact on me, and in some ways, i widh this was more of a conversation and focus amongst young people. I feel we are not truly intimate with history,  past atrocities, and are just too immersed in todays politics and day to day events, to see its place amongst bigger contexts and life events. We get so involved in the game we dont even notice we are playing one. The knowledge and just depth of human misery that has been in this world is truly shattering and overwhelming. Its incomprehensible. And well, is easiest dealt with from a detached place.

My point is, im just noticing im viewing the world differently. Im contempt to be slower. To be more ok with less, more accepting of my tough circumstances. I find im more grateful im alive, able to learn about life and history.

At the same time i do feel myself wanting to protect myself. In some ways i am more concerned with have a practical, safe career. God forbid the workd ever fell to the place again id feel helpful. I recognize that sort of thinking seems abit extreme and fearful. Even amassing money. It can insulate to an extent. But also cant protect you, or others from circumstances out of your control. It can give a sense of meaning to chase something we believe gives us control. Thats not always the case. And maybe we are spending our freedom trying to create a false sense of security should we ever need it.

To conclude, theres alot to think about with all this. I can just state ive garnered a sense of meaning and purpose. It gives meaning to those peoples lives to see the world from awareness. Appreciation. Gratefulness. And also duty. No matter the times, there are those struggling. Somewhere. Being aware its not just back then that had pain. We can still improve and do good now. I think thats my message right now. Just being a better person and see the world through those eyes. The eyes of humanity.

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Change gears

Ive been writing about lack of focus, addiction, money lately. Today im going to reflect on self care.

Its startling how different of a perspective one can have when they are speaking to themselves from a nice place. I think about those aspects, self love, self trust, gentleness with oneself. Compassionate speaking, and a real loving outlook for ones self and for others.

I can really be on edge and picky at times, and i find when i start to engage in thoughts like this i sincerely relax. I relax differently then a sedative. Its not that oh my mind is racing but i cant feel it. Or that its happening but im focused on something else. Or too tired to be effected. Instead that voice that is the root and power of all that is sincerely quieter. Is not feeling a need or urge to show up. What good is panicing if there is nothing wrong. These mindset flips are strange. They happen sometimes instantaneously, even though moments before i was fully in a stressful outlook to anything. I cant explain how those rearrange and flip so quickly. It can be a shock to say the least. The shock value shows just how off centre i must have been. Its like having water when your thirsty, or a warm blanket when you are cold. How would you even know you needed those things? How unaware are we of our needs and limits that we go so long suffering self willingly? This feels very eastern philosophy, yet i think were just so blind to our own realities. The world we see is how we perceive it. Not everyone lives in that same one. How stress clouds our perception. How joy and pain are expressed from the same person. One day the world is a safe trusting place, another day its not. It is us flipping, rather than reality.

These feels a step back from the world playing before us. The work hours, gas prices, bank account, dinner menu, hair cut, are all so insignificant. Are small details, distracting from the actual essence of it all. I feel that understanding and essence more when i really allow myself to let go. To stop the rat race of thoughts and breathe through it all. Sometimes the solution is to not obsess on the problem. The problem isnt the problem. Thats far beyond us sometimes, when every wrong is a hammer and nail outlook. Weve exasperated life to a complex boardgames, of games with games with games. Its a rabbit hole of complexity. Its beautiful, and at its core, a game. Can you be objective when your playing a board game at home? Ofcourse its different. My bad days have real tangability beyond a game. My stresses and journey im on are at times never ending or deeply difficult. Im not trying to down play or invalidate those.

I get stuck at these points. Trying to use my few good insights to explain or change my bad ones. Im not hoping to downplay someone elses life who is trully going through struggle and pain. And an affirmation is perhaps the least of a solution sometimes in life. I recognize that and get that. Those dont mean this doesnt exist. That relief and gentle listening to a more loving person inside of you. Yes, alot of hours in my life, im far from this. And i can say, when i do fall into those moments, and witness it, it feels lovely. Light. Easeful. I feel patient. Forgiving. Curious. Warm. Loving. Its not on demand. And not always possible. But when i do feel it i try to receive it. To be grateful for it. Its like a bird at close. Its there. Momentarily. Soon ill be underslept, over worked, and rebounded to my autopilot. I acknowledge that. Its not easy but is apart of the journey. Im not philosopher, or expert, just trying to explain and share my experience. No explanation is for everyone. And there are times where i would read this very thing suspiciously, critically, and dismissively. I get it. Thats totally fine. Its not meant to be for everyone, no one is. Hopefully its just me discovering a new part of myself and trying to understand and learn about it.

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