A Whale of a Tale for Monday Morning (Take 2)
|Eubalaena glacialas saved my soul. Kinda.|
More than twenty years ago, I had a job at an an aquarium. OMG! I see you gasping! You can put your panties back on straight, it's not that exciting, but I know, right!?!?!?!? How cool!!!!! It's the last job I ever had where people actually looked interested if you told them where you worked. Mind you, I was a publicist and writer there, and I lost interest when I realized that I truly was just sitting on my arse at a computer just like every other job, and no, I was truly not feeding the penguins. Nor would I ever be.
That makes it sound boring, but it was so not. It was a blast, professional and socially. In the course of my three years there, I laughed like I've never laughed with my coworkers and especially Jonathan and Cathy on the design crew. I knew all about leafy sea dragons, the cichlids of Lake Victoria, and the fading corals in the Indian Ocean. I had more ocean puns than you can shake a sea cucumber at. I watched beached Ridley sea turtles get rehabbed, I talked to reporters on the beach at a seal release, and got within ten feet of a North Atlantic Right Whale while sitting in a tiny little Zodiac rubber boat miles from shore.
Ok, so maybe I was also dating the marine biologist at the helm. But you know... it was my twenties, and I was a little unhinged. (I shall say no more; not something to be proud of.) I adored him, and not just because of his whales—but I felt he was too old for me and it turns out that I was actually in love with a Dublin guy who I thought was just my best buddy at the time. Turns out that Dublin guy was the love of my life, and the rest is history, and that's probably the most tantalizing story I'll almost tell all day.
Meanwhile, I had a motley crew of fabulously fun 20-something colleagues, and together we drank and laughed our way through the pubs of downtown Boston, and my god did we have a blast. Several of them are still my besties to this day. We burned through that place and left behind mass carnage, and the embers burned for several years. There were hearts broken and it wasn't pretty. I can only shrug, and also maybe hide behind that tree over there, as I think there are still people in loincloths chasing me with bows and arrows.
Fun (?) though it was, the soul calls. I quit after three years to run off with music, The Greatest Show On Earth.
I did it because of advice I got from one gentle-hearted whale and dolphin researcher (the other one's best friend) who just happened at the time to spend his winters sitting on a cliff in the New Zealand sun counting tiny dolphins as they swam in and out of Ankora Harbor. (That might not be the exact name of the harbor but I really need to get ready for work...) He said, "In life you can only expect to be happy in your job about 65% of the time." That guy knew. He had one of the most interesting jobs around.
Oh and the whale researcher gave me job advice too: Figure out what you love first, then figure out the job that allows you to explore those things.
Those two men were living the example, and both were brilliant. And happy, at least 65% of the time.
Another vote for living the life we love. And also for loving the life we live. Outward Bound tells us, "If you can't get out of it, then get into it."
That's my fancy way of saying, I don't really feel like going to work today, but you know... it could be a lot worse. Happy Monday.