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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Update on Life and the Future

I'm back I'm back I'm back!

Technically I never went anywhere. I just haven't had the drive or motivation to post. It's been a long long long fucking couple months. Two days after my last post I lost my job. Was still dealing with the height of the Valium withdrawals and missed one day of work too many, and in what I assume was a moment of frustration I was fired. It was a decent job and I enjoyed it most of the time, so I'm kind of bummed about that, but if they were willing to let me go for missing a couple shifts due to coming down from a four year Valium high then I suppose I didn't want to be there anyways. On a positive note I stopped into Zion's Den, the glass shop across the street from the PPC, and chatted up the woman working there for a while. I mentioned at one point that I'd worked in the headshop in the 'Cat across the street and she asked me my name. As soon as I told her her eyes lit up with recognition and she told me that both her and her boss, the owner, had heard numerous good things about me from customers who'd come in after having been to our store. They had heard so much positive word of mouth on yours truly in fact, that they asked me to bring in a resume. They don't even have any paid employees, but they might be looking to have one, and they might want it to be me. Which is awesome because the owners of the shop I had worked at used to get on me about their friends coming in to buy glass from me and then reporting back to them that I didn't know what I was talking about, that I was a poor salesmen, poor attitude, blah blah. Which I felt very strongly was bullshit, I'm a cheery and bright personality behind the counter, and a decent salesmen. So it was nice to get some validation.

So that was in November that I lost my job. And now it's...March?!? Really? It's fucking March? Damn. I still don't have a job. It's hard out there for a heavily tattooed and pierced barista/salesman/lifeguard/pimp. I'm looking though, and it's been long enough that something has to go right soon. Seriously. After as many 'Fuck You's as life has thrown at me over the last couple months it's about time I catch a damn break. Speaking of life bending you over a barrel and having it's way with you, I'm not going to be flying, not as a career anyways. As most people that know me know but promptly forgot, I'm colorblind. Not hardcore greyscale or anything, just a mild case of the red/greens. When I took my FAA medical exam I of course failed the colorblind test, the one with the colored dots that spell out a number. I knew I was going to though, as I've never been able to pass those, but out of all the pilots I've ever talked to (and I know quite a few) none of them has ever flown anything with dials resembling a fucking magic eye illusion, so I didn't think it'd be an issue. The medical examiner told me I'd have to drive over to Forrest Grove and take a special FAA last resort colorblind test called the Farnsworth-Lantern, which sounds like something the Professor would've invented on Futurama to see into alternate dimensions. Just to see what my odds would be of passing, the examiner took me out below the tower at the Bend airport and had them flash signal lights at me from up there while we stood in the parking lot. I nailed every single color without a single mistake. The guy straight up told me that since I hadn't had any issues identifying those single colored signal lights from so far away I'd probably breeze through the F-L exam.

FAIL. I didn't pass. I drove over to Forrest Grove one day with Jenkins and my sister in tow. Took us about 40 minutes of walking aimlessly around campus before we found the Optometry building, but find it we did, and just in time for my appointment. I was ushered in by a young third year optometry student, pretty blonde girl, shy, smart. She set me up in a small room in a hallway lined with identical small rooms, probably thirty in all. She set up a lantern shaped device facing me about ten feet away, and explained to me the test. On the lantern, in the center, there were two tiny light bulbs about the size of the ball in a ball point pen, one on top of the other, so close together they almost looked like a tiny number eight. She explained that the lights could blink in three colors, red, green, and white, and in any sequence of those three, i.e. top red bottom red, or top white bottom green, ect, ect, ect. She would flash ten combinations of the lights, showing each for two seconds, and I had to tell her top to bottom what the two lights were. If I missed more then two I had to run through ten more, and I was allowed three rounds of ten total, no more. Didn't sound too hard. Until I ran through the first ten, and realized around the eighth set that I hadn't said 'white' yet. There was no way there hadn't been any whites yet, and at that soul-crushing moment I knew it was over. I wasn't going to fly. We finished the first set with me not having said white once. She gently asked me if I remembered that it was one of the three colors, not just green and red. I said yes, and we ran through it two more times, I missed more the second and third times. See, the red was fine, the green was fine, the white was fine. Put the white next to red and I could see it, put it next to green and they both cancelled each other out. I had no idea if I was looking at white white or green white or whatever, they just blurred into one color. Which is complete and total bullshit, because a pilot will never (probably) be put in a situation where they have to identify two tiny lights touching each other from a distance. I can identify all the things I need to in the cockpit and in the tower. I've flown fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, and never have I run into an issue knowing what color something was. After failing the Farnsworth-Lantern test though my name was submitted automatically to the FAA stating that I may not receive a commercial pilot's license. So that's that. Bummer.

Keeping positive though, as much as I can. Spending my time looking for work, reevaluating my life, playing video games, and hanging with my friends. Things will pick up, new leaves will turn over, all that positive shit. I'm looking forward to it. Glad to be off my medications. It will be four months soon with not one single Valium or benzo, and I feel pretty goddamn good about that. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done, straight painful at times, but it's good to be clear. I feel like I accomplished something, even if it was just a personal victory. If I can do that shit, I can do anything, so bring it on, whatever 'it' may be. Whatever the future may hold, I'm ready.

In the meantime, maybe this post will be the one that incites me to actually post on a regular basis for more than a week. I'll believe that when I see it. Or do it.

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