Sadly, my time here at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is nearly over. It is hard to that believe nearly a year and a half has passed by already.
My replacement has already been chosen and he will be here sometime in mid-to-late March for training with me. In the meantime, I need to start packing the few belongings I am using and prepare to move out of the cabin I have called home this past 17+ months. I also need to do some training myself on what my responsibilities will be on Protection Island when I go out there April 1st.
It is both sad and exciting… I am leaving this place I have worked so hard at and have learned to do so much at, but you cannot move on unless you, well… move on. This was my first caretaker job and the first step in this new direction in my life and I feel great and am excited about the possibilities of the future. The opportunity that is coming up for me is very exciting and I am looking forward to it. Yes, I might be a little nervous about some aspects (like any new position you are starting in anywhere) but it will all be fine and, like all things, you just have to do it and keep learning and making it your own. Operating a boat – especially alone – will be a different experience for me, but I have had training and have been certified for operation of a boat. I have been out of the water in several boats and learned many things from some good friends who are experienced and expert people.
Speaking of friends, I have met a lot of great people and have made many good friends during my relatively short stay here but I really like it up here and I hope to stay… if not now, well, in the future. Some I may not see or hear from again, but many I will be staying in touch with due to the magic of the interweb. It really is much how life has worked from our first memories of school and friends – people move in and out of our schools, our neighborhoods… even our lives. Where I grew up it was a little more prevalent because there was a military base nearby and the population was constantly changing. Some of those people whose paths you cross you stay in touch with, yet others move on to other things in their lives. It is just how it works out.
I have also learned some things about myself as well, and I feel like I have probably become a better person in the last two years. In fact, I was thinking about it last night and I don’t think I have really had a day where I was in a bad mood until a few days ago… the first one in nearly two years! That is pretty remarkable for anyone to say. Have I had days where something didn’t go right and I got pissed off about it and got over it soon thereafter? Well, yeah… but there have not been any days of being in a bad mood all day. You know.. one of “those” days”. I am quite happy to be able to say that.
I have also begun my search for the next place/position after September when my time on Protection Island is done. It is possible to be asked to stay longer so we will have to see where that goes on both sides, but that might be a long time alone on an island (songwriting and the internet will be a huge help with that!). I do still have a couple of potential opportunities to follow up on that can open up in this area, but for now, however, I have started to look around at my next place in case these things do not happen to come through. Gotta be prepared.
No, I had not planned to stay in one spot so soon when I started this adventure (and I said that early om), but this is a good place for me to be and I really like most of what the area has to offer. I also said early on that I would travel around and make mental notes of the best places I visit and put them on a short list of places to end up. I like the Pacific Northwest in general so I probably won’t go too far away – IF it ends up that I have to leave the area for a position to make some money. I have done extensive traveling in the U.S. so I know what areas I will not live in due to weather, politics, or many other factors. Granted no place is perfect in every way so you gotta take a little bad with the things you do like.
But I guess that is really how all the good things in life are.