I thank you for the two beatings that you gave me
cuz I know somewhere along the line, those two beatings saved me

I miss you, DMX with Faith Evans

January 16. Wednesday.

Well, I am still here trying to conjure up the mental resources to attack this thing once more. Rather than bore you with details of my days etc., I thought I would attack some of the more interesting issues coursing through my tired and overworked brain. This, as they say, should be funny.

First let me say a big hello to someone who I haven’t seen, nor heard from in approximately 15 years. I got an email from him a few days ago and haven’t had the time to respond (or rather the organization needed to respond) and for that I apologize. Tim was a very good friend of mine back at St. Peter’s School in York, I recall vividly the nights of racing around in his little escort with Brad or someone in the back, heading to some remote pub where the masters wouldn’t find us. I remember he had a big thing with a pretty young girl named Philippa (I wonder what happened to the two of them, they seemed so good together) and that we used to sit in his room in Rise and eat cold baked beans out of the can and talk about all kinds of things until an irresponsibly late hour. Funny, writing this has brought back a flood of memories from being in Rise with those guys, a prospect I was not too keen on, never having been in a boarding school before and worse, coming from a day house to become a border. Nevertheless, Tim and the rest of the guys made me feel welcome (the rugby connection helped) and when it came time to leave at the end of the second year there, I was actually thankful that my parents had left me there to pursue opportunities in Canada.
At that time, Canada was unknown to me, if you had asked me to place it without looking at a map I am afraid I would have had all kinds of trouble. As for Toronto (self-proclaimed Centre of the Universe) well, I would have had more chance of swimming here than even managing to get the Country right! That’s why it doesn’t surprise me when people are ignorant of where we are, although over the past 15 years, the planet has shrunk considerably and we are all more aware of our neighbours than we ever were.
Things were very different for me back then, I was still drinking (a lot I hear some cry) I was not so keen on the whole studying thing and was certainly not to any degree prepared for my ejection into the workforce or my hopes of going on to University. I had planned to take Mechanical Engineering at Leeds I think, a prospect which thankfully has me smiling now. I can’t imagine what things would have been like had I taken that route, I shudder to think of me living in York still, working at some technical Engineer job probably wishing I was elsewhere. It is sad to say that you don’t regret leaving your home town, but in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

It is monumentally better to have left and made the choice not to return than never to have known the existence of the alternative.

The point to this whole thing really is not that I haven’t maintained any contacts over the years, nor that I am happy that I didn’t get stuck where I was, but rather the immense feeling of gratitude that I have to my parents for their insight and “tough love” in deciding to leave me and come to Canada, all the while supporting me both emotionally and financially, while I spent far too long trying to figure out who and what I was. There is a quote that I love, the paraphrasing of which is “Don’t waste time trying to find yourself, create yourself.”. I just wish that at the time I had realized the importance of being left alone to be responsible for your own actions and that in general I hadn’t been such an irresponsible and careless teenager. However, I firmly believe that if it weren’t for those years of “education” I wouldn’t be the person I am today, capable of passing those valuable life experiences on to others.

So there you have it, a greeting to an old friend and an admission that no matter what successes I enjoy in this life, I do indeed owe it all to my parents. Thanks you guys, I love you.