Oh goodness. I haven’t blogged since I started working!

I’m sorry to leave you guys out as things begin to get busy and interesting. Living in the camper has been a learning curve, and this weekend I need to try to level it out for the second time. I’ve lost power, didn’t realize it, and then used up all my battery. I’ve run out of LP Gas (wasn’t full to begin with) and went a few days without hot water and heat. I have an ant invasion and I can’t figure out where they are coming from. Riley has been chewing on the couch, from his crate.

It’s been a steep learning curve.

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I really enjoy working in the media office, and those days go by so quickly! I have done things on the website, and have been designing signs for upcoming events. I assisted with a live stream to get a little idea of how all that works. It’s so nice how much responsibility and trust my supervisor(s) give to me. It feels a little daunting too, as I am only there for two days.

The other three days I’m in the park, working at the visitor center and giving programs. Well, I’ve only given one program so far, twice. I feel like I’m being babied as I haven’t done as many programs as my coworkers. I have the experience, I know how to make a program and represent the NPS in a good way, but I have a lot of prep time. That’s one side of the way I feel about it, the other side is happy I have this time because I feel completely unprepared or ready to give programs.

It’s strange. I feel like this year, I’m doing worse with my nerves and anxieties. I’m constantly worried if I am doing enough or if I am doing the right thing. I get really anxious before giving a program or interacting with visitors in a resource compliance way. This state of constant worry is uncomfortable and tiring. It has not been helped with all the bears I’ve seen.

I have always know my flight vs fight is completely in the flight zone with animals. I know the likelihood of a bad interaction with a bear is slim, but it’s my first time being in a heavily populated bear area with a dog. I’m not sure what Riley would do. I am worried he would be hard to control and hard to be quiet. Whenever he smells an area where a bear might has been, his tail is between his legs. He saw his first bear today, I’ll tell the story in a bit, but he was in the truck and decided to bark at the “big dog”. When walking Riley, I turn him around before he notices the animal 30 yards away. (He isn’t very observant, he thinks he is a hound.) The deer are mostly calm and have figured out that if they don’t move, Riley won’t seem them and we can walk right past them.

Being in this high state of anxiety and awareness is making me high-strung. I’m having difficulty remembering not to take things so seriously, and to take a breather. That everything will be okay, and not to dwell on the bad. I hope you don’t think I’m complaining too much. I’m just being honest. I have an AMAZING job. The people here are great, and I’m pretty sure I have friends! My mind just tends to dwell on the negatives.

Best moment of the season so far?
I was working at the desk with my coworkers and it was really slow. These two young boys come blasting into the Visitor Center.
“WE JUST SAW A BEAR!!!”

It was the cutest thing, and a great reminder about why we keep places like the National Parks wild! For the next generation.