Sunday, August 7, 2011

This is my awesome Alaskan hat.

Foggy mountain

Rainy days aren't so bad

June and Alaska have been said to be the rainiest months in Denali National Park.

Whoever said that wasn't lying, and they should have included July in that as well.  It has been pouring here for days at a time. It's kind of funny to watch my friends from Arizona and California freak out when it gets cold (like it was today), because they are not used to the cold or wet climate. Being from Ohio, I am used to the weather changing at a moment's notice. However, it has been putting me in a damp kind of mood lately, and for that I hope it stops soon.

I have been learning lately that the company I work for has plenty of problems, just like any other mega-corporation. The issue we have been facing lately is lack of water and rather unrealistic budget cuts. The lack of water issue is, as far as I'm concerned, completely unacceptable. They refuse to buy another holding tank for the water, so they just let it drain completely and then fill it back up. One giant holding tank is simply not enough to support an employee community of 500+ people, plus over 3,000 guests everyday. The budget cuts have proven to not be any more favorable. Every department has been forced to dramatically slash their labor hours, and this is proving to be a really excellent way to make sure that the guests leave our property super pissed off. The best part about this entire situation is that it is not uncommon for giant companies like Aramark to make up a budget crisis and do these kinds of things, because that is exactly how they make their profits each year. They demand that fewer employees take on a more laborious workload for the same pay. It's ludicrous, and I am starting to understand why people hate working for mega corporations such as this one. They have been firing people left and right lately, and it's really depressing and frustrating to know that so many of my friends have been fired and have to pack up and go home simply because Aramark "can't afford" to have them on staff anymore. It's completely not true, and the injustice of it really bridles me. However, I will give them no reason to fire me. I am staying.

In other, happier news, even in spite of the recent bullshit, I really do love it here, and I am already thinking about coming back to work (although not in this exact location) next year. There is so much more of Alaska that I have not had the chance to explore yet. Next week, I shall be renting a car and driving down to Seward (near Anchorage) to go whale watching with some friends. I have been looking forward to this for awhile!

Also, I have recently been thinking about more seasonal winter time employment. I attended a job fair today, and I might be going to either Copper Mountain, Colorado, or Alyeska Resort, Alaska. Both of them are ski resorts, and I hear the winters in both of these places are supposed to be quite tremendous. I am sure that many people from back home are wondering if I will ever come back to Ashland, Ohio to live. The answer is probably not. I can't help it. I discovered a few years ago that I absolutely love to be in these kinds of places, and now that I have figured out a way to get paid for it, I'm perfectly happy doing this for awhile. I have learned by being here in Denali that I love traveling more than I love Ashland, Ohio, so until my traveler's thirst has been quenched, I am not settling anywhere. I am also thinking of doing some backpacking in Scotland, England, and Wales this spring. I haven't made up my mind about anything yet, but that is the direction I have been thinking of lately.

I have a theory: when people are doing what they love, and it is good for them, there is a natural joy that comes from deep within, and this joy or passion or whatever you want to call it, allows a person to feel free and healthy. I have lost almost 25 pounds since May 7 because I love wandering around Denali. I talk to interesting people from all over the world, I read great books on my Kindle that I just bought, I save my money, I don't drink anymore, I haven't seen a TV program since the beginning of May,  I see impressive and beautiful mountains everyday, I worship regularly, and my hair and skin are in fantastic condition because the mountain air and water is so good for a body. This atmosphere is good for me. It's good for my soul to be here, doing this stuff. When I am in Ashland, I do not feel so inspired to take such good care of myself, because I sit on my butt all the time, watch TV, and do things that I know aren't good for me, like drink and eat junk food. I am learning that habits really are incredibly important (my Dad has been telling me these for years), and I have also learned that it is easier to develop good habits when I am in  place that promotes them. I am happier here in Denali than I ever have been in my entire life, and that is saying something, because I am a generally happy person. :)

I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life, but I know I am closer to figuring it out than I ever have been before. I feel invigorated and determined and blissful here! I hope everyone gets to find their literal "happy place" at some point in their lives. It makes all the difference in the world.