The first of the free courses I have started to work through to improve my understanding and increase my professional learning portfolio, my personal ethos over a career compared to a job, a job is something you do to make money & pay bills.
A career is your life, your dedication, your passion, a career can be started from the bottom, where you go is down to what you create, how hard you work, how much you learn, knowledge is a powerful tool, in life I've learnt, its not always the means, the same knowledge taught by a teacher in an academic setting, is available to be found, to be read, studied & understood, I'm passionate about self education, platforms such as the Open university, other academic institutions are a great resource. I honestly recommend checking out what is on offer by clicking the OU logo above.
Professionalism, are the standards you hold yourself to, set the bar high and always set your standards a little higher so that your striving to achieve more.
I'm dyslexic, in life it has caused me to always find another way to achieve my goals and my aims, I may not suit the mainstream route, but with dedication and never taking no for an answer, I have found there are always ways if you apply yourself, think outside of the box, never turn down an opportunity to prove your passions, educate yourself further.
My mum is a great inspiration in my life, she is also dyslexic, she has never stopped achieving, she has always achieved it on her own, she is a very strong person, fearless of the unknown, when one door has closed or a wall in her life has appeared, around it, under it, over it or through it, she has always found a way, when I was born, she was a professional make-up artist for film & TV and even taught in one of the most prestigious schools in the country, but she found she could not keep the career she loved & be a single mother to raise me, she evolved, she turned her skills in special effects make-up and created a successful home business, making garden ornaments, then moved on to making stain glass, she trained and became a reflexologist, then she moved in to her final career studying for an initial 5 years, working & continuously studying for a further 15 years becoming a psychotherapist/counsellor specialising in bereavement and mental health. She taught me that no matter where you are in life, where you go, what you become, its never too late, if you work hard, train hard, find ways to educate yourself, you can evolve, adapt & overcome any obstacle or fear, I owe my mum my ethos on life, work & professionalism, the tenacity to keep going, no matter how impossible or unlikely, it may all feel.
I've decided to keep blogging on a personal level about my journey & decision to change careers, my route, perhaps unconventional, I hope may inspire others to make a change in their lives, I appreciate so much of what I have & the career I been building over the last 8 years, my passions in life have evolved, I am passionate about making a bigger change, protecting & understanding the world we live in, humans have to learn to co-exist, with our dwindling wildlife & ecosystems, I hope my eventual path on this change can lead me to become a myrmecologist, working in conservation, for now I'm focusing on starting this career path, learning ecology, wildlife (flora & fauna) management, I'm aiming at hands on positions such as forest & wildlife or conservation Rangers, I'm confident that I have a solid set of cross over skills, I can bring into my new career one of my strongest sets being my mental attitude & sheer determination, as a close protection operative we say, "We always have to be lucky, the threat only has to be lucky once". Going forward I only need to find that one opportunity, no matter what adversity may be ahead of me, no matter how many set backs or people who turn me away, you have to break a lot of coal to find a diamond, right now I'm mining for my diamond, my opportunity to shine, my opportunity to create and forge a new path in life.
Never let the perception of failure knock you back or stop your goals, take everything positive or negative as a lesson, re-evaluate, plan a new route or try another way, keep focused on your eventual goals, see yourself in your position, in your dream, create it, I have faith I will create mine, one way or another, I have faith you can to.
With the channel growing, focusing so much time into self study, for the last 8 years, I have dedicated to my career, protecting people, It's a tough career, my average work week is 135 hours, our requirement isn't covered by the working time directive, you have to be a very disciplined person, self motivated & driven.
I've often thought about continuing with my medical qualifications, to level 6 becoming a registered paramedic, perhaps even training others, as much as I am proficient in my abilities, its not something, that hits a spark within me.
I'm not the type of person that wants work to be predictable, I like a challenge, I don't want to know what challenge I will over come next, I've been looking into the pathway to study Myrmecology, its not very straight forward in the UK, its not a recognised vocation, merely part of other qualifications, biology, zoology, etc.
I have already signed upto some free open university courses, knowledge is a powerful tool, and simply available in a few clicks.
Wildlife & Nature courses.
Tending and caring for Ants, you become aware of impacts on the environment, to keep them you create mini environments for them to live, tiny changes can have massive consequences.
on the wider spectrum, I have found myself considering our environment, local wildlife, local nature sites, parks & forests, I have made a huge decision, no matter how old you are in life, your never too old to learn, its never too late to change something, you just have to make that decision and keep going until it happens.
I am going to make a career change from close protection to conservation.
