Let this be the first in a series of non chronological occurrences that map out how I got to where I am now. Maybe when I catch up with myself I can never catch up with myself. So let us set the stage real quick. Eight years ago I was at crossroads in my life. I could continue trying to do things my way, which, since I had been trying to do that as long as I can remember, was beginning to show signs of fatigue. I was pretty much uneducated rather than my own self interest. I had bad habits and an extremely stubborn attitude about life. I had two options available to me. I opened them both up at the same time as they came in the mail the same day. Covered in kitchen residue and garbage grease I unfolded two envelopes while parked in my pretty blue Pontiac 93 Sunbird. One letter said I could pay a bag of gold and go to college for music where I might one day earn enough to buy a sandwich to fend off the rat invasion with, OR, join the Canadian Armed Forces who claimed to offer a steady paycheck and possibly an adventurous lifestyle.
If you continue on you will be reading about me as I retell my life in varying speeds and settings with ample attempts at mirth.
I joined the Navy because I had not much going on. Military service was always a kind of fall back distant memory I had. You know, if the becoming a Rockstar didn’t work out. One day while walking around Halifax pier I noticed a guy with a nice suit on. He was about my age and stood up tall and all that. He was a naval officer and I wanted what he had. I was living under my brothers wing at the time. Six years a line cook and ten years a marijuana junkie. I dreamed of a place where I could smoke reefer on my own terms and maybe even grow it. A fat pay cheque looked a sure way to do that. Plus I could study music, marry a beautiful wife, find a fancy home, drive a fancy car, wear a golf hat and play the guitar. It would be perfect.
I quit the reefer madness kitchen confidential life (that I will one day romanticize), signed a few documents, quit my job and flew to St Jean De Richelieu to start my BMQ at Canadian Forces Recruitment School. Mostly this course was hard for me. At this time in my life I was not athletic or very well equipped for folding, sorting, showing up on time, paying attention, studying, working with teams, eating fast, showering fast, dealing with stressful environments in which I could not run from, and generally listening to people at all when I did not want to. These things were hard to me but good God they were fun once I got used to them. Every day so much happened. I was not used to that. We got shit done and for me it was a real lesson in how much ability a focused group of people has. It may seem corny but I learned that if coordinated properly a team could do anything. I never saw groups of people put structures up so quickly before. That was new to me. I always preferred to work alone.
This was the start of a massive list lessons that my service in the Canadian Armed Forces has taught me. Who knows how many lessons I have forgotten. The ones that I remember still drive me to be as effective as I am today. I hope that some of my friends read that groaning and thinking I am cupping the grapes of the brass. I grew in the CAF and for that I am forever grateful. I have no regrets on that. Anway so enough cupping the ribbons of upper management. After basic I moved to Victoria BC Canada and sailed around the Pacific. I also spent a great deal of time on land. Not sailing but walking. I got to see great places like Vancouver Island and its Mainland as well as port calls such as San Diego, Ensenada, and Hawaii.
After eight years in the Royal Canadian Navy I decided to call it quits. I mean, I really decied to call it quits. I quit my regular life so to speak. I sold everything I owned and within two years of making that decision I find myself equipped to travel the world on my own terms. It has been quite the journey getting to this point. There have been many ups and downs and I intend to journal them all. For now the above passage will have to suffice.
It is March 07 2018 and this has been a special broadcast of www.allenhall.ca
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