Mar 21, 2014 - Personal    5 Comments


The late winter and early spring of 2004 has been on my mind lately. It was the time that I was turning 25, a bigger milestone for me than 20 had been. 35 is coming up fast and it feels more significant to me than 30 did.

2004 was the late winter/early spring that I gravely injured my right hand, had a bad car accident (again, not even remotely my fault), learned that I was going to be an aunt for the first time, and took what was probably the biggest gamble of my life up to that point.

I was working at what I still think was my dream job as the “office administrator/whatever they needed me to do because I was trained for absolutely everything including the outdoor jobs” for a private company managing the recreational services of a national park.

No two days were ever the same. I could be balancing the books one day and the next be on snowshoes marking a new trail through the wilderness.

The problem was that I was overworked, unappreciated, and really underpaid. Any one of those alone I could have handled, but combined I knew that it was time to get out of there get a ‘grown up’ job, ie. one that I didn’t like much but which would pay well.

So I had started to apply for jobs with the federal government. It was sometime in late February or early March of 2004 that I was asked to interview for a position I had applied for nearly a year before.

The initial testing went well and then came an interview that took most of a day and involved role playing. I was a timid creature back then with zero self esteem and yet the minute I picked up the first fake call I knew I had the job.

It took weeks for the confirmation to come through, to set a start date, and to have an idea of when the first paycheque would come, but before any of that gelled, I took a gamble.

I was driving a beat up old car (that was even worse for wear after the accident) and I decided to buy myself a brand new car for my 25th birthday, my first Hyundai Accent (which I liked more than my second even if it was an odd looking thing).

To this day, I have no idea how I got the financing on it because there was absolutely no way I could afford the payments! But the first payment on it would be mid-May, around the time that I would get a first paycheque from the government job… if I got the job, of course.

Everything fell into place, the way it does when it’s meant to be, and I never had any trouble making payments on that sweet little car.

It’s hard to reconcile how much I’ve done and seen with the smallness of time that has passed since that spring, with the only tangible evidence of it being the hard little knot of scar tissue on the pad of my right ring finger that is finally starting to soften a little.

But in that span of time I moved to a second government job, bought a house, lost my dad, quit the government, took off on the adventure of a lifetime, and saw more of the continent than that bitter girl of 25 ever dared dreamed she’d see.

I wish I could go back and tell that angry girl I used to be just how brave she was as she accepted the keys to her new car. Little did she know they were the keys that would open up her world and bring her to the life she’d always wanted but was convinced she did not deserve.

I’ve taken a lot of gambles since then, and each one gets easier and is less breathtaking. The first plunge is always the hardest and the real gamble I took in 2004 wasn’t buying the car. It was daring to see a future that was more open than the confines of the present. That’s a lesson that has obviously stayed with me.

But I’m not contemplating any gambles on this cold second day of spring of 2014. My life is plugging along just the way I want it to and I feel a confidence in my future that used to elude me.

Power is going into Haven in the next week or two, if the weather will just cooperate (earlier than expected, but it’s what works best for the electrician), so provided I can get the gravel smoothed out quickly, I could be back on my property within three weeks (!).

I’m casually shopping for a new-to-me RV (tiny bumper pull trailer), exploring both RV and non-RV travel options for next winter, planning summer trips, and working insane hours at a business that went from struggling to thriving in the span of a winter.

I definitely don’t need to be taking any gambles right now.

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  • I love it when the lack of a plan comes together. 🙂

    I’m so glad you were able to see a future without limits.

  • Hope it all comes together for you during the next month… snowstorms or huge temperature drops.

  • I love looking back over the years and realizing how everything has come together to put me where I am now. I think the thing is to be able to see how the hardships and mistakes were more transformative than the successes. Good luck for your future.

  • Congratulations on being such a wise person at such a young age!

    Virtual hugs,


  • A very enjoyable read on your transition to the life you’ve carved out for yourself. Here’s wishing the future is bright and holds even more joy. Take care.

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