Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Totally Forgot I Have the Key to a City

I require a job.

Like many people do when they require a job I decided to hit up the interweb for its infinite wisdom and then got depressed about how I'm pretty much horrible at everything especially reading French, speaking French, and writing French.  ...And anything related to computers.  Yes, I am that amazing genius who thought that fabulous high paying jobs would just fall into the lap of a unilingual technologically inept Canadian Political Science graduate, because if there's two things Political Science is known for its the spectacular employability factor and not being a hilarious joke degree. #LifeChoiceFail

Anyway, I was going through some Government job opportunities when I discovered a vacancy at DFAIT.  Keeping in mind that I love International Relations SOOOO MUCH that I literally have pictures of all the United Nations Secretary Generals on my bedroom wall (not kidding), the idea of working in Foreign Affairs and International Trade hit me like if Quentin Tarantino had just offered me a seven figure salary position with the Department of Puppies Chocolate and Jared Leto.


So I started filling out the application.  Turns out there's a crazy number of questions and components, which I guess is good because it means that the Canadian Federal Government only selects the country's *best and brightest (*people with enough patience to sit through the 95 hour application process) to be its photocopy bitch.  (Kind of like how it probably selected the 'best and brightest' to provide the top notch Parliamentary "security" that enabled Greenpeace to get onto the roof of West Block and hang a banner effectively declaring the incompetence of the House of Commons in 2009, but that is for another post.)   So, as I was trying to explain to the department of Jordan Catalano how I am the next shining star of Canadian civil service because Kofi Annan is like my Justin Bieber, I came across a question involving my experience with etiquette and dignitaries.

Every once in a while I get this sudden realization that my life is totally insane.  It's basically a tornado of destruction and then when that's over the tornado is all like "hey sorry for making a big crazy mess, here's a bunch of diamonds that were ethically extracted and for which the miners were paid fair wages for their labour".  Exactly, it makes no sense! 

The reason for this epiphany was that a few years ago when I was in Sierra Leone I got the Key to the City.  The city of Kenema, to be specific.  Somehow I had forgotten this.  Reagan and I spent the whole day meeting with Mayors and various officials and being paraded around like superstars to the the point where it was questionable if we could actually get our documentary completed in time.  It was very strange and flattering, and I wondered if that's what DFAIT had in mind when it asked me about my experience with official visits and etiquette.  And that got me thinking about how strange my life has to be to not remember holding the Key to a City in western Africa for a week.  

Things happen to me.  Like in a Forrest Gump kinda way.  For example there was that time I called up my friend Kate from Boston to say "Hey Kate I gotta go because I'm in Boston about to meet Hillary Clinton".  Then there was the media paparazzi that followed me for a week and a live interview via satellite on Canada am.  Then a couple of weeks later I celebrated my victory as Communications Director for the Political Science Society by getting drunk and dancing to Journey at the home of the Ambassador to Uruguay.  Then there was that fortnight that had me randomly seated for dinner next to two African dignitaries on two completely separate occasions after some development speeches I gave on behalf of Engineers Without Borders.  This all happened within 4 months of commencing my degree in Political Science.  After that Olivia Chow became my exercise buddy, and I couchsurfed at Jack Layton's house a few times.  I guess you could say Political Science was actually very becoming of me.

But it's not just Political Science that has led to random strange and amazing experiences.  As a dancer I have choreographed and performed solo on the mainstage of the National Arts Centre, and I even got to do a bunch of fouettees in front of a lot of people which is a really big deal to me.  I have won a few Championships, and represented Ontario at the Canadian Championships, and even taken home a medal from Worlds.  As a filmmaker I have had the privilege of going to Cannes Film Festival, and as a writer I was pretty stoked to get included in Zooey Deschanel's HelloGiggles website.  Things just have this bizarre way of happening for me.

I never know where my life is going more than six weeks in advance.  Last year I was joking with a friend after I had just returned from seven months in Asia about how we should get together before I ship out again.  We both knew I would be in Ottawa for a while though, so it was all just fun and games.  A month later I was living in Australia.  I gave about a month's notice when I ran off to Korea.

I know I seem like a flake because I do a zillion different things so employers look at my resume and think I'm a trainwreck.  (Plus I cry all the time and have no eyebrows.)  But here's the thing: I make shit happen.  I seize opportunities and I commit.  Okay, I'm kind of a flake, but seriously employers how many other resumes have you seen with Cannes Film Festival, World Championship Dance Medals, HelloGiggles, AND a Key to a City on it?  Probably not that many!

Moral of the Story: I'm still trying to decide.  It's either to follow your heart and do what you love and enjoy the random crazy opportunities that exist in life, or it's to follow logic and reason so you don't end up a broke nomadic hipster bum that doesn't speak French.  99% of the time option A will be kind of disastrous, but in the other 1% of the time you remember that at one point in life you had the Key to a City and then it all sort of makes sense.  Also don't take Political Science unless you really want to be poor.

told you i have pictures of all the united nations secretary generals on my wall!

Getting the key to the city in Kenema.