Mary Jane’s Last Dance & Disappointment

Layers of crashing blue waves against a blue sky, beige and black sand, scattered driftwood.

The end of one trip, begins another.

Song 1: Mary Jane’s last dance by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Monday, I quit. The job was alright. It seemed to be a typical workplace in the cannabis industry. Though I wasn’t as fast as the other trimmers, the company would have let me stay, though the people were cool and the pay was lower than I expected… It wasn’t the same.

I don’t want to trim another gram of cannabis bud. I can’t physically do work in a noisy factory environment. I don’t want to work in a corporate business or the industry any longer. I feel I was able to do this longer at my previous company because I had a sense of purpose, fit in, and liked the people I worked with.

Sure, I did meet some great people and made friends. Sure, I did have some fun experiences and challenges. Sure, I did have phenomenal personal growth from working a job I’ve done before as an assistant manager. What once felt like a sure thing is not anymore.

It was what I needed for the past few years. Being promoted to assistant manager and being part of a management team was the culmination of a past dream. Long ago, I dreamed of becoming a chef and owning a restaurant. While that was a taste of that since I was part of a small business instead of owning one, that period was long enough for me to know that I don’t want to manage anymore or have a small company where I’m in charge or have to lead others. I work better by myself or go to a job and do the work and leave.

In short, I’ve changed.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Sometimes it all comes together at once.

Sometimes you feel weird or anxious when starting a new job. At first I thought that this was true for me as well. As the week went by, as I learned new things from reading and observation, my mind changed.

Last week, I was relistening to The subtle art of not giving a Fuck by Mark Manson and listening to The creative act: A way of being by Rick Rubin. Trimming is was a perfect activity to listen to music or audiobooks while working.

First breakthrough

Black man with dreads staring into the distance with a breakthrough as maty equations fly by him.

Years ago, I first listened to the subtle art of not giving a fuck because I became a fan of the author, Mark Manson and his website. I discovered him by chance through google/Duckduckgo searches. I can’t remember the exact phrase, but it was a thought I had at the time as I was struggling with mental health issues and seeking help however I could. Mark Manson blogs about a bunch of different things, with the aim being self help.

“There are only so many things we can give a fuck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While
money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience.”

From The subtle art of not giving a fuck summary on audible.

After reading this book while listening to it while working last week, I slowly began to realize –and it took until driving to work the following Monday morning– that I don’t give a fuck about working in weed anymore. I felt myself pressing through the work last week to even meet my previous speed.

In Manson’s book, he has a chapter about when he was younger that he dreamed of being a rockstar. He imagined himself playing on stage in front of thousands and imagining himself living that glamorous lifestyle. This never came to be because he didn’t enjoy the suffering or daily choices it required to have a shot at becoming a rockstar. He didn’t want to suffer through the pain of learning by practicing hours every day and gaining mastery. He didn’t want to do the work of finding bandmates, finding gigs, or grinding through the creative process.

Manson didn’t want to do the solve problems in the ways that a rockstar lifestyle requires. He didn’t want to fail forward to reach the point that it takes to become that. To practice thousands of hours to have a realistic shot at achieving this. He just dreamt of being a rockstar.

Everyone has a finite amount of time alive and because of this, you can’t do everything. You have to say “No” to some things so you can say “Yes” to other things. Everyone has choices and choosing not to do something is itself a choice. To choose is to reject alternatives.

As if this wasn’t enough to convince me that it was time to move on, I had a second Deja Vu moment of randomness from the universe.

Deja Vu scene from The Matrix.

Second breakthrough

Song 2: Chop Suey! By System of a Down.

From a blogger who wanted to become a rockstar to a superstar music producer.

The creative act: A way of being by Rick Rubin, is a book I saw released on audible and after reading the description, I put it on my wishlist to read later. I hadn’t used my credit for April on audible, and it felt like the right choice for my next book to read.

Disclaimer, I’m still in the middle of reading this book. My impression so far is that it’s a collection of advice and experiences from Music Producer Rick Rubin. Almost like a modern take of: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius remixed by Rick Rubin.

The Creative Act: A way of being delves into the creative process, how to make something, and the psychology behind it.

Two chapters from it inspired this post. The first, called “Look for Clues” is about the concept of being open to inspiration from things happening around you in your life, such as a line in a movie or overhearing a conversation by someone else when out in the world. The key is to recognize when it happens and write it down for later to use in your current work. While this is not a new concept for creative work, this helped me feel certain on my new path. Rubin ends the chapter with an exercise of opening a book to a random page and see what your eyes are drawn to. What is there might not be relevant or inspirational, but allowing yourself the possibility of something may lead to something that does help.

