Being a FIFO worker has been the loneliest time of my life. In the beginning I used to hate the loneliness I felt after a long swing away from home. I would become angry when simple tasks would not go my way and I became quite unpleasant to be around. But there is something unique about loneliness that became my teacher and guide. You can learn a lot about yourself when the only influence you have from your environment is caused by your actions. It was as if my environment became a mirror to the struggles I faced internally. This provided the framework for my self-development which provided growth I never imagined I was capable of.
When no one is around you, who do you have to blame for your problems other than yourself? You can try to push blame to someone that may have caused a certain situation to arise but in reality, everything is your fault. There is something humbling about taking responsibility for everything in your life which can be quite liberating. When you blame someone else for your problems you can never move forward to solve them. Being a male, I am naturally inclined to problem solving but never did I imagine my problems would surface in this way. By taking responsibility I was able to see a bigger picture which enabled me to process my problems in a different way resulting in liberating myself from some of my suffering.
After the hours turn into days, and days into weeks, time eventually fades into an illusion. Some days I have no memory of at all while others seem to linger and play like a tape recorder in my mind. Fully submersed in my own thoughts I began to view them from a third person perspective. It was as if they were not my thoughts to begin with. Where were they coming from and why was I thinking such negative, self-degrading things all the time? Eventually understanding this pattern allowed me to reveal the man behind the curtain. Just being aware that my mind worked in this manner allowed me to gain control of my thought patterns, changing them to suit the mood I wished to be in. Through this once unconscious process it provided me a deep clarity into my own personality.
By connecting the dots to my own psyche, it also enabled me to understand other people on a deeper level. By observing others patterns and behaviors I found that everyone seemed to struggle with the same things in their own unique way. This enabled me to have a deeper sense of compassion for others realizing everyone is struggling through life just as I am. When someone came across as a ‘grump’ or was rude, it removed my judgements of that person and I was able to address the issue in a positive way rather than reacting to them and potentially escalating the situation.
Sometimes small changes in perception have drastic changes in the outcome of your life. If we all were able to understand ourselves better maybe the struggles of the world would seem less chaotic and through compassion, we could move forward to a loving solution rather than problems addressed with fear and judgment.
What are your experiences as a FIFO Worker? Have you experienced loneliness due to the lifestyle? Has it changed your perceptions at all? If so, how?