Growing pains

Good morning, from my HOME OFFICE! God it’s wonderful to be on land again. Leaving the ship this month was actually bittersweet, for the first time. That’s never happened in the entire year I’ve been on this particular vessel. Maybe the greater powers have granted me some kind of emotional relief after realizing I’ll never have my dream job back. Maybe I’ll grow to love where I am. I think it’s slowly creeping in. Not the job itself (that will never happen), but the place and the people. I love the people, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t love the icebreaking as it feels like you’re standing on top of a jack hammer, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying myself this month.

Sleeping Giant in Thunder Bay

Sleeping Giant in Thunder Bay

A view of our icebroken path from the plane ride home.

A view of our icebroken path from the plane ride home.

I’m growing more and more fond of certain people I work with. I’ve developed a lot of strong friendships there, which is really 90% of your love for a job. The line between officers and crew is a lot more blurred as well, which I appreciate. If we’re all people, and we’re all there to do a job that combined together allows the vessel to do what it’s supposed to do, then we should all appreciate each other equally. Where I currently am, I think this is the case… at least on my crew it is. I feel comfortable now. This ship has had a terrible reputation, personnel-wise, and it was my last choice of places to go. I can understand a little better why it has a bad reputation, because I’ve met some of the individuals who gave it that name. Barring them, it’s a good place to work. (and if you’re a strong-willed person, they won’t bother you in the bigger scheme anyway)

I was a bit more involved with the crew this month, which is why I think it was a bittersweet departure. Normally I lock myself in my cabin after my day is done, and I sit in there and work on my own personal stuff, or draw, or watch TV. I’ll come out a few times to replenish my tea, but that’s about it. When 6:30 comes, I’m gone. But this month we had some fresh faces, and some of the other crew members who are normally surly or difficult weren’t there, so everyone’s general morale was higher this month. Nobody was walking on eggshells, so walls came down. The fresh faces encouraged more open communication, so more people were having fun and were less edgy than usual. It was good. Maybe that’s what influenced me to partake. A big group of us went bowling last week in Thunder Bay, which was awesome! I didn’t think it’d be as much fun as it was. That night was the highlight of the tour – and there again, it was officers and crew together.

It reminds me of my old crew on the Griffon. I think the biggest reason I loved that job, other than thoroughly enjoying the job itself, was my crew. I grew so attached to most of them, that it was really difficult to leave them, and even harder to accept that I wasn’t coming back any time soon. I’ve been very bitter for the last couple years, mostly because of that. But I hope it’s starting to fade away, because it’s been misery and I really just want to feel like my old self again. This tour almost felt like the old me came back, and my crew got to see what they perceived as an unusual side to me, which was really the true me that they just hadn’t seen yet. A few of them commented on how nice it was to see me around more often. It made me feel good.

And the drawings helped. I used to do them on the Griffon as a way of keeping up morale (and because I actually like to draw), and it worked. Every morning I had a new drawing up on the white boards, and they seemed to look forward to it. It became a sort of fixture I guess. I’d put the drawings up and watch for their reactions when they came in for breakfast. They’d always come in looking to see what was on the board. Nine times out of 10, they’d smile. That’s really all I wanted. When I came to the Risley I wasn’t at all interested in doing that anymore. But then I did a couple of them, and I saw that the crew really enjoyed them. I still wasn’t motivated to do them all the time, because I still hadn’t accepted them as being “my” crew… but this month I did about three of them, and it really seemed to perk them up. So, I think it might slowly be incorporated in to my daily routine.

Goofy for crew change

Goofy for crew change

Chef Louis for the Captain's birthday

Chef Louis for the Captain’s birthday

Did I mention we had like 5 birthdays and I never want to make another cake again? For realz.

Did I mention we had like 5 birthdays and I never want to make another cake again? For realz.

Who knows… maybe soon enough I’ll consider them “my” crew and things will be back to normal. I really miss those bonds I used to have, that have been damaged on account of me being unhappy and unaccepting. If I can get past that and rebuild them, and even build new ones, I’ll be very proud of myself and it’ll be a massive accomplishment. I definitely don’t want to be one of those people who’s remembered at the end of my career as being miserable, unfair and told, “Good riddance”.

New favourite songs:

29 Palms – Robert Plant
Red Hands – Walk Off the Earth
Dust in the Wind – Kansas

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