The biggest challenge was for Gurvan to stop working as a captain on board large oil tanker boats. The end looks easy to say and write when watching a movie but it isn't quite as easy when it comes to ending a 10 years career. We knew this was coming, we knew his company wanted to let go of its French officers and we were okay about it. But it happened right when I was giving birth to our baby. And to be honest, we were pretty excited about it. Excited because it meant Gurvan would not have to leave for 3 month anytime soon after birth, he would not have to miss all of the first times, all of the snuggles with his new born son. We went on with our crazy Tahiti trip (I talked about it here) , thinking we'd take off on a sail boat for years. Did not happen. Went back to France and there, we had to face it: there was no job for Gurvan as a captain. We decided to come back to Maui, the place that feels the most like home to us now. From here he kept looking for a job. His mind set had already changed a bit. And he did not want to get back into the oil industry. I mean he is a seaman at heart and being a captain on a tanker boat had nothing to do with him wanting to work in that industry, only he was able to work a job he loved for years, regardless of who he was working for. Kind of. For years I heard him talk about ecology, talk about his concerns for our planet. And as years went by these talks became more and more frequent. And there would always be a moment when he'd say that he fell like an impostor, having these big ideas for our planet, yet carrying oil all around the world for companies and people who did not care one second about the Earth. He's witnessed things that should be fought. He'd have his crew do the recycling on board only to have the trash boat pick it up and either pile them all up regardless of the recycling work that had been accomplished or have the trash guys offering him money to throw all the trashes over board once they'd be away at sea so that they wouldn't have to deal with it.
How hard must it be to do a job you love for an industry you hate.
I have so much respect for him doing the best he could all those years. Trying hard to be the best seaman he could with all the respect he has for our seas and oceans.
But all in a sudden we had a baby and he had no more job.
He did get a few job offers on board luxury boats but that meant for him to be gone at least 6 month at a time, sometimes a year. A year away from his family. A year he'd never ever be able to live again. Sure the salaries were attractive. But would that money be able to buy his son's first steps, first words, first laughter? Would that money make us stronger as a family, happier as a couple? Nop. definitely no. Our fusion as a family had been so strong from the day Manech was born that we could not imagine a second being apart. Not just for the sake of money. While we were in France he almost got a job as a pilot in Africa. For another oil company. Looking back at it we are so glad he did not get the job. I am a strong believer that often things happen for a reason. Yes this past year has been extremely challenging for us at many levels yet we are growing so much stronger, pursuing a life that we want to be proud of. A life that hold meanings. Today, working for an oil company is completely out of the picture. Climbing trees and being surrounded by nature makes him so much happier.
Becoming an arborist is a path he had never thought he would pursue. It is still very new. We are still in the middle of adjusting to our new life rhythm. We don't really know how much money we'll have at the end of the month. But it feels right. Every night when comes Manech's bed time, all three of us gather to our bed, read books, play, laugh, nurse and repeat until sleep kicks-in and baby falls asleep. There is no price tag for this. You're either here to live it or missing out on it. Our choice today is to be together. We are working hard to make it happen. For ten years we have been apart six month out of the year. We know that the money sacrifices we have to make are worth every second we get to spend as a family.
I came across this photo a few days ago and just yesterday I was listening to a radio podcast about the ecological disaster happening in Alberta, Canada where oil sands exploitation is destroying what used to be a natural reserve bigger than the Amazon forest.
The photo inspired me to write this tonight. I know I have written before about pursuing a meaningful life. This photo to me is a powerful reminder of what the oil industry is doing to our planet. It was hard for Gurvan to walk away from his career but we both embrace this new journey with a light and happy heart. Truly, all of us do contribute to the craziness of such industries because let's face it, we drive cars, we hop on planes, we buy all kind of product that are made of petroleum whether we know about it or not and we sometimes even drive the boat that carries it. I believe awareness is a key to a better world. Look at a photo like the one above and be aware of the consequences of your daily behavior on earth. I am not talking guilt, I am talking awareness. I am also talking about my own behavior as I am far from being perfect.
- Awareness - Creativity - Together -