No podcast for this one!
I’m sitting here listening to this guy named Brother Ali, it’s like Spotify knows that I like songs named after actors and gifted me with “Forest Whitaker.” It’s smooth, like a summer afternoon when the sun hides behind the tall buildings downtown and you get a bison taco on banic from the Native Delights truck. The wind shifts and pulls the sweat off your neck, letting you know it’s time for dinner. Fuck I miss Edmonton. Regardless, for some reason, this song, combined with work emails has turned on a desire in me.
Without getting too much into anything, a light was turned on at the end of a collective tunnel last night. It’s given me the fortitude I needed to resist a growing wave of negativity and refilled my sails. Usually, when I get to the one-year mark at a job, I grow restless—the fallout of unchallenging, unrewarding work. This is different.
I feel a fire in my belly I haven’t felt since holding my Pikachu edition Game Boy Colour loaded with Pokémon Yellow—I wanna to be the very best, like no one ever was. The world of optics so fascinating to me, and I’m realizing my place in the optical industry is much like our place in the universe.
From the Earth, we talk about what’s known as the observable universe—what we can see from our little rock in the milky way. It’s probably less than two percent of the entire thing, and that’s what my experience is in the optical industry. Due to the varied nature of capitalistic enterprises, there are more lens designs and options that you can shake a stick at.
I once heard that when you go to school to become an aircraft mechanic, you don’t learn how to fix airplanes, you learn how to read the manuals. There are too many types of crafts to learn them all, so you learn basic principals and the language of the field. That’s what I’m doing on the back of a small, selected lens portfolio and the training I’m receiving. The skills I’m acquiring now are forming the cornerstone for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
In the fall I’m going to legitimize my new passion and go back to school—something I’m a little overly excited for. It’s been so long since I’ve worked towards something like this, so long that I feel like I’ve never done it as an adult. I feel mature enough to handle it now, unlike when I went to school for music. The rewards of becoming an optician, to me at least, will be when I get to sit down with patients and give them the sight that they deserve to live their best life. Not that I’m not doing that already, but I don’t know enough. I thirst for the knowledge of how the things I work with do what they do. Like I said, I want to be the best.
I just had a thought: what if there was an optical clinic that was like a barber shop? But not like a hipster barber shop—I’m talking like a real, Ice Cube Barber Shop (that’s the whitest thing I’ve ever said); a place where everybody sits around and discusses things as a group while the craftspeople do their thing and interject with occasional wisdom or damn fool ideas. I’m gonna start one of those. We’d bring you the frames from behind a counter over to our stations (appointments preferably, but walk ins are coo), and then custom make them, as well as measuring your lenses. Our staff would be fully licenced opticians and we don’t fuck with contact lenses. Super premium shit, with a community vibe. God damn, someone gimme some seed money.
Okay, back on track. I made a list tonight while looking at my emails—things to do tomorrow. Now, some people might see this as working too much, or taking it home with you, but I just want to set myself up for success. I think I carry myself well, I believe my patients leave happy, or in the very least confident in their purchase—and I want the substance to match my style. Over the next nine months, and then two years, I’m going to tighten the bolts on my hull, so when I drop into the water as a finished lil’ tug boat, I can pull giants across the harbour without hesitation or fear of failure.
It’s weird to think that my life is going to blow wide open at thirty-two, but that’s my magic number right now. At thirty-two, I’ll have all I need to do all I want.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.