If we cant protect the environment, then how can we protect people?
without a balanced, stable, protected environment, people will die, the air we breath, the waste we produce, I have a passion to protect, I see this career move as simply shifting from protecting people to protecting nature.
Things may be sketchy in the coming months for releasing content, through no fault of my own, the position I have worked for the last 2 years will be terminated on the 30/06/2021, I have lined up other work, I will be back to traveling the country, from task to task, the sad reality of my career is it doesn't leave much time for my family or my life.
My hope is to find a position within a local wild life trust within Hertfordshire or surrounding area's, I have started applying for positions, combining my dedication in my career, with the passion for my hobbies, the out doors, its pretty much a dream job, get to spend time in nature, patrolling the local forests, a great way to me to start gaining skills and qualifications, on a path that I had begun to make plans to enter, before this situation inspired me to reach out and see what opportunities, I can find.
Wish me luck!
Well it was certainly an interesting conclusion, in today's world of fast paced information & technology, a written blog, well its a bit old school.
So I'm learning to adapt, using my trusty Galaxy S10+.
Yes my mobile phone!
I have started my own Youtube Channel to document these colonies, their day to day lives, their adaptations, challenges they face in their environments, so much content!
I'm still very early into this journey, so please forgive the rough editing, snappy shots and far from polished sound! I will improve with time and with better equipment!
The Golden Years
Most find their way like myself into Ant keeping as a kid, i was fascinated, so curious, full of as much wonder, as i was destruction, sadly i was one of those kids, with a magnifying glass in the summer, exercising the ray of death, like an attacking UFO from independence day, but that blood lust soon changed, along with developing a conscience for my actions!
I discovered Nuptial flights, Late September, having what we call in the UK an Indian summer, Lasius Niger Queens & Drones, in the thousands!
I waited a whole year, preparing for this next invasion, collecting glass jars, this was the early 90's, before dial up internet, before the information highways, became super charged, no books in the library, just a boy and some jars of dirt.
Of course, hundreds perished, i didn't understand about bio activating the soils, waste issues causing bacteria and mold, i had a few successful colonies over this period, i started experimenting creating part wormery, part ant farm, in these jars it brought more success.
Some years later, i got given the famous uncle milton's ant farm, or as i now refer to them the mold farm! never meant for keeping colonies, i then tried a gel farm, wow... even as a kid i saw the gel and didn't think that was a great idea, having accidentally drowned a few colonies in the jar set ups in previous years, i was fearful they would drown, i dumped it out and filled it with sand and dirt, this became my most successful Ant colony, i know this journey starts horrifically, in a time before now.
Before blogs like this to educate and help people, care for their species properly, with the correct knowledge, tried and tested, by those who have succeeded before you!
For many years my journey was about as fun as stumbling through a thick forest, in the pitch dark! I grew up and stopped keeping Ants, until recently, the want to keep Ants never went away, like an itch always in the back of my mind.
Wishing i knew what i know, as an adult and could redeem all my mistakes as a child.
Becoming a father to my wonderful little girl, who is fascinated by bugs, i thought what a great idea to start keeping Ants again, so i persuaded the boss, she said OK! a decision i think she has always regretted since, i reached out online, after watching hours of Youtube popular culture video's, such as Ants Canada, Ants Australia, Amazing Ants, many other great content creators, I went in search of a Lasius Niger colony, nostalgia got the best of me, sure i was staying #TeamNative.
On this journey, i found myself getting not just, Lasius Niger but Messor Barbarus, a common species retailed in the UK but not Native, its found across the puddle in Southern Europe.
A Species widely sold within the UK, to understand this i started researching our laws, after all the videos, i was sure i had discovered some black market dealings! but no, not at all, The UK has quite relaxed laws on the keeping of exotic pets, relying on the responsibility and care of the owner to ensure the creatures are not released and will effect our eco system, learning our Native species, let alone, exotic species, struggle to survive in our ever changing and cold weather patterns, we experience in the UK.
My journey into exotic keeping thus began, knowledge is all over the internet, if you take the time to search and research! the more i did this, the more i found myself enthralled, I started researching the Laws, and found it is completely legal to keep most species of Ants in the UK, infact other than Germany, the UK is the second largest population of exotic ant keepers.
I sourced responsible and trustworthy retailers with import & export papers, where required.
I selected species that intrigued me, a personal study & fascination with their specific trait, adaptation that differs them from other of their genus.
I will go into more about the popular culture & Taboo's surrounding Exotic Ant Keeping in another post!
where or how did you start your journey into Ant keeping? like me was you a young kid stumbling through the dark, did you start later in life? share your stories with me!
For now this is The Colonialist, Signing out.
Ants & The Colonialist