The weekend of May 4-6th was a beautiful gift for me. Earlier this year, my wife registered for an online training program called Académie Zérolimite. As part of the program, there was a 3-day live event in Quebec City, to which she also had a free ticket to bring a guest along with her. Thankfully, I was the chosen one! 🙂
At what point does a job shift to become a career?
A little over 10 years ago, I joined my current employer’s ranks. I was in my late-twenties, and had just escaped from a 5-year stint working at Chapters. Escaped may be a harsh term, but I’ve never hidden the fact that I was not happy for the last 2-3 years of my time there. I had been part of the store’s management team, working under a string of seemingly increasingly inept General Managers (I think we went through 6 GM’s in the span of my 5 years there, including a good 6-months with no GM at all). We started off as a leadership team of 7-8 people and then got down to 3 for an extended period of time. Needless to say, I was burned out when I left.
Until this point, I had gone from job to job since the age of 16. Some lasted a summer, some lasted a couple of years, but the simple fact remained that they were just jobs; a means to an end. I worked the job, they paid me. Upon leaving Chapters, I then took a job at my current employer – a health insurance company. I was a seasonal hire in their contact centre and eventually ended up being hired full-time. I didn’t like the job in the call centre, but it was a job. There it is again… job.
One of my fondest childhood memories is of the countless hours that my brother and I spent playing Fireball Island. In the late 80’s, Milton Bradley had released a revolutionary (to me at least) board game. No longer was there a flat two-dimensional board on which to play, but here was a three-dimensional island board, with rivers, bridges and caves. At the centre of the island was the primitive idol Vul-Kar. The objective of the game was to reach the idol at the top of the mountain, steal the jewel and escape the island. Continue reading “Fireball Island”
One of my all-time favourite bands is Black Label Society. Formed 20 years ago, Zakk Wylde had stepped away from his years as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and formed his own heavy metal band.
Over the past few months, I had noticed a new BLS album on the shelves of our local record store, but when glancing at the cover and seeing the title Grimmest Hits, I dismissed it as a greatest hits compilation and didn’t give it a second look. A few weeks ago, I was perusing the shelves, looking for some new music to bring with Isabelle and I on an up-coming road trip. That’s when my eyes passed over this album cover again, but I noted a sticker saying “12 brand new tracks”. So I immediately picked it up and headed home with it. Continue reading “Black Label Society – Grimmest Hits: A Quick Review”
As I take a step back and look at the entire scenario, I can see the Divine Intervention that was happening all around me. Everything that happened to me over a period of at least six months was done to ensure that my journey here on Earth continued. The synchronicity that became so prevalent could simply not be ignored. Continue reading “My Second Life Day: Divine Synchronicity”
I awoke utterly disoriented. My throat was on fire, raw as though I hadn’t had anything to drink in days. The lights above my head were blinding me, forcing me to squint. No matter where I looked, I couldn’t situate myself. This wasn’t my bedroom. It wasn’t my living room. Where was I? I remembered being at home and in bed, but this wasn’t my apartment. I was beyond confused. I was still extremely weak, and not able to move much, yet I tried to stir.
After purging my body of all its contents, I rightly proceeded to call in sick to the office and promptly went back to bed. As I was carpooling with my mother at the time, I let her know that I was ill and not going to work. Having seen my state over the weekend, Mom offered to call the after-hours clinic to see if they could take me, which I gladly accepted.
Through it all, I was beginning to have an awakening, a shift. I realized early on that I had no love for the contact centre. I needed to get out, but I had no goals or dreams on which to set my sights. It was through happenstance, and through my own excelling in my job, that a direction presented itself to me. Having gone through 3-4 different training sessions and getting to know my trainer, Colin, I realized that this was something I would enjoy doing. Plus, it would circle back on my plan to teach. I may not have been accepted to the university program a few years earlier, but I could still wind up on the same path, taking a circuitous journey to get there. This realization began to jolt me out of my routine.
Continuation of my Second Life Day saga. Catch up to part 1 here.
For a few weeks, I had been feeling a bit off. I was coming home from work and falling asleep on the couch by 7PM. I would doze for an hour or two, and then sleep the night away. But the next morning, I would still be tired. Having just finished a year and a half of ridiculous hours and draining shifts at Chapters, it was easy to chalk this up to exhaustion. I just needed to let my body rest.
This coming Saturday marks a milestone in my life. I will celebrate the 10th anniversary of my Second Life Day. While I’ve written about the events of this day in the past, this is the first time that I’ve ever attempted to document the entirety of the story. Over the next few days, I will be chronicling the saga that I went through. What you will read was written over the course of a few days in the summer of 2017. Some of you have heard the story, others lived through it with me. But I don’t know that anyone has actually gotten the entire story – until now.
I hope you will join me on this journey.
On March 3rd, 2008, I was given a second chance at life. Looking back now, 10 years later, I can see the miracle that occurred on that day. But the journey to that realization took some time. In order to truly understand the life-altering shift that occurred on my Second Life Day, you first need to understand the reality of my life. Or at least reality as I perceived it. Continue reading “My Second Life Day: The Prelude”