I’ve been thinking a lot about how much things have changed in the past year.
One year ago I was finishing high school, and so concerned with the fact that I was graduating in 2 weeks. I couldn’t see how I would ever stop missing high school, and all I could think about was how life without high school sports and everything else I knew so well could possibly be any good. The craziest thing I’d done was enter the Miss Manitoba pageant as a joke, and although I had plans to move to New Zealand at this point, they seemed so far off and unorganized that all they really were a daydream. I was just starting with Charlene as a coach, and was naive enough to think that I’d be able to stay in shape by just riding and working. I had problems with my back, but I didn’t see how it related to my fitness level, hips, or how much this would change by the end of July 2010. Moving to the city from my small town home seemed like such a big change, and I couldn’t see how I’d ever get used to it or even like it. I relied heavily on my friend’s opinions and support and held the belief that I was confident in myself and my abilities. I liked to tell myself that I didn’t care what others thought or said of me, but really, I did. A lot. I hated being alone in any situation, and always felt left out in some way. I was a bit of a pessimist, to say the least.
Over the past 12 months, almost every thing in the above paragraph has changed, plus some.
The first 3-4 months living in the city and going to University was a big change. I despised the city, and the noise, and was bored with my classes. I decided to help asst. coach my high school varsity team, both for the experience and because most of my close friends from school still played on it. This is where I first started learning the difference between high school life and real life. I’m not going to say I did a lot of coaching, because really, I didn’t. I like to think I helped some of the girls with different things throughout the season, on or off the court. I’m very glad I did this, because the things I learnt in the process of dealing with everything that went along with the basketball season from the perspective of the bench and the coach’s eye are lessons that will help me in the future. I think this also helped me move on from high school, and hs sports. I still love team sports, and look forward to joining rec teams once I move home- but I can see now how much the teams I played on in high school helped me transition into who I’m supposed to be. That’s what they’re there for, a stepping stone to something bigger and better.
Second semester brought new things for me. I started actually enjoying school, and a started going to the gym (and I started AT for the injuries that had resurfaced with a vengeance). By the time finals rolled around, and Winter Fair, I was starting to rely more on myself for things and less on others. I was also starting to gain more confidence in who I was and who I wanted to be. I credit a lot of this to my coaches, my profs, and my volunteer work at Kaayikayow. By the end of my placement time working with the adult education centre, I had designed a fitness plan and discovered how much I really enjoyed working with people who wanted to better themselves. I also saw the difference I could make in somebody’s life just by being there for them to ask a question, or even just chat for a few minutes. Seeing the gratitude you get from even the smallest thing you help with can really open your eyes to new possibilities. By this point in the year I’d also started seriously planning my NZ trip, found my dream job, and the day dreaming had gotten slightly more real. Only slightly.
As I moved back to Carman and started resettling I thought I would love it here again and I would get to see all my old hs friends, etc etc. While I did get to see some people more, it wasn’t the same. My life had changed so much. Has changed. I miss living away from home, where I don’t know everybody and everybody doesn’t know me. I want something more then my life right now, and I’m ready to take that big leap. High School, which was once the greatest thing in my life, is now just a good memory and something that got me where I needed to be. But I don’t miss it. And I don’t find myself longing to be back. Actually, kind of the opposite. And, because of this, I’m much more committed to the things in my life that I seriously care about. Like riding, my health, and my future. I can see myself being a teacher and hopefully inspiring even just one person to follow their own dreams, like my teachers helped me do. I can see myself doing whatever I want to do in life, because I know that with hard work and determination anything can happen.
Moving across the planet is exactly what I need right now. I’m completely ready for that change. I feel that being away from everything I’ve known for so long and having to make my own way will help me further my understanding of who I am as a person, and who I can be. It’s time for me to take the next step in my life, and see what’s out there to discover. While I’m SO excited for New Zealand, and scheming for what is sure to be an awesome summer job the summer following my return (more to come on that one), I also feel ready to return to school next fall and get my degree(s) finished. I miss school already, and I can’t wait to get back into it.
To conclude, I’m the same girl I was a year ago.. except completely different and changed. For the better. I wouldn’t change one thing I’ve experienced this year, not one. Each and every experience has taught me something, and I’m so grateful for all of those little lessons. Good or bad.
In other news, 89 days!!