As a child growing up in Brampton I spent a lot of time playing outside with friends. We would go to the park, play tag, adventure in the woods, ride our bikes along paths, etc. There was never a lack of anything to do as long as you had your friends with you.
As I grow older my friends and I find it hard to keep up with the same activities. No one is really interested in going to the park, our stamina for tag is lost, adventuring in the woods has turned into one big trespassing fine waiting to happen, and we have all pretty much traded in our bikes for cars.
What does a twenty-something do in Brampton?
I have become a personal fan of getting together over coffee or drinks and just talking. There is something calming and enjoyable about catching up with an old friend or continuing conversation with the friends you see more often. It’s therapeutic in a way. The more I listen to my friends the more I reflect on my own life and formulate new ideas on how to live it.
Recently, I was out with a friend and we were talking about the days ahead and being excited for upcoming events. When my friend brought up a very interesting point. I am not sure of the exact wording, but it was along the lines of don’t get too caught up in the exciting days ahead or you might miss out on the exciting things happening right now.
Recently, I celebrated my 24th birthday. I remember when I was younger I used to count the minutes before my birthday two weeks in advance. This year I applied the new enjoyment strategy and realized that birthdays will come and go and you should enjoy it like any other day. Thanks to some great friends – this year’s birthday was fantastic. A very busy day filled with lots of conversation and love. A day I will never forget.
So, now I am 24 – just graduated from school – and I still consider myself to be a youthful person. My recent additional qualification class has confirmed this assumption. I look around the room and while I view my classmates as a group of peers - I can see in their expressions that to them I am still the “youngling” – the freshest of the fresh.
At the same time I was having a conversation with a friend on my soccer team this week when he asked me how old I was. After my reply – his face dropped. To him (an 18 year-old) I was beyond old. For the first time in my life I had this deep connection with how my parents must feel when they look at me.
Another good friend recently got engaged to his long-time girlfriend he met on vacation years ago. She is a beautiful person and has moved to Canada from Australia to help get their life together before they move to Australia. A small group of friends went out last night to celebrate her arrival and on the way home she asked a very interesting question, “what is everyone’s plans for New Years?” New Years!? It was funny to hear, to say the least, but not completely unwarranted either. The general reply was – in Canada we only really get two months of summer and we weren’t really even thinking about New Years yet.
While the interest in the days and events to come will always be there – I think it is important to slow down and enjoy each day as they come – especially if you are worried about something in the future. Seymour Schulich in his book Get Smarter writes, “Ninety per cent of what you worry about never happens. Usually the negative things in life that befall you are things you have never thought about at all. The 10 per cent of the worries that materialize are rarely as bad as your anxious mind envisioned.”
With that being said – live, love, laugh – enjoy life – one day at a time.