Five Year Cycle

Five years ago,  June 5 2008 to be exact, I sat on my friend Joe’s porch in the middle of a rainy night and made a choice. I was presenting at the Archives Association of Ontario conference, the highpoint of my career thus far, and couldn’t afford to buy a beer. I chose to change my world. I joined the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators as an apprentice and found that I loved it. I enjoyed the ability to be in charge of nothing but an entropy-busting jigsaw puzzle.

Two days ago I made another choice.

My apprenticeship is stalled. The Ontario economy is ok but not booming and as a result my employment has been sporadic at best. If it were not for getting my type three asbestos removal and people at the nearby nuclear plants spreading asbestos everywhere I would be stuck at third year and out of EI. As it is, year five of my four year apprenticeship begins on November 5.

Today this changes.

I have officially gained temporary work in the Alberta Oil Sands. I don’t know if I can handle it but I have to try something. It will mean that I’ll be away from home, living in a work camp for a month assisting one of the more environmentally invasive forms of natural resource ‘development.’ I could hate it. I could find it appealing. I don’t know. Right now it’s a giant mystery.