I lost a job two years ago. Financially, I normally would not have needed this job, but at the time, the $100 extra a week meant that I could put gas in the car and food for a week without having to resort to using my credit card. And I did really like the extra work and people I worked with. At that place I met the person who would become the love of my life.
I grew up through high school and college working as a lifeguard. It financed my way through my teens into my late twenties when I got “real” job. And I continued, after getting into the real working world, to work part time training future lifeguards. Lifeguarding seems like no big thing to most people. But in my home town, outside of Montreal, it is a very unique community. To become certified and then work as a lifeguard, even at the age of sixteen, requires one hundred plus hours, spread over four courses, of first aid and rescue training. A sixteen year old will have gone more training than a ski patroller just to get a part time summer job. And this where I started, as sixteen year old working for the local pool. Eventually, I made my way to the large Aquatic Centre, where I eventually moved up to training new employees.
One problem with doing something, or relying on something, for too long is you grow comfortable. Some people call it a rut. Some people do not even notice it. It can silently and slowly creep into every decision you make. Especially when money, and no formal education is involved. In my case, I was making very good money for someone with essentially no education past high school. But then you hit point where you want something more. You look at what you have and where it can take you. And you realize what you have not enough, or too restricting, or holding you back in some other way.
This realization came to me slowly, but it come to me soon enough. Soon enough to “get my house in order,” and set myself up to move on. But I still kept a foot hold into that world. At first, it a combination of financial reasons and sentimental reasons. Financially, once I was ready to move on, I would be basically starting over making less money. Eventually, this situation changed I no longer needed the extra money for the time being (but I will return to this). Sentimentally, I felt I was giving back to a world that had given me so much. I was preparing and training new lifeguards for the aquatic world of the Montreal suburbs.
Soon my financial situation changed again. This part time job teaching sixteen year olds how to save lives and prevent accidental deaths became a very necessary source of income. Even though I still had a full time job, I found myself living on my own for six months, and having to pay rent on my own. But then it happened, I was told my services were no longer needed, and that I would no longer have this part time employment that I depended on. I was let go from from a place that had, on many levels, given me my adult life.
To be continued …