Monday, April 5, 2010

Can We Have it All?

This week has been extremely rough. Now that it is winding down and things are starting to iron themselves out, I might be able to sleep through an entire night. I was put in a situation where I had to make a very difficult choice. One of the toughest yet, at least when it comes to job decisions. Today I was offered a position at Yosemite National Park in CA. It is a GS-5 position in the valley. I knew immediately after my interview that this offer was a formality pending reference checks. Oh and by the way...thanks to all of my supervisors who had such nice things to say about me...yep thats right, I was told so. I have spent the last 6 days weighing both possible outcomes. Of course I was recieving comments and input form the peanut gallery as well as words of wisdom and encouragement from friends and family. So again a big thanks to everyone for your love and support.

A feeling like this can drive you crazy, and I am sure that I could go back and forth for another week and still not be 100% convinced one way or another. I know..."help me"...I said, but as much as I enjoyed different points of view, I knew that this was a decision that I would have to make completely on my own. So I decided to quit my job and become an alcoholic. Just Kidding.

Going back to Glacier would mean returning to a park that I absolutely love and have a stron connection to. It would mean giving programs for the centenial that I have been working on and the thought of presenting them brings me joy and confidence. It would mean good friends that have become family and a place that I still feel I have a lot to give back to. As a frequent visitor to the park even before I worked there, Glacier Has always held a special place in my heart. But, is it time to move on?

Yosemite is one of those opportunities that many rangers dream of. It would mean a fresh start. It would mean brand new faces and new challenges in a fantastic place. It would set my resume on fire, and would be a great chance to advance my career. But, is that enough? Is that what would make me the most happy right now, at this point in my life?

It took a bit to realize that I would have to decide which I wanted most. And in the end that was to belong. Being close to people who know me and love me for who I am and returning to a place that feels like home would bring back warmth to my heart and a smile to my face. But, most of all it would bring back a feeling that I have been missing for a while.

Is Yosemite a great opportunity? Yes. Many may think of me as a crazy person but I belive in my mind that it was the right decision for me and it will make me happy. Maybe one day I will find myself high in the Sierra Nevada giving my all in a job that I love doing, but as for now that will have to remain in the bucket list.

Cape Hatteras was something that was new and fresh and has bettered me at my job in more ways than one. That I can say for certain. Next winter season I see myself trying my luck somewhere else and making another decision for the best. I hope to continue grabbing experiences in the park service one priority at a time.

In making choices like this you always learn something. Maybe it is something about yourself that you did not know before, or about things that are important to you. I can say this...I probably did learn those things but I also learned that chasing after everything you want at full speed can be exhausting. Especially if you try to attack it all at the same time. Everyone has a vision of a life that would ultimately be perfect. Dream job...ideal So can we ever have it all? Is this just a vision for the lucky ones? Are we setting outselves up for dissapointment? I have been thinking abouit this a lot lately. think we can have it all. We maybe just can not have it all at the same time...and I hope to spend the summer season enjoying my piece of something great.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome Back the Night Sky

Human appreciation of the night sky has had a long history. People today still gaze up at the stars and planets, asking the same questions as those thousands of years before them. It is a place of mystery, a place that can’t be touched and these celestial bodies bring wonder and amazement to those that enjoy a long lived pastime. Sitting around the fire, one might imagine another world and contemplate the fragile life cycles that we have here on earth.

We also have a history of using the night sky for other benefits and gain. Here at Cape Hatteras, mariners would use the night sky for navigation and direction. It was valued as much as our historic lighthouses that still shine today on the shores of North Carolina. Natural darkness is also vital to the many creatures that call these barrier islands home. Sea turtles depend on the night sky for reproduction as new hatchlings look to the moonlight for guidance back to the sea. Nocturnal land animals rely on night darkness for their own protection and survival.

Today, more of us are taking for granted the experience of natural darkness; a cosmic wonder that is disappearing. Not only are we noticing a loss of visible stars in the sky, but we are losing our sense of perspective as we enter a world of endless sun. 90 percent of the population is now denied the unique beauty of the night sky. Light pollution continues to increase with more and more wasted light directed above. Though modern technology has limited our need to use the sky, we still enjoy staring upward pondering a world beyond our reach.

Fortunately, Cape Hatteras is an excellent place to enjoy the night sky. National Parks are some of the few remaining sections of country where we can enjoy the magnificence of a starlit sky after sunset. This narrow strip of barrier islands, 30 miles out to sea, brings us further from the lighted mainland. At Cape Hatteras National Seashore we have the opportunity to gaze back in history and enjoy a show that has been playing since the beginning of time. So, we ask you to join us after sunset, turn off any unnecessary lights, sit back, relax, and welcome back the night.