Thursday, March 16, 2006

How well do you know...

The people around you? Your family? Friends? Yourself?

This past year for me has been a learning experience. I've learnt a lot about myself and changed a lot about myself. I took on the role of Vice President in my curling league. Me. Shy, little me. The chick who hates talking in front of 5 coworkers. Well, last night, I stood in front of the curling league and voiced my opinion as well as the details surrounding our next season and a meeting we had with the Club executive.

Yesterday, I participated in a panel interview via phone. 5 people on their end and I wasn't a bit nervous about appearing stupid.

I always knew I possessed a lot of confidence on the ice. But never off the ice. On the ice, I'll call the game I want to call without worrying about what anyone thinks. I have a plan, and properly executed, it should win us the game. Improperly executed and the team loses 7-1 after 4 ends. Heh, doesn't help that I didn't make any shots either.

I was recently accused of making decisions as a reaction to what my ex did. In some ways, I likely have. When the door closed on reconciliation with him, I realized I was free to do what I wanted. So, yes, a decision was made when that door closed. Apparently I've hidden many of my goals and dreams from my friends. Or they've projected their goals and dreams on me.

My life is pretty simple. 3 goals.

1. See the world.
2. Retire comfortably.
3. Have a hell of a good time between now and death.

I don't have specific career goals. They pretty much involve writing code and getting paid enough to live. I am, and always have been, a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I'm in IT because I received a scholarship and the field interested me somewhat. Without the scholarship, I wouldn't be typing this right now. I'd be in a greenhouse nurturing tiny little seedlings and planning the upcoming spring season. Or designing a landscape. When I finished high school, I had a general idea of what interested me and what did not. From there, life made it's path for me.

My life isn't about following some structured plan to get to the end. It's about living life and taking advantage of opportunities as they're presented to me. Sometimes that'll mean disappointment. Sometimes it'll mean I have the time of my life. My decision to head to Halifax to see the Olympic Trials was one made in 15 minutes. It was the time it took for me to realize that the old days of needing approval were gone. It was my money and it was time I started acting the way I wanted to, not following someone else's idea of how to spend money, when to travel, when to take chances. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. One I would have missed out on if I hadn't taken that chance and jumped on an impulse.

As for family... I never would have expected my brother to get married and have kids. Once he had kids, I didn't expect him to be overly involved. I mean, he's my brother. I'd never seen him touch a kid, much less express an interest in having some of his own. Now? The guy may go a tad overboard with John Deere baby accessories - Christmas brought a John Deere wagon for my nephew - but he's an awesome dad. Changes diapers, feeds his son, plays with him and is incredibly happy. It's a side of my brother I never knew existed.

There are so many sides to the people in our lives. Sometimes we take for granted that we know everything about someone. We assume that what they show the world is all there is to them. That's a very big mistake to make. As people grow, change, mature, they learn to keep sides of themselves secret. In my case, I hid my dreams of travel and seeing the world simply because it was a dream I didn't think I could accomplish. Mainly because I got married young and didn't bother exploring the opportunities. And, who can afford it at that age????

My friend Tina didn't strike me as a huge traveller. Then I found out she'd already done the move to another province thing, then moved back here after she was widowed at 30. She lived in Vancouver for several years and then was looking at moving to Houston to be with her husband when he died.

It's amazing what we can learn about our friends if we sit down and listen to what they say. Instead, we assume and go along with our busy lives. Never thinking that there is more to the people in our lives. Never knowing the adventures we could share with those people. I was lucky to share such an adventure with my curling teammate in Halifax. Something I'll always remember. What adventures are you missing out on?

What do your friends not know about you? Is it time to sit down and really get to know each other rather than being passing acquaintances?


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