SurvivalBlog readers, at least on the greater web, believe it or not, have a reputation as being amongst the more educated and affluent members of the preparedness community. Take that for what you will, but up until quite recently I had relied on a work ethic, intelligence, and blessings to continue to secure my rise in my chosen field. I had left college some eight years ago after being stuck in the “somewhere in my senior year” quagmire for what seemed like forever, after deciding that I had plenty of opportunity in my chosen field without it. Fast forward to last winter, and I had basically hit a plateau in my field. I’m blessed, don’t get me wrong, but I was also stuck. The position I really wanted to move into in my company required a degree in Business Administration, which was my prior major. Experience was not considered in lieu of the degree, therefore one might as well not even look at the posted position without one. So, I went to speak with the admissions department of a relatively well known midwestern university not too far away to ask about what it would take to transfer and finish my degree. What a surprise! I was only six classes away (conveniently the minimum number of courses that the university requires you to take there for them to confer their degree upon you. I did the math, and I thought, “That’s only a year to finish. I can do that!”
So I applied for and received my companies’ tuition reimbursement program and worked towards finishing this up. Well, the big wigs showed up at my regional job site for the yearly dog and pony show, and one of the Senior VP’s recognized me. (I had worked for a year at Corporate Headquarters on the east coast before transferring to the midwest; again, that’s another article entirely.) The Senior VP is a very nice lady who remembered me, asked how I was doing, and how I liked my job. Figuring I had very little to lose, I told her how much I enjoyed my job and was grateful for their help transferring, but I also mentioned that my true career goal was in Acquisitions and that I was going to school to finish my degree to try and move into that department. She said all of the right things that you say to employees in that situation– “That’s great; let me know if I can help” and so forth. I really didn’t consider it much, until about a week later when I came into work and found an e-mail from her waiting for me, asking me when I would graduate. There was a position open in Acquisitions. It was not pressing, and she had thought of me. I told her my expected graduation date, and the conversation continued. I won’t bore you further with the details, but I was offered the job pending completion of my degree in August. I told that story so that I could tell this one. My wife and I dreamed for a long time of moving to the American Redoubt. Part of the negotiations for my accepting the position was…, wait for it, …the right to telecommute from anywhere in the country where high speed data connection exists. It is with the understanding that I am at the beckon call of my bosses to travel to Virginia or Los Angeles (our two coastal headquarters) at company expense. I can’t imagine a more perfect opportunity. My wife and I have our first planned visit to northern Idaho/western Montana in two weeks to look for property. We’re looking for a minimum of ten acres, and seclusion comes right after the availability of satellite Internet on the “list of wants and needs”.
So, when you can gain some knowledge and complete some sort of schooling relevant to your field (especially if your company participates in any sort of tuition reimbursement program, as many do nowadays), take advantage of it. You never know where the opportunity might take you in your preparedness efforts. While it’s true that I would’ve preferred to take some welding courses instead of Corporate Law, welding would not have likely gotten me my ticket to the relocation my wife and I had been praying for.
I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this, there is a great chance that you currently don’t live where you really want to live. It’s true for me, and there is no shame in it. However, there is something you need to ponder upon, and it is this; if you are reading this blog regularly and preparing to the best of your abilities, you do not think like the rest of society at large. I think most of us can agree that is a good thing. If you do not think like the rest of society, the sad fact is that you don’t belong. You don’t fit in there, and you shouldn’t want to. The good news is that there are a lot of folks who don’t belong, and they are clustering, not just inside the American Redoubt but in the rural areas all over our great nation. If you are in an urban setting and see the writing on the wall, my friend, it is time to leave. Oh, I know, you can’t pick up today and drive to Wyoming. You have your job and your mortgage and your kids are in school and your uncle needs to be taken care of and all of your friends live here and a million other things that are keeping you where you are. As I mentioned earlier, it’s amazing what we can’t do when we put our minds to not achieving it. Maybe, well even probably, you are unable to just pick up and leave. But, most assuredly, you can pray to Our Heavenly Father to show you His path for you, and you can ask Him to lead you down it. And then, if He moves your heart towards relocation, you can accept the fact that you should obey His command and not tempt His mercy. And then, you can work towards it. You can start by wrapping your mind around the idea that if God has put it on your heart to prepare, and that your city is not safe, that you should probably try and leave it. You can start to look into putting your house on the market. You can poke around your job at the office and test the waters of telecommuting. (In Corporate America, it’s an “ask not, get not” culture.) If you receive a cool reception, you can hop on this wonderful Internet and look for jobs in your field in a safer area. You can trade that impractical Nissan Versa in for a 4WD Silverado. You can do a bit of digging around at available properties in central Montana. You can take a few days of vacation, fly into Spokane, and take a trip a few hours west to get a feel for the area. I know that I have been immensely blessed with the opportunities provided to me, and that the Lord blesses each of us in different ways, but I also know that if we follow His will, He will open the doors for us to walk through them. Taking that step is up to you; He won’t do it for you. And personally, I’ve no desire to meet my Maker and have to account for why, when He allowed me to see the storm clouds on the horizon and put it on my heart to leave, I refused to take the initiative to follow His lead. Talk about an uncomfortable conversation that would be!
None of the aforementioned at all is meant to be or sound boastful. I am the least among you, and I have a ridiculous amount to learn about so many things. My only hope (other than the Lord) is that I am fortunate enough to recognize that I don’t know anything. It remains a journey and a learning experience, even among the basics that I’m not entirely sure any of us ever truly master completely. Alas, there are a million things “Beyond the B’s”. We could all chime in and discuss them for days, but In the end what order we take them and how we go about achieving them is up to us, individually. More than anything, though, I would like to close by reiterating not to put the cart before the horse. I return to the sage advice mentioned earlier: “Make sure your three B’s are squared away first!”