With all the changes happening at Northlands, my job is going away and with it, my future is up in the air, with no known destination.

A large part of my income will be gone as of the new year when the division of Northlands as we know it will begin. Then, at the end of the horse racing season, the rest of my income will dry up.

The slow fade of watching the paycheques becoming smaller and smaller is terrifying. Should I call it quits now before the paycheques become too small? Or do I ride it out as long as possible?

On Aug. 29, city council voted that as of Jan. 1 2018, the EXPO Centre will merge with the Shaw Conference Centre and be run by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC). I work for Northlands, not the EEDC. My job will be given to whomever the EEDC chooses, at a wage of their choosing.

My wife and I bought our home in this neighbourhood, in large part due to its proximity to my work with the Oilers at Rexall Place and with my work at Northlands. It is walking distance to both. Now that has become moot.

When the Oilers moved downtown, I decided to step back from working hockey games as a camera operator to focus on aiming my life in a direction less dedicated to my job. But a little over a year ago, Northlands asked the city for a reprieve, for a deferral of payments on the debt they owe to the city. With the reprieve came downsizing, which tends to create more work for those who are left.

Most my life has been spent doing what must be done, doing what I must to keep myself afloat, and doing what I must to keep myself employed at jobs I’ve not necessarily intended to have. I’ve never gone after what I wanted, I’ve simply done what I must.

My work in broadcasting and at Northlands was never intended. I took them because I got laid off by a company going under. A friend got me into this industry because I needed a job. Northlands and broadcasting has been good to me while they lasted, but perhaps what could have been terrible news is really an opportunity in disguise.

When I was young, my dad worked as a firefighter, and hearing stories of daring rescues made me wish to be brave and help keep people safe.

While I’ve never had a desire to run into burning buildings, the desire to help keep people safe has stayed with me. The idea of being a paramedic appeals to me. The idea of being the first on the scene and helping those that truly need help calls to me. I no longer want to do what I must; I want to do what I want. That is why I plan to go back to school to become a paramedic and help those in truly life and death situations.

Featured Image: The impending loss of a job brings to light a new career opportunity. | Pixabay