Sunday 19 December 2021

Dirty Work

Finished December 16
Dirty Work: My Gruelling, Glorious, Life-Changing Summer in the Wilderness by Anna Maxymiw

This memoir of a summer spent as a worker at a remote fishing resort in Northern Ontario is an reflective and open piece on a time that changed the author's perspective on herself and on how she moved forward. Anna grew up in the city, unlike most of the other members on the crew at the fishing lodge and she was working on her Master of Arts, while most of them were engaged in studies to do with the environment or tourism. She had come to the resort the year before as a guest with her family and really enjoyed her time there, so she had some idea of the environment she was entering into and the nature of the work. 
It was however a move outside her comfort zone, pushing her into the company of a group of other young people, none of whom she knew, in close quarters for several weeks. There is no place for privacy, no access to the internet, and little down time. If she wasn't working, she was resting from the very physical work she was doing, too tired to do much. She found herself forming the first real female friendships she had, and engaging with young men in ways she wasn't used to. 
She gained a nickname she didn't love, a realization that she was stronger than she had thought, and a better sense of who she was as a person. 
There were good times and bad ones, and things were tense at times, but her memoir makes it clear that this was an experience she was glad she'd undertaken. 

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