Last year I saw a documentary on YouTube about system of a Down where Rick Rubin used this method to help System of a Down singer Serj Tankian with writing their hit song Chop Suey! Serj was having trouble writing the song, and Rubin told him to pick a book at random from his bookshelf to a random page, and see what you find. Serj Tankian did this to choose The Bible and saw:

Father into your hands I commit my spirit. Which turned into:

Father (father)
Father (father)
Father (father)
Father (father)
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit
Father, into your hands
Why have you forsaken me?
In your eyes forsaken me
In your thoughts forsaken me
In your heart forsaken me, oh

Source: Chop Suey! By System of a Down.

This moment changes the meaning and impression of the song to have a Christian angle despite the artist not being so.

Before I get to the chapter in Rubin’s book where this happened to me, heres some sources about this event and more on Rick Rubin.

The second chapter which inspired the second breakthrough:


As I’m writing this post in my car on Thursday, May 4th, in the Seward Park parking lot, I’m resistant to completing this section and committing to the world that I really have chosen to stop working in cannabis. I’ve already written so a couple times in this post.

Once again, Rick Rubin helps in his book in the Completion chapter (italicized parts from the book):

There’s nothing left to explore or add.

It’s time I let it go and move onto the next chapter in my life.

I need to step away, reset, and return with a fresh mind.

I haven’t been happy doing that work for a long time.

This is done because I feel it is done.

I can’t go back because I’ve changed. I have different needs and that career doesn’t meet it intellectually, emotionally, physically, or financially.

I’ll make do with minimum wage for the time being to pay bills, but in another type of job.

The work itself says it’s time (it’s completed).

Onto Disappointment. Cape Disappointment that is.

Cape Disappointment

Tricked ya! The disappointment is Cape Disappointment, and as a friend said on Instagram: “Soooo not a disappointment.” Agreed.

But first, a short story about the drive there.

Song 3: Come as you are by Nirvana

Aberdeen county, WA fits the musical sense of Nirvana. It’s one of those places in the world where you play music from artists who live there and think: “Yeah, this makes sense. No wonder Cobain had demons and Nirvana played in the style they did.”

Highway 101 is the faster route to reach Cape Disappointment. It’s like 1/3 farmland and 2/3 forests. But not scenic. It looks and feels like most rural places outside Seattle in the state. The same style of houses and generic small town america with corporate chains. I’d know, because I spent 8 months as a trucker delivering Coca Cola products. The places start to blend together.

The forests aren’t old growth due to logging, so it doesn’t feel natural. Worse, there were stretches of clear cutting where everything was pulled up and left on the surface for miles like a pile of severed tree corpses. Depressing. Aberdeen is simply there, you want to leave, and listening to Nirvana is the perfect soundtrack to get through it. Once you cross into Pacific County and further is when you start to see the ocean again and natural beauty.

As a metaphor for the long drive to Ilwaco, Washington at the southeast corner of the state, I left this section for the end of this blog post. To get to Cape Disappointment state park requires a 3 to 3.5 hour (without traffic) drive from Seattle depending on which of the two routes you choose.

To start with, why the fuck is this place still named Cape Disappointment? This place is breathtaking. I’ve lived in the northwest my entire life, and never experienced a place like Cape Disappointment state park. While it may have traits of other places in Washington state or Oregon, none that I’ve been to have the same combination or feel. Because of the long drive and my physical limits, I wasn’t able to see everything at this park.

Cape Disappointment earned its name when Captain John Meares failed to cross the river bar in 1788 (Wikipedia)

Needs a rename… The following link provides some history about the area:

Some of the largest waves on the West Coast slam into the bar, dissipating energy born in distant storms on the open seas. The forces of wind, current, and tide create a seemingly impenetrable wall of white water. Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition gazed with “estonishment” at waves breaking “with tremendious force in every direction” (William Clark, November 18, 1806). Even today, when protective jetties, periodic dredging, and modern navigational equipment have made the channel less lethal than it once was, mariners still approach the Columbia bar with caution and respect.

Most early sea captains simply looked at the foaming water and passed on. Spanish naval explorer Bruno de Hezeta (also spelled Heceta) identified the inlet as the mouth of a great river in August 1775, and marked it as such on his maps, but an outbreak of scurvy among his crew forced him to leave without further exploration. British Captain John Meares (1756?-1809) searched for Heceta’s river in 1788 but couldn’t find it. He named the area Cape Disappointment and sailed on. It was not until May 1792 that the first non-Indians crossed the Columbia bar, in a ship commanded by American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806). Gray plowed through the breakers despite the fears of his crew, some of whom thought him completely mad. He gave the river its current name, after his ship, the Columbia Rediviva.

Now I’m disappointed at the name of the cape and the river. Both need to be cancelled. This same website has a section where the Native Chinook tribe that lived in this place for 2500 years could cross the untamed river and river bar in canoes. That is impressive. Who were of course wiped out by white people and disease by American colonizers. Ugh.

Despite this, it is a park and a place worth visiting. Id recommend camping versus a day trip so you can see everything and relax from the drive.

This is a playlist of three short videos I made while there.

Maybe I’m still heartbroken from the previous job breakup I chose? 😮‍💨


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