Monday, November 7, 2011

Coming Of Age

Dawn of a new age

Our lives are often filled with events, whether it is personal in nature, or on a global scale. Sometimes it impacts us in a big way, while other times, it doesn't make any difference at all. And let's not forget, timing also plays significantly to events as well. When I was first introduced to canoeing at the only summer camp I had the chance to go, it didn't affect my life very much. Jump forward many years, when I harmlessly picked up a copy of 'Up The Creek', a canoe route's book by Kevin Callan, my life took a dramatic turn. It hasn't been the same ever since, and I think it's pretty obviously to all what happened.

Some events are fairly predictable, like the changing of the seasons or when you have to file your taxes. You know its coming, sometimes you may not like it, but its going to happen whether you like it or not. Because it is predictable, you can prepare for it if need be, but other times, you can't do anything - it just comes and goes, like your birthday. This year, I turned 40. For many, it's a big to-do. Some will cry, while others will party, but for me, it went by without much fanfare. Only thing I did, which actually was planned by fluke with friends months before, was head out on a canoe trip. Even my friends on the trip didn't know I was turning 40. To me, it didn't really matter, I was just happy doing what I loved the most - being out on a canoe trip.

Celebrating my birthday on a canoe trip with friends
- couldn't ask for more!

Inversely, there are events that are unpredictable. Most people tend not to like these, as it can throw their lives into chaos, such as a car accident or an unplanned pregnancy. However, not all unpredictable events are bad. How about winning a lottery, getting a promotion at work, or an unplanned pregnancy? Generally, people don't like surprises, which is understandable, but then life as it is, would become very mundane and boring. Like a canoe trip in Algonquin, where you know exactly where the portages are, what they are like, their lengths, and even how many campsites there are on the lake. It can be a stress free experience, but how exciting is that? When I turned 40, that was totally predictable, but what wasn't, was getting a new canoe as a gift from my family. I'd say in my case, the unpredictable event made the predictable one a much better experience!

Getting a new canoe definitely put a smile on my face!

Then of course, there are some events that can significantly impact your life, whether they are predictable or not - like canoeing was to me. As expected, while growing up, I enjoyed most outdoor activities like canoeing; yet, it was totally unexpected how later on in life it consumed me. I don't for a moment regret any of it, nor all the crazy experiences that came along with it, as it has completely enriched my life. Turning 40 or getting a new canoe are big deals too, but honestly, other than having a few more aches and pains and sporting a new canoe, everything's status quo.

It came and it went - another birthday

I admit, my life in much of the past decade has revolved around canoeing and there hasn't been much that has changed this. Maybe there is some truth to it when family and friends think my life-long partner will be a canoe. The chances of that happening are pretty much in their favour, predictably; but unpredictably for me and for everyone that knows me, there is an event that may change this. There are times in our lives that an event may be life altering, a game changer, or maybe it's a coming of age. Whatever you want to call it, things will never be the same. And don't worry, I'm not going to hang up my paddles yet! It's a big change alright, but I believe its a good one. Stayed tuned!

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