Dylan.Blog Writing and musings by Dylan Reed

Frustratingly Content

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while. That is because I have only recieved two slurpees. Come on. Really it is because my computer is being weird and wordpress isn’t posting stuff when it should. I am headed to NM for Sarah’s SCUBA certification and will get back to posting regularly on Monday. Happy weekend, buy me slurpees!

It is apparently the time of year in which I start to get frustrated with the current status of my life. I don’t know if it is the proximity to the date that I dropped out of UNC and my college life ended or if it is that spring, for what ever reason, makes me sad; but I am currently bummed out.

Part of the yearly frustration is that my life seems to be on career pause. I have currently worked at Property Technica, for my dad, for longer than I have worked any other job. This depresses me for two reasons: I am working for my dad and property management is slowly killing my soul.

I want to do something else with my life. I don’t know what it is; I just know that I need to do something else with my life. I watch my dad at work- he seems to enjoy it- and I think to myself “Is that who I want to be in thirty years? The answer is no.

So what should I, could I be? That is the question that needs to be answered. When I really think about what I want out of life I realize that I am pretty simple. I don’t need fancy things or lots of money. I am perfectly happy living a simple life, in fact I prefer a simple life. Sarah and I have been able to support ourselves quite well without making millions or sometime even thousands of dollars.

I feel that my strongest abilities are communication, compassion and confidence. The three C’s encompass my main strengths and if I could find a job that allows me to use them all, awesome. The problem is finding a job that fits them all.

My abilities as a communicator allow me to empathize/sympathize with a lot of people. I am able to calm people down when they are angry, convince people to listen to my ideas and generally explain things in a way that is easy to understand.

Compassion is something that I have for everyone. I try my best to be nice to everyone, unless you work for a cell phone company or a credit card company, and generally want everyone to be happy. I am comfortable around any type of person, whether they are disabled or just an asshole. I realize that no matter who you are you still have to poop.

Confidence, which in reading this back to myself seems a funny thing to write about having, has allowed me to get to the happy place that I am in my life. I am not afraid of making an ass of myself nor am I afraid that I am going to fail at something important. What I lack is the ability to focus on a task long enough to complete it.

That simple fact, me not being able to focus, can be traced to my current job. As my boss/dad put it so nicely I have a bad habit of taking on a task, working really hard at it and then giving up when it gets boring or I get distracted.

I think that the most common problem for me is getting distracted. My mind was not made to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. I have never been and will probably never be that kind of person who plans for the future. That ability doesn’t exist inside of me.

What I am able to do is focus on the now. There are few situations that I am not able to react to. The jobs that I have worked that I have received the most enjoyment out of have been unpredictable jobs. Lifeguarding was a wonderful experience for me. I learned how to act in an emergency and was able to save lives. I learned that I don’t mind blood as long as it isn’t mine.

Other jobs I have had have taught me how to handle different people in different situations. What they haven’t taught me is how to leverage this experience into a career.

I decided, about a week ago, to look into paramedic school. The thinking was that a paramedic is a super life guard, I would be helping people and the job is somewhat unpredictable. I had even gone to an orientation for the summer classes so that I would be a paramedic by the fall. I was starting to get excited.

Then the bottom dropped out. That might be a lot over dramatic but whatever. As I have not mentioned before, Sarah and I are going on a cruise this summer to celebrate our five year anniversary. I am super excited, not only for the cruise but because Sarah is learning to SCUBA dive, and can’t wait for the trip to start.

The trip just happens to be during the first week of summer classes. This would cause me to miss the first two paramedic classes and one of the labs. I figured that a quick email to the instructor explaining what was going on and why I would miss the classes would make it ok for me to miss those days.

I was wrong.

I received a very short email reply stating that students are only allowed to miss one day the whole semester and that I would be unable to take the class. I understand that they obviously have policies in place to back them up on this; I just think that this was a little bit, well a lot a bit of bull shit.

I was nice enough to send her an email about me missing the class. I explained that the trip was booked well in advance and that I would be missing the classes. I even stated that I would be happy to do any reading and assignments early so that I would be ready when I got back.

Still a no. I am sure that they have a really good reason for this, I just can’t see it. I find it funny that at the orientation that I went to, that had all of two people interested in the EMT program, they never mentioned the attendance policy. They talked about the dress code and that it was like a job, but never made a mention of the attendance policy.

If this class is supposed to be like a job, shouldn’t there be an interview? Wouldn’t it make more sense to speak to a person and get an idea of what kind of person they are before you flat refuse them? I have applied and taken jobs that had me starting when I was on a trip. I would politely explain to the person who hired me that I would be on a trip during the time that they wanted me to start. Lo and behold, they let me keep the job.

That, in a rather larger nutshell is why I am frustrated. I thought I was going to be able to get this training and escape a job that makes me crazy by August. Alas it is not to be.

The content part is easier. Sarah and I are really starting to get things figured out. We have a budget in place, which we follow (mostly), Sarah started SCUBA diving, which makes me happy and I am rediscovering my love of recreational diving.

Yes I don’t get to become an EMT this summer, but plan B is in full effect. I am going to try my best to become a dive instructor this summer. The plan thus far is to redo my rescue diver certification, including CPR/First Aid, take the dive master course in May and then work on the Instructor coursework over the rest of the summer.

Becoming a Dive Master will allow me to assist instructors with their classes as well as prepare me for when I am teaching my own classes. Ideally I would be able to make enough money to just do dive related stuff which would allow me to have plenty of time to write.

That is the other thing that is keeping me so content. Writing. I cannot get over how much relaxation I get pumping out 500 to 2000 words a day. I am hoping to start getting some of my work published in some magazines this summer.

What writing does for me is it allows me an outlet for all of the crazy stuff that is goes on in my brain. Most of what comes out is written crap, ready to be flushed. On occasion I am lucky enough to put something down on paper that I am proud of and that, I hope, is enjoyable to read.

The thing that makes me sad is that a majority of my writing is non-fiction. This isn’t really a bad thing; I just sometimes wish I could write fiction. Most of the fiction I have written is really bad. There is one story that I keep so that when I think I have written bad fiction I can read it to remind myself how bad it can get.

My problem that I have writing fiction is that I want to outline it like I do non-fiction. What happens is my fiction turns out to be really dry non-fictioned fiction. I over think when I outline. This is a plus in my non-fiction but it just kills my fiction.

I have recently been trying to write my fiction off the cuff. It seems to be helping though at the same time it is a slow process. I will keep practicing and someday I will have awesomeness to share with everyone.

You may have noticed the twenty different tacks that this has taken. I have talked about frustration, contentment, being unhappy and writing. This is what happens when I forget to write for a couple days. It all gets clogged up there and has to be spit out and reconfigured into something readable.