The Storm Before The Calm Before The Storm

Quick update on the happenings in this season of Beus-family change, and riffs on wisdom from Mike Rowe

Tearing it up the second it all comes together

Couldn’t even explain it if I tried

This year is truly a season of change, and I am learning more about letting go, and going with the flow.

Since last I wrote on the blog, one thing after another that I thought would happen has tumbled away.

My career directions changed, yet again.

We moved apartments and then moved apartments, and then moved apartments again. Thank goodness for sites like shoppok for making the apartment hunt so much easier.

We changed cities.

We changed jobs.

We changed, and changed.

Nimble Pointed Horizon

If we go back to January 1st, 2017, my life then is mostly unrecognizable.

Go back to April 2015, and I was essentially an entirely different person (well, on a surface level).

Go back to December 2014, and I’m almost surprised that guy and I have the same name.

Back then, I was a budding artist and author, teaching at BYU and UVU, with my first authored and illustrated book lining up on the national bookshelf.

…Last year…coming forward in time…I was struggling to figure out how to deal with our not being able to have children naturally; this problem was accentuated with the fact that my principle source of income, illustration, was crippled by my rapidly degrading eyesight.

This year, I began as an MBA student at Carnegie Mellon trying to figure out a new career from scratch after my friend told me it was ranked a ‘Best Value Online MBA Program’, and a way to afford adoption; my wife studied for a social-work master’s degree at Utah State University to be a counselor.

Just a few weeks past that moment, my wife and I were surprised with the right to say, “We’re pregnant!”

You can change the direction of the train if you concentrate

You can change the direction of the train if you concentrate

We took our leaves of absence from our schools, chowed through jobs and career paths, changed locations and ideas, moved apartments and financial habits; tearing apart each plan almost as fast as we could put it in place.

We’ve scrimped and scraped, searched and thought, and pounded pavement in city after city as we tried to build a home for this little baby.

Nothing terrible has happened, so don’t worry, but the change in plans happens so quickly, it’s simply a moot point to discuss all of it here on the blog; whatever I have to say is often irrelevant the moment I discover how to say it.

You’ve probably had such times in your life as well.

I would guess that this overall story, of a couple trying to adapt to make way for a baby, has been repeating since long before the written word. It probably goes back to homo sapiens’ first competition with other homo sentient species.

I’m not sure what more I can add. Probably, all I can do is serve as yet another reminder to everyone else that when these times come, you are not alone, “this too shall pass,” and it’ll all be alright in the end.

No rear-view mirrors, nor telescopes, but just where things are now

Without a word on what’s happened, or where I imagine anything will end up: here’s where we are today.

I’m still on Leave of Absence from Carnegie Mellon; I love my MBA program and miss it very much. I would love to resume today, if I could, but it’s not the right moment.

I am enrolled in a Front-End Web Developer bootcamp program with the team, starting October 23rd.

The skill set I am building would enable me to work as a front-end web developer, perhaps in the financial-technology sector, and anywhere and everywhere else website front-end developers are needed.

If you know of anything, please keep me posted; I will be grateful.

My wife found a job as a social worker in the US Army on Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Back in the Army

In the Army again

This is great news; she loves the Army environment, and she loves her co-workers. While it doesn’t pay a ton, it is enough to keep the boat afloat for our little baby.

We are happily living in North Pole, Alaska — yep, “North Pole,” just like it sounds — in the attic above a large shop.

We are so far north, the stretch of highway that we drive on all day is basically the furthest north you can go on the Eisenhower highway system.

A few nights ago we were blessed with the sight of the Northern Lights.

They are HUGE!

Pictures really can’t describe them. It’s as though, if the planet Earth is a marble floating in the vast void of space, the Northern Lights are like those painted swirls that you sometimes see in glass marbles.

That swirl in the marble

That swirl in the marble

The Northern Lights stretch from horizon to horizon, and they shift and shiver while you watch.

We got to see them by just stepping right out our front door.

Speaking of our apartment, the landlady who prepared it painted and shaped the apartment layout to look more homelike than any apartment we’ve lived in yet.

The doors are a classy dark brown, the walls a muted white, and the tile on the floor is such a great rendition of a wood, you almost think it’s a real wood floor.

We are very happy to be welcoming our baby here.

Oh, and speaking of the baby: he’s due any day now! In fact, today is his official due date.

But, as far as we can tell, he’s just chilling in the pool awhile yet. No big signs of his coming today, or tomorrow…

Baby Bouncer

A Bit of Wisdom from Mike Rowe that I Appreciate

Take a look at the video:

What he says resonates with me at this time of life.

My “passion” would have me go back to what I was doing in 2014 — painting, writing, drawing, and even getting ready to make games.

So many people along my journey — with sincere and good intentions — told me to “follow my heart,” to “seek after my bliss,” to “follow my passion.”

But, how could any of them know that my eyesight would start giving out in my mid-thirties?

And now, what kind of illustrator would bet his children’s well-being on a pair of eyes that have repeated issues when drawing on paper up close?

In my twenties, I was too dumb to consider the consequences of my already weak eyesight; so, admitting my own stupidity, I’m entirely and ultimately responsible for where I am now.

And I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m complaining: I have a wonderful wife; we have a child on the way; we’re surviving; so long as I take it easy on my eyes, they do just fine; we live in the freest, most amazing country the world has ever known.

Things are great.

But the path I’m taking now, “following opportunity,” appears to provide more stability for the people I love.

As I take this approach, I find a different and new ability to define problems and construct solutions.

For instance, it’s so much easier to figure out how to plan my career when I look at how much I need to earn for our family, and then look through a catalog of job opportunities and try to pick out which one would be best — worrying less about whether or not I’ll enjoy it, and more about whether or not I’ll be useful to society.

Wait for it...

Wait for it…

Maybe…hopefully…once things settle down I’ll find a way to bring my passion along with me. You know, one day maybe I’ll be both a storyteller of mythological epics, and even an “epic” epic storyteller.

But as far as true life happiness goes, I’ll bet I can find passion in whatever it is that I end up doing anyway.

If you’ve ever had a time in your life such as I’m having now and would like to share your story in the comments below, I would love to hear it.