Coming out of high school some of us don’t know what we’re going to be doing for the rest of our lives. We either get full time jobs, go to college, or travel. I certainly had no idea and was in and out of jobs until I was 21. Around the age of 20 I vividly recall seeing a classmate of mine from high school pull up beside my friend and I, as I was in the passenger seat. He was driving this awesome looking truck, and gave me a wave and sped off. Me being 20 years old, no drivers license, no car, a minimum wage job made me angry. I was waisting my time partying and smoking weed daily. Why couldn’t that be me? He looked so grown up sitting in that Chevy and look at me. I finally had enough. I decided to get back to school and learn electrical. I figured why not? They make good money and I was willing to learn anything as long as it made me happy. All I wanted was to be successful. I wanted to buy a big truck, own a home, get married and start a family. That was my envision of success and to get there, I needed to make a lot of money. So that thought alone gave me the ambition to study, to learn as much as I could. I would go to school for 8 hours and study for another 3 after. It was a full time and part time job without any pay. It was a stressful Apprenticeship to say the least but each time I passed a level, so came the raises. I loved seeing that pay go up, and it drove me even harder to succeed and get my journeyman license. By about the 3rd level, I decided to treat myself and bought a 2011 dodge 5.7L hemi engine. The first step in feeling the accomplishment I had set out to do. I was ecstatic! I finally felt like I was on the right path
Fast forward 4 years and the day had come where I had to write my interprovincial exam in order to receive my license. I finished the exam an hour and a half early and knew I had crushed it. I studied my ass off for this test and the results showed accordingly. Once I was alone in my truck, I started to break out into tears. Thinking about all the long days, the bullshit I put up with working under journeyman, the studying for tests, the stress I was under, proving to people that I CAN do this. This was the first time I had felt true serenity.
I thought my life was about to change for the better. I was ready to work, ready to make the big bucks and ready to be successful. Only, there was a huge problem in my way of accomplishing that. There was zero work available for journeymen electricians. The city was at a stand still and nobody was hiring. Months pass, no calls. Finally get back to work for 6-7 months only to be laid off from lack of work available. So more months pass. Debt rises, stress levels go up. This wasn’t exactly how I envision my life to be. I started to plummet emotionally. I worked so damn hard to get here, and for what?! This certainly didn’t feel like success, I started to second guess myself, hate the route I had taken in life and began drinking more and more to forget about all the bullshit I went through just to be broke.
I finally get a call and head back to work. It’s a big site with a lot of electricians there working, a good sign in my eyes. The project was a hospital, and was supposed to a 3 year build which was great in my eyes. I needed money and bad. I had just bought a house with my girlfriend and was another step forward to my idea of a successful life. Something had changed in me though. I started to hate my job and dreaded some days going to work. I would sometimes isolate myself from the other guys I was working with. I felt miserable even when I was making good money. I had no idea why? This is what I wanted after all. Maybe it was the clear cut favouritism the foreman showed to other journeymen, that worked less and got the easier jobs that angered me. I’m not a good ass kisser so I suppose I got tossed into the pile of misfits. Sure enough 7-8 months later the layoffs came and I was on that list. The most frustrating part of it all, was that the guys that were friends with the foreman, whom I don’t recall seeing them with a single tool in their hand the time I was there. Were not laid off. So as the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” it rang true. And life knocked me back on my ass again. I was losing.
I began to think of myself differently. Felt inadequate, hopeless, and unmotivated. Some days it was hard getting out of bed and required a lot of energy doing. My self esteem was at an all time low, my confidence had all but disappeared and I didn’t like the person I had become. I drank more, did less house work, and blamed everyone else for my situation. I wasn’t myself at all and In fact had gone into a deep depression after seeing a doctor about it all. He placed me on anti-depressants and recommended me to a psychologist. One of the best things that ever happened to me and possibly saved my life.
I started to learn the hard way that chasing money and obsessing over it had drove me into the ground. I had tunnel vision on the idea that if I wasn’t making a lot of money, I wasn’t successful. So when lay offs came and I was struggling financially, it completely blocked the one tunnel I was going down. I wasn’t living my life, I had a beautiful girlfriend that loved me, we had bought a home together, we have the cutest dog in the world and I have the truck I always wanted. Why was I depressed? I still can’t answer that question for you today, but what I can do, is tell you that life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you. I wasn’t appreciating what truly meant the most to me. Somewhere along the way, I was more interested in providing and being able to afford expensive taste then showing my family I loved them. I put friends first at times and drank all the time with them. The best decision I ever made was cutting ties with the toxic people in my life. Block and delete. Move on. Because who you hang out with in life is who you become. To truly be successful you need to chase the things that you love doing. And the money will follow. I had it all backwards. I was chasing money in order to love what I was doing. That made me depressed and wasn’t the right formula. I get it now, my eyes have been opened wider than ever before. My relationship with my girlfriend and family have been at the best it’s ever been. I no longer stress over money. I show more affection, make it a goal to txt my parents and siblings everyday. And love and hug our dog nala with all my heart. I haven’t drank in awhile nor do I plan too. I’m having too much fun to waste. As for work? I’m still at home, the debt is still there. But I’ve found a new purpose in life, something that makes me happy. It’s helping people like me. People who are struggling everyday with a mental illness of some kind. That’s why I created this blog, the idea was to get people talking. I never spoke to anyone about what I was feeling but the minute I did, I found out I wasn’t alone and that there was hope. And since then, my drive and motivation are back which lead me into making this blog as example of who I am, and why I can help others. I’m just like you. I’ve gone through a lot. I will love life once again, which in turn will make me a success.