When I was born, simply having 10 fingers, 10 toes, and crying after a smack on the butt deemed me perfect. As I aged, the achievements greatened. Walking was trumped by talking and potty training was cause for celebration. I deserved a damn medal for the first dozen successes in my life! The first lesson that I can remember learning was when I crashed headstrong into the coffee table and was surprised when I broke instead of it. Don’t run around the house with your eyes covered. Deeper meaning? Probably.
I’ve learned quite a lot of lessons in the past 24 years: never ride a bike at lightening speed down a hill with a massive hole at the bottom; don’t run behind your dad while he swings a golf club, it hurts; if there is a talent show in elementary school, always form a dance army and do a routine to Jenni From the Block. If that fails, you can always change the track to One, Two Step. (Shout out to the ladies…you know who you are); never let a boy say mean things to your BFF. He deserves to be slapped (even if you are only in third grade); embrace being young. Life is never as simple as it is in Jr. High and High School; you’ll be thankful for all the memories made spending time with your grandparents; work for what you want because there are only a few lucky people who get things handed to them and you probably aren’t one of them. You don’t want to be one of them anyway; holding grudges only makes you miserable; the first boy you think you love may not actually be the one you love; don’t blame your friends when life gets in the way, they are busy too; never forget that mom knows best, don’t be afraid to take chances and find adventure; and, as cliché as it sounds, this next lesson is important so you may want to jot this down: find the good. In people, in places and in experiences, find the good.
I just spent my 24th birthday in a strange town unlike anywhere I’ve ever seen before. It is hard to believe that there are places like this in Canada. You win, higher power, my eyes have been opened! This place, painfully far from home and with an awful reputation, sheds light on the good and the fortune in my life. Fear not, for I will not list them. I have many blessings…but that’s not the point, point is, sometimes it takes making a big step (a big move) out of the quaintness of one’s comfort zone to gain perspective. There are plenty of things to gripe about if I chose to. Let’s look at this situation closely. I’m only laying out the facts here. I moved more than 6000 kilometers away from home, where most of my family and friends reside, with my dog and my fiancé. The town I moved to is known for its misery, and for the first time in my life I am a minority. I do not have a job lined-up. The roads aren’t paved and I am a good 3.5 hours away from a decent store. We know we will be here for two years. Now, a negative person would put a negative spin on the facts. How do I choose to view this? I find the good. I’ll explain respectively. I just took a ten-day road trip with the love of my life and my best friend (four-legged, that is) and ended up in a province I never dreamed I’d lay foot in. Cool. I can challenge myself to find the good in this town, and spread stories of happiness found in this place, to people I meet long after I leave. It is important that I learn what it is like to be the different one. Adversity looks good on me. Without the pressure of jumping into a new job, I have time to explore what I want to do for the rest of my life, take steps to better myself for my future…and maybe adopt a dog or two along the way. I have two years to accomplish my goals and to experience something truly unique. Suffice to say that I’ve found the good.
I’m a worrier (and warrior) full of anxieties, I apologize too often and when it comes to both board games and video games I am a sore loser. Though it is clear to me that I am not even close to figuring it all out, I know that I am well on my way. Somehow, in the past 24 years, I’ve become a person eager to find the positive. And no, I am not saying everyday is going to be a fantastic 24 hours of fun and happiness – there will be some bad days, maybe even some horrible ones. The idea here is not to let those bad days change my perspective into a negative one.
I never imagined that I would be spending my 24th birthday in a different province and celebrating with a room full of strangers…guess that means I’ve got a room full of friends to make.