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Can't Talk | September 22, 2020

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It Was a Very Strange Year

It Was a Very Strange Year

Normally when I write my end of year reviews, I go over the movies I’ve watched and rate the five or 10 best, make Academy Award predictions, and discuss the films that have been announced that I am most looking forward to. This year is different, though. I saw fewer movies than ever. I’m not looking forward to many films next year, and there have been too many other things happening to focus on entertainment.

So, this year I’m going to do an Andrew year in review; the things I’ve done, places I’ve been, accomplishments, setbacks, and goals for the coming year. The year started off great! In January, I took a trip to reunite with my long-distance partner, and this time meet her children. The trip was a resounding success; the time spent was amazing. I bonded with the girls and the animals and spent time making my partner’s life a little easier for a week. This was the last bit of fun before the real work started.

February through May was back to school—truck driving school. I learned how to drive a tractor-trailer. It wasn’t easy; I took the final drive test three times before I passed, and then the search for work began.

It wasn’t as easy as I imagined. Even with government assistance through apprenticeship and incentive programs, it was still quite difficult to find a company willing to take on a brand-new driver. After two months of looking, I was finally hired in July. The apprenticeship program, while it got me work, was fairly awful in its pay structure; 100 dollars a day for days that you are working between 12 and 14 hours is actually less than the minimum wage in Ontario.

It was better than what I was making before, though, and there is serious earning potential in the field so I took it in stride. By the time I was driving solo, around the end of August, I was feeling much better about things and getting ready for what I knew the upcoming months would bring.

By the end of October, I was flying back to see my partner. I took the girls trick-or-treating, helped around the house, and we had another great time. When I flew home, it was even more heartbreaking than the last two visits. The election was on the horizon, the results of it uncertain, and I honestly didn’t know when I would be with them again. I consulted an immigration lawyer about bringing my partner and her children to Canada. The lawyer was hopeful for a swift process.

November was an awful month. During my first work trip after my vacation, I was in a very minor collision; no one was hurt, just vehicle damage. The election happened that same week, and then a week later I lost my job.

The hope I’d felt just a week before was crushed. Things continued to deteriorate at home as well. My son began getting into trouble at school, and my mother injured her back and was unable to do anything. I was running the house, looking for work, and feeling as much of a burden as a help.

Fortunately, it only took three weeks for me to find work, and it was with the company I had hoped to start with at the beginning of my career. While the type of trucking I’ll be doing will likely earn less than my last job, it will be the experience I need to advance. So, here I sit in a hotel room, waiting for my orientation to start with a new company. My partner is also starting a new and exciting path.

As for next year, I have a few simple goals. The biggest one is to get my partner and her girls to Canada for a vacation, at the very least, if we haven’t finalized the immigration process. I want to stay accident-free for the year. That would earn me a pretty nice bonus and will allow me to go back to my old company where I earned more and had a more routine schedule. The loftiest goal of all, though, is to somehow get a Can’t Talk Con to happen. We are spread out around North America and the world. It would be nice to get us all face to face.

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